Caucus was an online message board system used by Carleton.
It was accessible only to current and incoming students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
It was replaced in July 2011 by CarlTown.
Caucus first appeared in the Carleton community in mid-1997. For a short time it operated concurrently to its predecessor VAX NOTES, which ran on the VAXbox known as VEBLEN. VEBLEN and NOTES were shut down permanently in 1999, though NOTES lives on in the Alumni Vax, LEGACY. NOTES itself had a predecessor on the Carleton campus known as FORUM.
Caucus was organized into several independent message boards called "conferences" (also known as confs). Anyone could start a conf, and set rules for who can access it. Within each conf were "items," which were message threads. Anonymous items could be created, although these were the exception to the rule.
- The most popular conf, as determined by the Most Active Conferences list, was nearly always The User Files. It consisted simply of items created by individuals, mostly students, who expressed their thoughts and discussed them with others who read their items. It was common for Carleton students to read their friends' user files, which offered more interactivity and security than web journals such as LiveJournal, although these were popular at Carleton as well. (Carleton College community at LiveJournal)
- Cobwebs is a place for discussion of Carleton history and traditions.
- The Sex Conf is usually the second most-active conference. It is accessible to all Caucus users, and consists primarily of anonymous items on a variety of sexual topics. Its less carnal spin-off, Love and Relationships, is also highly popular.
- Review is a student-only forum for discussion of current professors at Carleton, including critical discussion of the quality of their classes. It is not anonymous. This conference is frequently used by students during registration.