Rules of Engagement
This course was intentionally and appropriately curated using factual information to help students begin to think
critically about not only the technology developed, but also the environments in which they are developed (including
academic environments). It is extremely important that this course is prioritized
as a safe space for learning/growing. The course discusses sensitive
topics that impact people with different identities in different ways. As such, it requires participation that
is respectful of all identities. Failure to abide by this (including verbal and written language that is found
to be abusive, offensive, threatening, and/or hateful) will result in reporting to the proper university officials.
Repeated incidents will result in appropriate university grievance harassment procedures and additional actions,
as necessary. For more information, refer to the
Duke Community Standard).
The rules of engagement below were developed by
Dr. Amrah Salomón J.(Department of English, University of California Santa Barbara). Additional rules of engagement will
be developed by the class as a collective.
- It is expected that each student will participate in class in a mature and respectful fashion.
- Participate actively in the discussions, having completed the readings and thought about the topics discussed.
- Throw sunlight, not shade. Like beautiful flowers, we are here to learn and grow together. This will
involve discussing difficult topics and challenging some of our deepest held beliefs and assumptions with
curiosity and respect. In order to do that, your actions and behavior in the classroom should support the
growth and learning of others. You should find ways to acknowledge disagreement while also supporting the
growth and dignity of your classmates. This means that hostile reactions such as eye-rolls, yelling, teasing,
or otherwise throwing shade on your classmates will not be accepted.
- Disagree with ideas, but do not make personal attacks. Do not demean or embarrass others. Do not make sexist,
racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, or victim-blaming comments. Immature, aggressive, or disrespectful
behavior (i.e., the various ways we can throw shade and hate on one another) will not be tolerated.
- Be cautious of how you use humor in class and online. Tone is often difficult to gauge in online communication.
Some common forms of humor such as sarcasm can be interpreted as hurtful and demeaning by others in an online context
when they would not necessarily be interpreted this way in person. Be aware of the potential impact of your words,
regardless of the intentions. Think through and reread your comments before you say/post them.
- Be open to be challenged/confronted on your ideas or prejudices. The academic classroom is a place where we
learn to examine social issues through scientific inquiry. The classroom is no place for uninformed biases.
- Communicate in “I” statements. Don’t tell others what to do or think as if it is a command. Instead, describe
your own perspective or experience. Speak for yourself; don’t volunteer other people to speak. Consider when it is
appropriate to speak from your own experience and when it is better to consider the text or listen to others.
- Study and avoid engaging in rhetorical fallacies.
- Avoid making broad generalizations you can’t support with evidence (e.g.,“everyone everywhere always does x”).
Acknowledge when your personal experience is too limited or privileged to be generalized.