The Innis College Community Discord server is a student-run discord server for any and all Innis students. It's a great way to meet new people or connect with old friends. It also contains great resources for support, including a growing number of upper year students, regular announcements to keep you up to date, and important links you may need. Most importantly, it helps us all stay connected! Come join us!
We choose to use Discord for some of our events for a variety of reasons. It's very versatile and lets you control a lot of things you can't control on other platforms like Zoom and MS Teams. One of the greatest things about Discord is that it is split into servers which function like little communities and our server is run by a group of Innis community members, making it a student-run platform with all the customizable settings and casual feel that an in-person event might have. We also encourage our residents to join the Discord because it is a chance to connect with other students outside of residence as well as internally. Finally, Discord doesn't disappear at the end of an event. It is a constantly running meeting and chat space for you to use. So, next time you're up at 11:59 pm working on that paper you forgot was due, try jumping into the Discord and finish that paper with some other Innisians. If you just need the link to the server, it's on the button below. If you need some more help getting started, just scroll down!
Making an account
First, go to https://discord.com/login and click register. Discord will guide you through the account creation process from there. If you already have an account, you can just log in. You can choose to download discord or just use it in your browser. You can also use it from your phone. This tutorial is specifically for using it on a computer. We may have phone tutorials in the future but many of the features should be somewhat similar.
Once you have an account, click here. Discord will use this link to add you to the server. In this tutorial, we will get you set up with the basics and then we will explain how Discord actually works afterwards. So, first, on the left side of your screen next to the server list, click "rulebook" and read the rules for the server. Don't worry if they're confusing right now, we will explain further!
Once you have read the rules, click the # roles channel which is right below the rulebook. You will see a list of emojis and then what each of them means. At the bottom of each list of emojis there are buttons with those emojis on them (image 1 - below).
If you are an upper year, click the older adult emoji at the bottom. If you are a first year, click the baby emoji.
If you live on residence click the house. If you commute, click the car.
If you are an Innis student click the Bernard emoji with the heart (bernard is an informal Innis mascot). If you are not an Innis student click the Bernard emoji with the glasses.
The second section is for pings. Pings are a way to notify people when you are doing an activity. For example, if someone wants to play minecraft and is looking for people to play with, they will tag that role (we will explain more later) to notify everyone that they're playing. For now, we suggest you just choose the ones you like. For example, in the image below, this person wants to get notified for Innis updates, Among Us games, Minecraft, Dungeons and Dragons, movie nights, and Jackbox games. Choose whichever you would like to be notified for or none of them if you don't want to be notified.
Change your nickname
Your name on discord might be something wacky (like ILuvInnis2022#4152) but we want to know what we should call you! So, next, find the button that says "Innis College" with a little dropdown menu (image 2 - right). It should be on the top left of your screen above where you clicked on the rulebook and the roles channel. Click the dropdown and then click "edit server profile". Then find the "Nickname" box and add the name you would like to be called. If you want the heart like I have in my name, you can copy and paste this one: ♡
Make sure you click "save changes" at the bottom of the screen and then you can exit that screen and go back to the Innis server for the rest of this tutorial.
This section is a quick summary in case you are short on time. More detail can be found below.
On the left side of your screen you should see something that looks like the image to the left. All of the buttons with the hashtags (#) are text channels that you can click on. Any channels with a speaker icon are voice channels. Look for the channel you would like to type or call in and click on it to join or to type.
If you are in a voice call, use the buttons on the bottom left as controls. There is a microphone for a mute button, a camera symbol for "video" (turning your camera on/off), and a phone symbol with an X to hang up the call.
Intro To Servers
A server is a community filled with both voice and text channels that are customized to that community. Once we get everything set up for you, servers will appear on the left side of your screen and they will look like little bubbles, each with a different icon. On the right, you will see some servers. If there is a white dot next to a server, that means there's a message waiting for you! To switch between servers you can click on the different icons.
What is a text channel?
Text channels are typing-only channels that can be used alongside voice chats or on their own. Every text channel has a hashtag (#) next to it. Why? I don't know, ask the Discord creators. Both text and voice channels can be sorted into collapsible groups (collapse or expan them with the little symbol next to the group name). We've shown the "social" group on the Innis server for you as an example. If you're confused about what any of these channels are for, head back to the "rulebook" you looked at earlier to see their descriptions.
Typing in chat
Seems simple, but we'll cover it in case you want to try any of the cool features Discord has. First, click the text channel you want. On the bottom of your screen is the box where you can type. It should say "message (channel)" on it. In addition to sending messages, you can click the plus to add files or images, the GIF button to search for GIFs, the square smiley face to add stickers, or the circular smiley face to add emojis. Each server can also have its own custom emojis, so make sure to check out some of ours!
If you want to add some more funky formatting, check out this page for the symbols you can use to do so. If you want to add spoiler tags, here's a page on how to do that.
Tags and pings
You can "tag" someone by typing @ and then their name in chat. You can also do this with roles (like the ones you signed up for earlier. For example, if you are watching a movie and want some friends to join, you can type @Cinema Buff to call them all to join you. Depending on how they've set up their notifications (we'll do this later) this will notify them (or "ping" them) on their phone or computer and they will see your message. After the @ symbol, type a name or a role. There's usually a list of suggestions above the chat box so you can click the right one once it pops up (like any other search bar).
Don't abuse pings! They can be annoying if you are tagging someone constanlty. Only tag someone if you are speaking to them specifically or if there's something urgent! Be especially careful with @everyone and @here because these will notify everyone in the chat all at once.
You've actually already reacted! You did it when you chose your roles earlier. Here's how you can react to a message on your own, though. Hover over a message you want to react to and click the smiley face with a plus sign that appears on the right side. You can choose any emoji available on that server to react with.
Sometimes things can get lost in a busy chat. Maybe you want to reply to a message that someone sent last week. Maybe you just want to show that your next message is relevant to what someone else already said. Or maybe there are 10 conversations going on in one chat and you want to make it clear who you are replying to. No matter the reason, you can just click the curved arrow button when you hover over someone elses message (on the right side) to reply to that particular message. Discord creates a link to the original message and it tags (notifies) the person you are replying to as well.
Other text chat features
There are three more cool features you should know about text chats. First, the member list. On the top right of your screen there is a button that looks like two silhouettes of people. This collapses and expands the member list. Here you can see all the people who can see the chat you are typing in. Different roles and different people have access to different channels. Don't worry too much about the specifics, just know that your roles give you access to all the channels you need. You can find a list of the "officially official" people who are moderators. Tag them to get help at any time. You can also click on your friends profiles to direct message them or view their profiles. Right clicking on their profile gives you a list of options including adding them as a friend or direct messaging them.
The next feature is the search bar (in the second image on the right) which is found above the member list. Here you can search the entire discord for a message. There are lots of different features of this search bar. If you want to learn more about how to find a specific message, click here.
The final cool feature we want you to know about is the pinned message button. In each chat you can see a pin icon at the top which shows you notable messages from that server. People frequently pin things they find funny or that are important. For example, important academic resources might be pinned under that button.
You're finally ready to join a call! Let's introduce you to voice and video chats to get you started.
How to join a voice chat
To join a voice chat, simply click on one on the left side of your screen where you found your text chats. Every voice channel has a speaker icon next to it. Voice channels also sometimes have associated text chats that are named the same thing or a similar thing so you can type if you don't have a microphone or don't want to speak. In our case, the main voice channel is the Fishbowl and the place you can type if you do not want to speak is #the-fish. You will hear a noise when you join a channel and whenever someone else enters or leaves. To tell if you are connected properly, check for the green "voice connected" icon at the bottom left of your screen.
When you or another person is speaking, there will be a green circle around their profile photo.
If you want to mute yourself or unmute yourself, click the microphone button on the bottom left of your screen next to your profile. If you are muted, it will have a red line over it. You can see if others are muted by looking next to their name in the voice call. In the image to the right, you can see that Mira is both muted, deafened, and has her camera on. These icons would not be there otherwise.
Deafening means you turn off your microphone and also mute the entire voice call. You won't be able to hear anyone and they won't be able to hear you. You can still hear streams/screen sharing and you can still type in chat. To do this, click the headphones-shaped button on the bottom right of your screen. When you are deafened, it will have a red line over it.
Deafening yourself can be good if you want to leave your computer or if you are studying but still want to be with someone. It's an easy and quick way to silence the call.
Turning your camera on
You can turn your camera on by clicking the "Video" button on the bottom left of your screen. This will turn on your camera and anyone in the call can view it at any time or can collapse it and not view it. Use the same button to turn your camera off.
To hang up, click the phone button with an X (to the right of the "Voice connected" symbol). This will take you out of the call and back into just using the text chats.
Sharing your screen
You can share your screen with the "Screen" button on the bottom right of your screen. Like other platforms, it will give you some options regarding what you want to share before you do so. If you need help, here's more information on how to use screen sharing.
Viewing someone else's screen
You can view what someone else is sharing by clicking on their name. In the image to the right, you can see that someone is sharing the screen because there is a red bubble next to their name that says "Live". Click on the "Live" button and click "watch stream" in the box that pops up. To mute the stream or change the volume of the stream, right click the video and change your settings on the menu that pops up (3rd image on the left side of this page).
Call features - Entering and exiting the window
On the left is an example of a call (we will name this the "call window" from here onward. We're going to walk you through how to get to this call window and what some of the buttons mean.
To get to this window, click on the name of the voice channel you just joined (on the left side of your screen, it should have a speaker icon next to it). This is how you access people's cameras, streams, and see the whole call window. To exit this view and get back to your chats, just click on a chat you want to view.
Call features - Buttons
On the top left you can view which channel you are in. On the top right you will see 4 boxes arranged in a square shape. This is how you can change the arrangement of peoples cameras/the stream. You can switch between grid, and focus. You can also click on someone in this view to focus on them. In this case, I have clicked on the stream so it is largest on the screen.
On the bottom of the screen on the left there is a button to invite others to the call with you. You have a button to turn on and off your video towards the middle of the screen, the share screen button, the mute button, and a button to stop watching the stream once you have started watching it.
On the bottom right side there is a volume button to change the volume of the stream I am currently watching (it's muted at the moment). The box with the little arrow will pop the whole call window out into another window (giving you two discord windows at the same time). The square next to it will fullscreen the call window.
Changing someone's volume
Sometimes someone's mic is too loud or too quiet. Sometimes there's a music bot in the channel and the music is too loud (or you hate Katy Perry and your friend won't stop playing Katy Perry). Maybe you just want to not hear someone for a bit... whatever your reason, you can change the volume of someone individually in a call. All you have to do is right click on their name in the call (on the left side of your screen) or on their icon in the call window.
From there a menu will pop up. You can move the "user volume" slider to change their volume. You can also mute them, not view their camera (disable video), add them as a friend, message them, view their profile, etc. from this same menu.
Adding Friends and Direct Messaging
To add someone as your friend you can right click on their name and click "add friend". To add someone not in a server with you already or to add someone from thier name click the circle with the discord icon at very top left of your screen. Click that, and then click "friends" then "add friend" at the top of your screen. You can use the box that shows up to send them a friend request. Make sure you have the numbers that come after the hashtag in their name. If you need to know what your numbers are, look at the bottom left of your screen where your profile shows up. There should be a hashtag and 4 numbers right below your profile.
Time to slide into some DMs? Well, no problem, we can help with that. At very top left of your screen is a circle with the discord icon. Click that to view your direct messages. These are seperate from our server. You can search for anyone's name to chat with them and you can even do seperate calls with one person. To create a new DM or group DM, click the plus sign next to the "direct messages" button.
Pings can be really annoying. If you have discord on your phone or your laptop, you might get lots of notifications. To change which notifications you get, go to the server dropdown you went to before. It should be on the top left of your screen when you enter the Innis server. Then you can click on notification settings (with the bell icon next to it).
First, you can choose to mute the entire server. This means you will get no notifications at all and it would override any other settings below it. You can always unmute it later if you choose.
Below that you can decide which messages you get notified for. You can get all messages, only the ones you are tagged in, or none of them.
Below that are options to suppress certain mentions. You can turn off @everyone and @here if you don't want to get mass notifications. You can also turn off all mentions and turn on or off your mobile notifications (if you have discord on your phone).
Finally, you can create notification overrides which are notifications for a specific channel. You can click "select a channel or category" to choose what you want these settings to apply to and then decide which messages you want to recieve notifications for. You can also mute a specific text channel instead of the entire server so you don't recieve notifications.
Remember that these notification settings are just for the server you selected, not for all of discord. You may want to individually set up your settings for different servers based on how often you use them.
You can change your profile picture, username, email, etc. in the account settings window. To get there, look at the bottom left of your screen by your profile and click the settings (gear shaped) button.
Voice and video settings
To make changes to your voice and video settings, click the settings button on the bottom left side of your screen. Scroll down the list on the left side until you see "voice and video".
You can change your output and input devices on this page and you can test your microphone to see if its working. You can also change your inpiut and output volumes.
Below that you can choose voice activity or push to talk. Voice activity means that discord will detect when you are speak and automatically record your audio. If you choose this option, you can change the sensitivity to adjust how often it picks up your voice. Just speak into your mic and adjust the slider, or choose automatic and don't worry about it! If you choose push to talk, you can create a hotkey that turns your mic on and doesn't record audio unless you are pushing that button.
Below that section are the video settings. You can test your camera, change your background, and find other settings.
Finally, below that, you can see more advanced settings. You shouldnt need to use these unless there is an issue with your audio or video but you are welcome to read through them.
Inviting Friends and Finding More Servers
Send the link to this page or the link at the top of this page to get your friends in the server. You can also create an invite people using the dropdown menu on the top left of your screen when you are in the innis server. Invites expire unless you set them to never expire, but you can always send another or adjust the settings.
Finding more servers
Sometimes friends will invite you to a seperate server outside of Innis, or you might even use them as course group chats. Here's a tutorial on how to make your own server and add your friends to it.
U of T also has a "Discord Hub" which you can find here. If you join the hub you can view a large collection of U of T servers. There are servers for cool clubs, academic departments, student groups, etc. Explore, be safe, and have fun!
If you get stuck, confused, or something isn't working, you can reach out to the IRC through our contact page or you can reach out to one of the moderators on the server by typing @officially official and then typing your question. Someone will see that and help you.
As always, let us know if there is any way we can help you. We hope this tutorial has been helpful and we can't wait to see you on the Discord!