CS 473: Cultural Expectations

This document is a work in progress. Feedback from all parties is welcome.

The CS 473 course staff, the Department of Computer Science, the Grainger College of Engineering, and the University are all committed to providing an inclusive climate that encourages the open exchange of ideas, that is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment, that provides equitable opportunities for all students, and that is safe and welcoming to everyone—regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disabilities, religious beliefs, physical appearance, age, major, academic history, or class performance.

These expectations are consistent with the Univerity's Nondiscrimination Policy and with the Computer Science Department's Values and Code of Conduct. If you have questions or concerns about any of these policies, we encourage you to discuss them with any of the instructors, with members of the CS CARES committee (yes, even if you are not a CS major), or with your department and college academic advisors.

We also encourage you to bring any incidents to the attention of the instructors or teaching assistants, CS advisors in the CS academic offices or your college advising offices, or the CS CARES committee, if you feel comfortable doing so.

For more information about the university's diversity, equity, and inculsion efforts, please see the OCVDEI web site. In particular, this page contains links to report incidents of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, or barriers to access. The instructors and CARES committee members can help you navigate these resources.

(Jeff is a member of both the CS CARES committee and the department's Advisory Committee.)

Online Communication

We are using Ed Discussion for official online communication, and we expect that students will also use other platforms such as Reddit and Discord to discuss the course. Please be professional and courteous on all these platforms, and (except in the #random channel on Ed Discussion) please keep all online discussion relevant to the course. In our experience, almost all students in almost all classes meet these expectations, but even a small number of incidents can do serious damage to the learning environment that online discussion is meant to support.

Harassing, threatening, bullying, trolling, demeaning, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or otherwise grossly unprofessional content on Ed Discussion will be removed. Anyone posting such content will be blocked/banned and reported to the Office for Student Conflict Resolution.

To encourage class participation, we have configured Ed Discussion to allow fully anonymous posting and commenting. Again, past experience suggests that almost all students behave professionally even when anonymous. However, should behavior on any online platform—either official or unofficial—become problematic, we will restrict posts to real names only.

Of course, these same expectation extend to in-person interactions in lectures, office hours, study groups, and so on.

Sexual Harassment

If you have experienced or think you have experienced sexual harassment or misconduct, help is available. What happened is not your fault. Where to go from here may seem unclear, but you have options. How you choose to handle what happened to you or receive help is your decision. There is no wrong way to take care of yourself. You can find a list of available campus resources and reporting options at the university's WE CARE web site.

You are also welcome to speak with any of the instructors, or with any member of the CS CARES committee, if you feel comfortable doing so. However, you should be aware that all University of Illinois faculty and staff members are legally required to report all instances of sexual misconduct to the University's Title IX Office. Confidential resources are also available, both on- and off-campus, if you prefer to discuss an incident without having it reported to the Title IX office. All members of the CS CARES committee are available to help connect you with those resources.

If you have been subject to an incident that is reported to the Title IX Office, someone with that office will contact you with information about your rights and options, including accommodations, support services, campus disciplinary process, and law enforcement options.