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. Even if you are attending class remotely, you should be focused and engaged just as though you were physically present.
Plagiarism/The Honor Code
The Honor Code applies to everything that we do at this university, including our use of outside sources in our research and writing. Our work in this class will conform to the principles and procedures defined in the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance (http://instrument.unc.edu/). 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 (https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/plagiarism/) or the tutorial from the UNC Libraries (https://guides.lib.unc.edu/plagiarism).
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, 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 our digital class space on Zoom, 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, 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, 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 is encouraged to seek appropriate resources on campus or in the community. As needed, please contact confidential resources such as the Gender Violence Services Coordinator in the Carolina Women’s Center at (919) 962-1343 or Counseling & Psychological Services 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.
- Computers: Please plan to use your laptops to log into our Zoom classroom. If you run into technical issues, try to use your smartphone, tablet, or any other devices you can. Do not just rely on the link I’ve provided for accessing our Zoom classroom. Be prepared to adapt to technical difficulties. The full meeting invitation to our Zoom classroom is on Sakai at Resources>Zoom Resources. You should download this document to all of your devices, so you are aware of every possible way to access our online classroom in the event of unexpected technical difficulties. (As a last resort, you can “dial in” to our room as though you’re making a phone call.) Be sure that all of your devices are fully charged and prepared for you to engage in online learning. Even though you are not physically present, you should approach our online classroom with the same level of decorum, focus, and energy as you would a physical classroom space. If I notice that you are distracted by other activities on your devices, your participation grade will suffer.
- Cell Phones and Other Devices: Again, you are welcome to use a cell phone, tablet, etc. as a back-up device to attend our classes, but you will be able to participate most effectively and efficiently if you’re using a laptop.
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 page, please let me know immediately. For assistance with Sakai, see Sakai Student FAQs and Sakai Student Orientation.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
All of our class sessions will take place synchronously in Zoom. To create a collaborative environment, I strongly encourage all students to turn on their cameras while in class. If this is not possible due to bandwidth issues, please make sure you have a photograph uploaded, so we can see more than a black box with your name. During Zoom sessions, I want to establish a lively and engaging dialogue and discussion. I encourage you to actively participate following the directions you receive for specific activities, such as how to submit questions or interact with fellow students during group or project work in breakout rooms. You should approach our online classroom with the same level of decorum, focus, and energy as you would a physical classroom space.
I encourage you to find a space where you can be uninterrupted for the duration of our class session, a location free of anything that could potentially distract you or your classmates. Ideal lighting is frontal daylight from a window or a light source(s) that illuminates your face without too many shadows. If possible, use a headset with a microphone; simple earbuds are fine. The computer microphone tends to pick up more ambient sounds, but in a quiet environment it works, too. Try to find a place where you’ll be able to focus and will feel comfortable speaking aloud if called to speak. It’s fine to participate from outdoor spaces if necessary, but if so, definitely use headphones.
Scheduling around any residential classroom time for multiple courses might become more challenging. Take time at the beginning of the semester to map out when you will need to be online for class or group work, so you can plan ahead. Let me know if you foresee conflicts or have overlapping sessions, so that alternatives can be worked out early. Remember that there are guidelines in place for common spaces, and seating capacity will be reduced, so you might not be able to study or participate in online sessions/meetings from common areas or study spaces on campus. Coordinate with your dorm mates or roommates as needed if you have concurrent sessions.
Again, try to be prepared to adapt to unexpected technical difficulties. Be aware of the many different ways you can access our Zoom classroom, and have Zoom ready on all of your devices.
Inform me immediately if you are experiencing difficulties accessing:
- Necessary technology (such as a functioning laptop)
- Stable internet or wifi with an appropriate bandwidth
- A controlled, useful, safe space from which to attend our remote course sessions
Please also review the information provided here: https://keeplearning.unc.edu/remote-learning-faqs/ and see the resources listed below regarding online or remote learning (in the “Course Resources” section of this syllabus).
On-Campus Classroom Procedures
Although we will not meet in-person for our class sessions, I still want to remind you about on-campus procedures for any time you are physically on campus to meet a classmate, instructor, etc. This includes any time you meet with me 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.
This spring 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. For additional information, see https://carolinatogether.unc.edu/university-guidelines-for-facemasks/.
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. For more on the standards, see https://carolinatogether.unc.edu/community-standards-3-2/.
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/.
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 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.
Next syllabus item: Course Resources