Expectations in SEAS

Everyone in SEAS – students and staff alike – have a responsibility and a role to play in creating and maintaining a supportive and safe environment in which to work and study. The behaviour of an individual can impact on the group – whether that is a specific class, SEAS, the University or the local community – both positively and negatively. So, it is in this spirit that this statement aims to highlight a number of ways in which we are all expected to conduct ourselves. It is not intended to be exhaustive and many of these and other expectations are stressed elsewhere – the Student Charter, student and staff handbooks, etc. – but it is worth taking a moment to review them.

We should all try to think of study as work and the classroom as a workplace, an environment in which we are expected to be both independent and collaborative, as well as self-motivated and resourceful. These characteristics are important in their own right but are also appreciated by employers and will enable you to become successful employees.

On a practical level, staff and students are all expected to respond in a timely manner to requests for information and action. For example, multiple emails should not have to be sent out for the same purpose. Ultimately we should all take responsibility for own actions.

We are all expected to attend scheduled classes regularly, arrive ready to start on time (on the hour) and engage with the class having completed any preparation. Mobile phones should be turned off or muted during class. Private conversations should be left until after class and attention paid when the class is being addressed as a whole either by a student or a member of staff. Anyone who arrives late, has not prepared for the class or is disruptive may be asked to leave the room. Classes should end on time (ten minutes to the hour).

We should all take the time to read and digest feedback before then acting on it where appropriate.

We should check our university email accounts regularly. Regardless of other email addresses or social networking sites, this is the main way in which we communicate with each other.

Internet facilities and social media sites can be used for education or
entertainment and bring a number of advantages to our daily lives. We should not use them to store and disseminate offensive and/or illegal material. We should also not use them to deliver hurtful messages or hide behind them.

We may not agree with other people’s opinions but it is the opinions and not the person that we disagree with. SEAS values freedom of expression but also regards challenging assumptions and critical thinking as core to academic enquiry. These values can be upheld in a way that is supportive and respectful of others.

Discriminatory, threatening and/or offensive language and behaviour directed at an individual or a group constitutes harassment and will not be tolerated. If you are having difficulties that are disrupting your studies, please contact your personal tutor in the first instance for advice.

If there are concerns regarding the degree programmes or specific modules, we all agree to raise them in a timely manner through the appropriate channels whether it be student reps, Student-Staff Committee, degree tutors and so on.

Our private lives are exactly that – private – and everyone is entitled to a worklife balance. So, we will not concern ourselves with these private lives (unless they impact on the work and study environment) and respect people’s work-life balance.

Everyone has the right to voice any concerns without victimisation and a duty to report any incidents that go against these expectations. The appropriate processes for reporting are explained in the student and staff handbooks.

This statement has been discussed and agreed by the Student-Staff Committee (SSC) on 6 May 2015. It will be revisited by the SSC and updated as appropriate on an annual basis.