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Please remember that the syllabus functions as a contract between the instructor and the students. You are responsible for knowing and abiding by these policies. Everyone has an “off” day now and then, but when you are here, you need to be present, both physically and mentally.

 

The Honor Code/Plagiarism

The Honor Code of the University is in effect at all times and applies to everything that we do at this university; the submission of work signifies understanding and acceptance of those requirements. Plagiarism and/or academic, intellectual, or creative theft will not be tolerated. I expect all students to follow the guidelines of the UNC Honor Code for all work in this class. Our work in this class will conform to the principles and procedures defined in The Instrument of Student Judicial Governance (http://instrument.unc.edu/). In particular, students are expected to refrain from “lying, cheating, or stealing” in the academic context. You can read more about the Honor Code at honor.unc.edu or https://catalog.unc.edu/policies-procedures/honor-code/. In any course, including mine, what constitutes cheating can change from one activity to another. For example, collaboration or solicitation of feedback may be encouraged for an assignment but qualify as cheating during an exam or other project. Please see my guidelines for each assignment, and if you are unsure or have questions about the Honor Code as it relates to your academic work, please consult with me.

For the most part, you are encouraged to solicit and receive feedback on your writing in this course as long as the words and ideas you submit are ultimately your own or are properly cited. For instance, it’s permissible to receive outside feedback; it’s not permissible to let someone else write a portion of your paper for you. You will regularly use outside sources in your research and writing, and proper citation of those sources is of utmost importance, required by the Honor Code and necessary in order to maintain the intellectual integrity of your work as you contribute to the larger scholarly discourse around your chosen topic(s). The research that we do this semester, whether primary or secondary, print or online, formal or informal, will require careful documentation on your part. We will review citation guidelines early and often throughout the semester. The need to cite your sources applies to all of your work, including drafts as well as final versions of your feeders and projects. When in doubt: CITE.

If I suspect you of plagiarizing all or part of an assignment, even unintentionally, I am required to report the offense to the Honor Court. If you think you are running into trouble with an assignment, PLEASE come and speak with me. To learn more about plagiarism, see the UNC Writing Center’s page on plagiarism (https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/plagiarism/) and/or the tutorial on plagiarism from the UNC Libraries (https://guides.lib.unc.edu/plagiarism).

 

Class Decorum

There is a common saying that if you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not learning or growing. Although I aspire to make my students intellectually “uncomfortable” by challenging (and hopefully expanding) the ways in which they deconstruct texts (and the world around them) and write their own texts, I most definitely do NOT wish to make my students uncomfortable in that they feel attacked, exploited, mistreated, or neglected. I encourage an “uncomfortable” classroom (whether that’s a physical class space or digital class spaces on Sakai or other similar media) in an aspiration for intellectual stimulation and growth via exposure to new perspectives, texts, ideas, and voices. In contrast to that interest in expanding one’s perspectives, I certainly do not wish to create and will not tolerate a learning environment that is hostile, cruel, or exploitative.

We can never guarantee that a classroom will be a completely “safe” space. However, I believe that our classroom should be a sacred space where students can share their thoughts and ideas without fear. We are here to collaborate, to learn with and from each other. I value a free exchange of ideas as long as that exchange prioritizes mutual respect, inclusivity, and assumptions of good faith.

During our coursework, we may engage with texts and ideas that involve intense content, content some may find emotionally triggering, upsetting, or controversial, topics such as sexual assault, interpersonal violence, graphic physical violence, sexual health, sexuality, identity-based harassment, chronic illness, disability and debility, death and dying, etc. This means that our discussions may be equally difficult and potentially intense; I will do my best to be sensitive to such potential reactions, and I expect all of you to do the same. I expect everyone to treat such material responsibly and appropriately as we discuss them. I also ask that within our classroom community, we approach such discussions with an assumption that we are all approaching these texts and this class in good faith and with good intentions.

Again, certain readings and discussions may be difficult for survivors, secondary survivors, and non-survivors alike. As we read and discuss these texts and ideas, please remember to maintain self-care. If you need to step outside the classroom, take a break, etc., please do so.

Any student who is impacted by harassment, interpersonal (relationship) violence, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, or stalking, etc. is encouraged to seek appropriate resources on campus or in the community. As needed, please contact confidential resources such as the Gender Violence Services Coordinators in the Carolina Women’s Center at (919) 962-1343 or Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) in Campus Health Services at (919) 966-3658 to discuss your specific needs.

Additionally, we will share and comment on each other’s drafts, posts, papers, and other projects. We will engage in difficult discussions and provide comments and feedback on each other’s work both within the classroom and via other forms of communication such as the Sakai discussion forums or dropbox, etc. Again, some of our discussions or interactions may be especially challenging. During all of our interactions, however, we will always maintain an environment of inclusiveness and mutual respect. It is acceptable—and even desirable—to critique a peer’s ideas or writing as long as such a critique is intended to help someone improve, to build them up rather than tear them down.

If you have concerns about any aspects of our class environment, please communicate them directly to me immediately, so I have a chance to address those concerns and, if necessary, make appropriate changes or adjustments. I sincerely welcome your feedback.

 

Diversity Statement

I value the perspectives of individuals from all backgrounds reflecting the diversity of our students. I broadly define diversity to include race, gender identity, national origin, ethnicity, religion, social class, age, sexual orientation, political background, and physical and learning ability, as well as other categories I might not have thought to include in this statement. I strive to make this classroom an inclusive space for all students. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to improve; I appreciate suggestions.

 

Technology

  • Computers: Please bring your computer to class every day. Be sure that it is fully charged because our classroom has limited and inconveniently placed outlets. If I notice that you are distracted by other activities on your devices, your participation grade will suffer.
  • Cell Phones and Other Devices: You can use your cell phone as a classroom tool to take pictures of the board or print materials, record short lectures, navigate Sakai, view our readings, etc. However, cell phones should not be used for endeavors unrelated to class during class sessions. Please do not rely on your cell phones as your primary tool for engaging virtually with our online in-class activities. Bring your laptops to class.
  • Other Devices: Tablets and any other devices are welcome as long as you are using them for work related to this course.
  • Sakai: In this class, we will use Sakai (https://sakai.unc.edu/welcome/), UNC’s online course management system, for a number of course assignments, and it will be the primary way in which I share materials with you. If you have difficulty accessing our Sakai course site, please let me know immediately. For assistance with Sakai, see Sakai Student FAQs and Sakai Student Orientation. I will post announcements on Sakai to generate emails to everyone in our class. Make sure your Sakai settings are set so you receive those emails. Check Sakai regularly for posted announcements; if you’re not getting the emails, adjust your Sakai settings. For your own academic and professional enrichment, when I release your feedback and grades on any assignment, it is your responsibility to:
    • Read through the feedback I provide to you, including the numerical grade you’ve earned.
    • Regularly monitor your Sakai gradebook for errors, discrepancies, or any other grade-related matters you wish to dispute or discuss with me for clarification.
    • Bring to my attention in a timely manner any such matters you wish to discuss.

Remember: Just because you have access to the internet during class does not mean that you should be using our class time to post on social media, check your email, etc. If I notice that your participation is suffering due to technological distractions, I will ask you to meet with me for a conference so that we can discuss a plan of action.

Finally, it is important that you check your UNC email and our course Sakai site daily for messages and updates, as these will be our primary forms of communication inside and outside of class. If you have questions outside of class time or normal office hours, then you should contact me via email at paulblom@live.unc.edu. I do my best to respond to student emails within 48 hours during business hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm), but understand that if you email me with a question about a homework assignment the night before it is due, then you might not receive a response before the start of class. Also, please keep all correspondence courteous and remember to represent yourself professionally in emails by including a salutation and a signature. You are professional students embarking on a college career; therefore, you should practice professional communication.

Note: Before you email me with a question about the course, please review the syllabus and specific assignment prompts carefully to see if the answer is readily available there.

For all aspects of technical support, visit the IT Help Desk at https://help.unc.edu/sp or call 1.919.962.HELP (4357).

 

On-Campus Classroom Procedures

Because we will be meeting in person for our class sessions, I want to remind you about on-campus procedures for any time you are physically on campus to attend a class or meet individually with a classmate, instructor, etc. This includes any time we meet for a class session as well as any time you meet with me during office hours or meet with members of your working group in person.

Occupancy on campus has been significantly limited to allow and preserve the minimum required distance. As you arrive for your class or meeting, please be mindful of activities taking place inside the room and wait until all cleaning is completed before entering and taking your seat. Available seating will be clearly marked. Please do not sit close together with others. Follow all directions provided for your activities as well as for entering and leaving spaces and buildings, disinfecting, and cleaning up as you leave. Please remember to wear your mask and ask your instructor, etc. for accommodations you might need ahead of your meeting.

During this semester, while we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, all enrolled students are required to wear a mask covering your mouth and nose at all times while inside campus buildings and while outside when proper social distancing cannot be maintained. This requirement is to protect our educational and local community. If you choose not to wear a mask, or wear it improperly, I will ask you to leave immediately, and I will submit a report to the Office of Student Conduct. At that point, you can be disenrolled from this course for the protection of our educational community. Students who have an authorized accommodation from Accessibility Resources and Service have an exception.

Remember, all students, faculty, and staff are expected to abide by the University’s Community Standards, which includes the wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing during any in-person class sessions, meetings, etc. Students on campus may also be required to participate in regular COVID-19 testing and/or contact tracting. For more on the standards, see https://carolinatogether.unc.edu/, especially https://carolinatogether.unc.edu/community-standards-3-2/.

See also the brief but important document titled “Classroom Emergency Preparedness” at Sakai>Resources, related to both COVID-19 standards and general safety standards for attending classes on campus.

 

Non-Discrimination Policy

The University is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment and to ensuring that educational and employment decisions are based on individuals’ abilities and qualifications. Consistent with these principles and applicable laws, it is therefore the University’s policy not to discriminate on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status as consistent with the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct. No person, on the basis of protected status, shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under any University program or activity, including with respect to employment terms and conditions. Such a policy ensures that only relevant factors are considered and that equitable and consistent standards of conduct and performance are applied.

Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender are Civil Rights offenses subject to the same kinds of accountability and support applied to offenses against other protected categories. Any student who is impacted by discrimination, harassment, interpersonal (relationship) violence, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, or stalking is encouraged to seek resources on campus or in the community. Please contact the Director of Title IX Compliance, Report and Response Coordinators, Counseling & Psychological Services (confidential) in Campus Health Services at (919) 966-3658, or the Gender Violence Services Coordinators (confidential) to discuss your specific needs. Additional resources are available at https://safe.unc.edu/ and at http://knowyourix.org/.

 

Accessibility Statement

Disabilities can be visible and invisible, and I am dedicated to ensuring that all students succeed in my course. If there are circumstances that may affect your performance in this class, please let me know as soon as possible, so that we can work together to develop strategies for adapting assignments to meet both your needs and the requirements of the course. If you have information you wish to share with me about a disability, disorder, or neurodiversity issue, if you have emergency medical information you think I should know about, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please set up an appointment with me to discuss this during office hours.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ensures that no qualified person shall by reason of a disability be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of, any program or activity operated by the University. In compliance with UNC policy and federal law, qualified students with psychological, physical, and other disabilities are eligible to receive “reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to education opportunities, programs, and activities” (https://ars.unc.edu/about-ars/policies).

If you anticipate such accommodations and/or have concerns that should be discussed, please notify me as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Additionally, you may seek out student support services at the Accessibility Resources and Service Office (ARS). UNC-Chapel Hill facilitates the implementation of reasonable accommodations, including resources and services, for students with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health struggles, chronic medical conditions, temporary disability, or pregnancy complications, all of which can impair student success. See the ARS website for contact and registration information: https://ars.unc.edu/about-ars/contact-us or https://accessibility.unc.edu/students. (A student is welcome to initiate the registration process at any time; however, the process can take time. ARS is particularly busy in the run-up to final exams and during final exams. Students submitting Self-ID forms at that time are unlikely to have accommodations set until the following semester. Please contact ARS as early in the semester as possible.)

Other student support services are available through the Learning Center (http://learningcenter.unc.edu/) and through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). CAPS is strongly committed to addressing the mental health needs of a diverse student body through timely access to consultation and connection to clinically appropriate services, whether for short- or long-term needs. Go to their website (https://caps.unc.edu) or visit their facilities on the third floor of the Campus Health Services building for a walk-in evaluation to learn more. In addition to these campus resources for student mental health, I also want to call your attention to two national hotlines for mental health support. For information, resources, and referrals for mental health support, call 1.800.662.HELP (4357). For someone to speak to during a crisis 24/7, call 1.800.273.TALK (8255).

 

For all University policies, see https://ethicspolicy.unc.edu/search-policies/ or https://catalog.unc.edu/policies-procedures/.

 

Next syllabus item: Course Resources