Shortly before departing for Hawaii, I received the following email from Rita Jimenez, the country desk officer for the South American department of the Peace Corps.
— “Jimenez, Rita” wrote:
From: “Jimenez, Rita”
To: ‘[email protected]’
CC: “Frola, Kimberly”,”Myers, Amber”, “Brown, Earl”
Subject: Web site
Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 16:30:10 ?0400
Hope things are going well.
I recently had a chance to review your home page, and it is quite comprehensive. There are a couple of issues that I need to address related to the Peace Corps content of your page. First, please remove the Welcome Book from your page, since that document is an official Peace Corps document, which the Agency chooses to release to invitees only. Also, it is advisable to remove the official Peace Corps logo from your site, again for the similar reason that it is an official governmental logo that was utilized without permission. I would also encourage you to add a disclaimer to your web site to make it clear that your site is a private web site that does not reflect the policies or opinions of Peace Corps.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Country Desk Officer
South America Desk
1111 20th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20526
Upon return from Hawaii, there were two voice mail messages asking me to call the Peace Corps office right away. While I was fatigued from flying and desperately wanted to sleep the afternoon away, I made the call.
Rita was quite pleasant and clearly stated her above-mentioned requests. Feeling quite groggy, I presented little opposition and said that I would try to meet her requests once I find the time and a computer with the right software; which may not be until after arriving to Guyana. She expressed a greater urgency, and we then moved onto another topic.
Now that I’ve had much-needed sleep, I can now better address her requests:
REMOVE WELCOME PACKET
I was unaware that Welcome Packet is an official Peace Corps document and that I would need permission to share it with others. So I apologize and will remove it from my site once I have the time and a computer with the software that will help me do so.
I must say, however, that it would be a helpful document for me to share with my parents and the seven other people who visit my site on occasion, for it answers a lot of questions.
It talks about the history of Guyana, why the Peace Corps is there, provides insight on the living conditions I should expect, overviews the training process, discusses health and safety issues, and provides a packing list.
Too bad I’m the only one permitted to know this information, for I would have liked to share it with you.
REMOVE PEACE CORPS LOGO
I remembered seeing a download section that offered a Peace Corps logo that could be used for stories about the Peace Corps. In order to use the logo, however, the site stated that I’d have to abide by the following terms:
The logo is property of the Peace Corps and may be used in publication to illustrate articles about the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps logo or the words “Peace Corps” may not be used in a context that implies an endorsement or connection with any other activity or entity.
Seeing that my use of the Peace Corps logo adheres to their terms, it looks like I’ll be fine using it as a direct link back to their site.
While I don’t think there could be any confusion that the content on my site is personal in nature and does not represent the Peace Corps, I’m happy to help Rita by offering this public disclaimer:
Reference herein to the Peace Corps by trade name, trademark, logo, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply Jason Pearce’s endorsement, recommendation, or favoring. The views and opinions expressed herein by Jason Pearce do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Peace Corps, and shall not be used for advertising or endorsement purposes.
I hope these changes and statements are acceptable to Rita and others at the Peace Corps office, for I do not want to find myself “in trouble” before even starting. I hope, however, to avoid future censorship issues, for the sprit of my communication efforts are to meet two of the Peace Corps’ primary objectives, which are:
- To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women;
- To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served;
- To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.