Classroom instructors face many challenges teaching in a vibrant campus community, and it is expected that students at a university will experience a wide variety of emotions in and outside of the classroom. While many students will be attentive and engaged in classroom activities, others may be day-dreaming, bored, distracted, or pre-occupied. Many instructors have their own effective techniques for working with these students.
Students may present a greater challenge when they come to class:
Our Community Standards in the Code of Student Conduct affirms that we prioritize student and University activities, events, teaching, research, administration, and other authorized non-University activities that are essential to supporting learning and discourse.
Students are encouraged to share their concerns in ways that are aligned with the on-campus demonstrations policy, university speakers’ policy, our Jesuit values, and in the spirit of robust academic discourse. See Policies for more information.
Disruption or obstruction of these activities may include, but is not limited to:
Faculty, staff, and students can establish these norms during the first day of class as part of the review of the syllabus or during the first meetings of a group. This conversation can include specific information about a given course (i.e. literature classes where the discussion includes books with bias terms or talking about legal theories rooted in oppression). Community members can either start from a basic set of guidelines (listed below) and/or facilitate a discussion with a class or group using the following norms as a starting point:
What gets in the way of productive academic discourse?
It can be tough to start from nothing. Here's a set of sample learning community expectations as a starting point for your group discussion:
There are a lot of different strategies. Below are some initial guidelines for how to respond if a student does not comply with learning community expectations:
If you would like to consult about possible strategies or have a situation you're not sure how to approach, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at email@example.com.
On occasion a faculty member may recognize that a student is experiencing significant stress and this is impacting them and how they show up in the classroom setting. This can include situations where students express that this stress is happening, come to class under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or behave differently than they previously had in class.
We ask that students handle these situations with care for the student and their learning environment. Faculty should consider refering the student to the Office of the Dean of Students in these circumstances. Our team will respond to the student and their behavior with a combination of resources and support. If the behavior is inconsistent with our Community Standards, we will also speak with the student through the Integrity Formation process.
Faculty members may encounter students who present as angry or distressed in class. This emotion might derive from differences among classmates, discussion of a controversial topic, or a disputed grade on a paper or test. This is normal for our students as they learn and grow, and we want to respond with care and clear expectations. Anger in a student is not a violation of the Student Code of Conduct nor is it necessarily a threat to classroom order. When a student's anger manifests itself into disregard for the learning community, faculty or other students, or prevents the class from continuing, the faculty member retains the same right to report that student to the Office of the Dean of Students.
Peer support is essential for minimizing social isolation and preventing distress. Peers provide a natural source of support that is important to a healthy community. Peer support includes a wide range of activities from
You can follow these steps by utilizing the BASIC approach:
B- being there
S- shared planning
I- initating the plan
C- continuity of prevention