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Course Conduct

Turn off all laptop computers, cell phones, pagers, and any other distractions BEFORE class & screenings.

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated; violators will be reported and prosecuted. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the definitions of plagiarism, cheating, illegal collaboration, etc. in the CSU Student Handbook and the Basic Undergraduate Student Responsibilities. Students who violate these policies may be formally charged with academic misconduct. The minimum penalty in such cases will be a zero on the assignment and an F in the course. As university regulations stipulate, students guilty of academic misconduct may also be suspended or expelled. All instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Office of Student Life/Judicial Affairs. Judicial procedures are described at http://adminservices.clayton.edu/judicial/.

The syllabus is subject to change (with notice).

A few additional ground rules will help us engage with our course topics productively:

1)    Speak respectfully to and about everyone in the class. Racist, sexist, heterosexist, ableist, anti-Semitic, and other prejudiced or generally rude remarks are absolutely inappropriate for our classroom lectures, discussions, and screenings. This does not mean that we must be “politically correct” or refuse to comment, but remarks that stereotype people are not necessary to make your point as we analyze films in our classroom.

2)   Keeping this policy of respect in mind, I encourage you to express your disagreement with anything said in the readings or in class, including anything I say. (Don't worry about your grade; you will be graded based on your knowledge of and willingness to engage with the course material, not on whether you agree with me. You can disagree with me and still earn an excellent grade in this course.) Feel free to criticize points of view, opinions, statements, behaviors, and institutions—just avoid criticizing people.

3)   Your own experiences are welcome in our discussions, but please be sure that they are relevant to the topic being discussed. We all love movies, and please do volunteer examples of films that you think will contribute to our class discussion—but do stay on topic. This is a classroom, not a coffeehouse or dorm room, so please do not share film experiences or examples that are not related to the specific topics we are discussing.

4)   Everyone in the class has the right to make mistakes, including the professor. In fact, making mistakes is one of the most effective learning strategies. We are all engaged in a learning process here, so be kind to others—and to yourself—when mistakes are made.

5)   Disruption of the Learning Environment: Behavior that disrupts the teaching–learning process during class activities will not be tolerated. Those who choose to text, frequently exit the classroom mid-lecture, or create other disruptions will be asked to leave the classroom and will be marked absent since these behaviors disrupt your classmates and professor very much. Thus, any texting in class or repeatedly leaving the classroom during lecture will lower your final course grade one percentage point per infraction. Disruptive behavior that must be referred to Student Judicial Affairs earns a minimum penalty of lowering your course grade by one full letter grade. While a variety of additional behaviors can be disruptive in a classroom setting, more serious examples include belligerent, abusive, profane, and/or threatening behavior. A student who fails to respond to reasonable faculty direction regarding classroom behavior and/or behavior while participating in classroom activities may be dismissed from class. A student who is dismissed is entitled to due process and will be afforded such rights as soon as possible following dismissal. If found in violation, a student may be administratively withdrawn and may receive a grade of WF. A more detailed description of examples of disruptive behavior and appeal procedures is provided at: http://www.clayton.edu/Portals/5/DisruptiveClassroomBehavior.pdf 

6)  Common courtesy during class lectures. Always arrive five minutes early to class lectures, not only because we will start promptly but also because late arrivals are extremely disruptive. If you must arrive late, always use the back door to enter the room quietly and then sit quietly on the aisle; do not step over people to get to a favorite seat, since this blocks the view of the screen for others. Do not text, eat loud foods, sleep, answer cell phones, operate computers, check email, work on other projects, talk with classmates or talk back to the screen loudly, or leave the room for food or other non-emergencies during class lectures; these are a time for serious study of our film texts so you should be taking copious notes during each film to prepare for your quizzes, class discussions, and exams. You may wish to bring a penlight to classes and screenings to help you take notes in the dark. Anyone behaving disruptively during a screening or class will be asked to leave.