Fall 2021 Recommended Syllabi Statements

This page includes pandemic-related syllabi statements that have been updated with current information for inclusion in your Fall 2021 syllabi. Additionally, general syllabi statements and resources have also been updated and are listed below. (Statements for online courses can be found at the end of this page.)

You’ll notice a new addition to the General Syllabus Statements: Student Hours. This suggestion reflects a small but powerful way to demystify the “hidden curriculum” of higher ed and increase students’ feelings of belonging as well as accessibility. First, for some students, particularly those who are first-in-the-family, “office hours” may inadvertently communicate that this time is for faculty to work in their office. Renaming these “student hours” more clearly and transparently communicates to all students that this time is set aside specifically for them. Second, we may not always be meeting students in our offices anymore; our students — and we too — may prefer or need to meet online or in a location on campus that is not our office. Therefore, making the switch from “office hours” to “student hours” increases both transparency and clarity, removing an obstacle that may be keeping students from taking advantage of a resource that has been shown to be a key to their success. To read more about this suggestion, see more examples of syllabi statements, and get some tips on holding student hours in Zoom, this blog post on GeoEd Trek is a great resource.

Another addition is the Content Warning statement. As with all of the statements, this is recommended language that you can use and/or adapt as you see fit; if you use a content or trigger warning, you should invite your students into a discussion about it to understand their perspectives and expectations regarding content that may be challenging. The University of Michigan provides an excellent Introduction to Content Warnings and Trigger Warnings that outlines the distinction between them, why they are part of an inclusive pedagogical practice, and ways to implement them. If you would like to discuss this topic, feel free to reach out to Jen Smith, Dean of Inclusive Excellence (jennifer.smith@plu.edu or x7811).

Again, if you haven’t read “A Syllabus Worth Reading” from Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto by Kevin M. Gannon — or need a refresher — take a moment to give it a look. Gannon notes that faculty can take the syllabus and policy statements as an opportunity to share with students why they consider such issues like academic integrity or accessibility to be important and how they might reflect your philosophy of teaching, learning, and research. Describe to students what learning will look like in your course specifically, discuss expectations for participation, and share strategies that can help students succeed in your course, framing these topics in light of your teaching philosophy and values. Doing so can engage students as co-learners in the course as well as build trust.

Finally, the list of Resources for Students is quite long (as some have pointed out), which is a good thing, of course. Yet, it can also make for a long syllabus. To make this information accessible to students without including it in your syllabi, consider creating a separate document to share with students or post the information on Sakai. Also, while it’s good to let students know of these resources, they are more likely to access them via their connection to you, meaning that knowing and then telling students about these resources when they need them will have a greater impact than only sharing the list.

Please see the statements below as basic templates that you should personalize to best connect with your students. Commentary has been included in brackets for some statements as well as several options.

If you would like to share examples of syllabi statements that work well for your course and communicate an inclusive philosophy — or have suggestions for how to make the policies below even more student-centered — please contact Jen Smith, Dean of Inclusive Excellence (jennifer.smith@plu.edu).

Scroll down to review all suggested syllabi statements or use the menu below to select a specific section.

Pandemic-Related Statements for Traditional (In-Person) Courses

Health Directives

All students and campus employees must follow university health directives. If those directives change during the term, I will be sure to share them with the class so we can discuss what the changes mean for our particular course. 

As we begin the term, university health directives are straightforward: all campus community members are required to wear face masks in all indoor spaces, regardless of their vaccination status. The requirement applies indoors when other people are present and in all public and common areas, including classrooms, dining areas (except when you are actively eating or drinking), meeting rooms, elevators, and shared vehicles.

In crowded outdoor locations where physical distancing is not possible, masks are recommended for fully vaccinated people and required for those not currently vaccinated.

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Masks

Per university directives, we’ll all be wearing masks (regardless of vaccination status) when inside campus buildings until October 1st, at which point the policy will be reevaluated. If public health conditions change and the university-wide mask mandate is removed, I will let you know what the requirements are for our class moving forward. Until you hear otherwise from me, plan on wearing a mask in our class. Please be sure to wear a mask (not a bandana or scarf) that completely covers both your nose and mouth whenever you are in our classroom/lab or my office.  

I know that you want to experience a safe learning environment along with your peers. So, if masks are not being worn the way they should be, be an active bystander and speak up to remind each other to keep doing the things we need to do to be safe. (If you refuse to participate in these measures to create a safe learning environment, it will be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, and I will need to take steps accordingly.)

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Cleaning Learning Spaces

[Note: Facilities will disinfect each classroom once per day. All rooms will be equipped with cleaning kits and faculty members can ask students to use them to clean equipment, desks, etc. before/after class at their discretion; they can make it a class requirement if they choose, but they aren’t required to do so. You might use the language below if you wish to have students participate in cleaning]

Together, we will clean our learning space/lab/rehearsal room/etc., including any equipment we may have used, at the beginning and end of each class session (using supplies provided by the university). Your assistance in creating a safe learning environment for everyone is appreciated.

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Attendance & Participation

Please do not come to an in-person class/lab/lesson if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Nothing we do in our class is worth risking your health, my health, or the health of your peers. If it helps to relieve pressure, please know that not attending class will not, in itself, cause your grade to be reduced. You will still need to complete the tasks/assignments/projects/etc. necessary to meet our learning objectives, of course. [Here you might insert your recommendations/expectations for how missed work can be accomplished, for example, identifying a “class buddy” early in the term should either need announcements or class notes shared, or noting that due to the nature of your class certain experiences cannot be “made up”] Should your health or other circumstances change, negatively impacting your ability to succeed in our class, please notify me as soon as possible so that we can work together to connect you to support and work through possible options.

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General Syllabus Statements

Student Hours `{`See comment above regarding ``Student Hours`` vs ``Office Hours```}`

This time is set aside for you. You are not “bugging” or interrupting me when you pop in or set up a time to meet with me during these hours. Rather, you are making good use of a resource! You should feel free to use this time as you need — ask me a question, review notes, brainstorm ideas, consider future plans, etc. I’m also happy to meet in small groups. [Insert details about your student hours and how students can find you, i.e. only online, both, in-person, by appointment or drop-in, etc.]

You all enter this classroom with different skills, strengths, and experiences. In virtue of this fact, I open my office to you as an extension of the classroom, including scheduled virtual meetings and individualized tutoring. There is no shame or embarrassment in asking for help, although it is common to feel anxious when approaching one’s teacher. To enter my office and ask for help is an act of bravery. To enter and chat about nothing in particular often leads to new insight. Both are valuable. Both show that you trust me. I promise to respect you and earn that trust through compassionate listening and understanding. [Adapted from Adam Heidebrink-Bruno’s post in Hybrid Pedagogy – Syllabus as Manifesto: A Critical Approach to Classroom Culture]

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Academic Integrity

Example #1

Intellectual development requires honesty, responsibility, and doing your own work. Taking ideas or words from others without citation is a breach of trust and will result in a failing grade on the paper or assignment and possibly other disciplinary actions. If you are unsure about what plagiarism is, please feel free to ask me. You may also consult the section on Academic Integrity in the Student Code of Conduct.

Example #2

An essential dimension of Pacific Lutheran University’s mission is to provide for the intellectual, social, physical, emotional, and spiritual development of students. Faculty, students, and administrators share responsibility for accomplishing these goals. Academic integrity is honesty concerning all aspects of academic performance. In this class, what this means is [X].

Example #3

PLU’s expectation is that students will not cheat or plagiarize and that they will not condone these behaviors or assist others who plagiarize. Academic misconduct not only jeopardizes the career of the individual student involved but also undermines the scholastic achievements of all PLU students and fails to reflect the mission of this institution. Students are responsible to do their own work, thereby ensuring the integrity of their academic records. The most common forms of dishonesty are cheating and plagiarism. Cheating includes, but is not limited to submitting material that is not yours as part of your course performance, such as copying from another student’s exam, allowing another student to copy from your exam. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to directly quoting the words of others without using quotation marks or indented format to identify them. Because plagiarism involves a misrepresentation of principles and processes fundamental to the integrity of the university, matters of plagiarism are taken very seriously. If you are unsure about something that you want to do or the proper use of materials, please ask me for clarification.

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Respectful Learning Environment

The University holds as basic the integrity and well-being of every person in the community. I am committed to providing a living, learning and working environment that is fair, consistent, caring, and supportive of intellectual and personal growth. Further, PLU is committed to protecting the rights of its community members to engage in dialogue and express ideas in an environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, and exploitation. This freedom of expression does not, however, entail the freedom to threaten, stalk, intimidate, harass, or abuse.

Students are therefore expected to treat every individual with respect. The University prohibits any activities that cause or threaten physical or mental harm, suffering or exhaustion, that demean the dignity of any individual, and/or that interfere with one’s academic progress, living environment, or employment responsibilities.

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Combo of Respectful Learning Environment & Accessibility (couched as a general statement about successful learning in the course)

Above all, I care about your success and want to do all I can to help you learn. I believe in universal learning, which means I am committed to all of our learning spaces — course material, the Sakai forum [or other online tool], and other places we engage with one another — being inclusive and equitable. This means I expect that we do our work together with mutual respect, collegiality, and the willingness to consider others’ perspectives fairly and generously. If there is anything I can do to help you in your learning, please let me know; if appropriate, you may also contact contact the Office of Accessibility and Accommodation at 253-535-7073 or oaa@plu.edu, and we can collaborate on any arrangements to assist you in successful learning. [Adapted from Kevin Gannon’s HIST 104 Syllabus]

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Commitment to Inclusion

It is my intent that students from all backgrounds and perspectives be well-served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength, and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity across all dimensions, including gender, sexuality, disability, age, socio-economic status, ethnicity, race, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students. In addition, if any of our class meetings conflict with your religious events, please let me know so that I can make arrangements for you. [Adapted from the University of Iowa College of Education]

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Content Warning

Students are advised that difficult or sensitive issues may be represented or discussed in this class. While care will always be taken not to cause distress and to create a welcoming learning environment for everyone, there may be occasions where you will confront images or texts, or where you hear discussions that are uncomfortable for you. I will not issue trigger warnings with respect to potentially challenging or distressing content, for several reasons. I do not presume in advance to know what content or discussions may cause you distress; trauma is a deeply complex and personal experience. Instead, I will provide context for materials that feature content generally found to be challenging and make it clear why I am showing particular images or we are reading particular texts. If you ever feel unable to continue to participate in a particular class, you may leave at any point and will not be challenged. I will follow up to address any concerns and provide additional resources for support. You are also, of course, welcome to share any concerns about the course content you may have at any time during the term, and I promise to listen openly and respectfully. [Adapted from Dr. Marsha Henry’s Gender, ‘Race’ and Militarisation syllabus]

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Weather Conditions

For face-to-face meetings, you may want to confirm whether class is meeting if you have any concerns about weather conditions that would make travel to campus unsafe. You can call the University’s hotline after 6 a.m. (253-535-7100) or access the PLU website (www.plu.edu) to see if campus has been closed. As soon as I know if campus has been closed due to weather, I will communicate this to the class as well using Sakai announcements. Please do not risk your health or safety if weather conditions make traveling dangerous.

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Resources for Students* (in alphabetical order):

Below, you will find information about various resources that can be helpful in ensuring that students not only persist but thrive while attending PLU. Some resources provide language that faculty can insert into syllabi, or you may consider sharing this information with students via an email at the beginning of the term or on your Sakai site. 

*Note: The Center for Student Success (described in more detail below) is intended to be a hub for student resources. Providing students with information about how to find and access this office is highly encouraged.

Office of Accessibility and Accommodation

Example #1

If you need academic accommodations because of a documented disability, have emergency medical information to share with me, or need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible. If you have questions concerning the services available for students who need reasonable accommodations, contact the Office of Accessibility and Accommodation at 253-535-7073 or oaa@plu.edu.

Example #2

I am committed to supporting the learning of all students in my class. If you have already registered with the Office of Accessibility and Accommodation (OAA), please meet with me early in the course to discuss, plan, and implement your accommodations in the course. If you have a documented disability that requires reasonable accommodations, please contact the OAA at  253-535-7073 or oaa@plu.edu. [Adapted from St. Olaf College] ​

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Bias Incident Response Team

While we strive to create an inclusive and welcoming community, unfortunately, bias remains a part of our everyday reality. The purpose of the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is to collect data regarding instances of bias within our community and monitor the type and frequency of such occurrences. Doing so will help us better understand our campus climate, create community-based educational opportunities to address trends, and foster an environment where everyone feels welcome. BIRT can be utilized by anyone within the PLU community.

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Campus Ministry

Campus Ministry is a community that welcomes, celebrates and engages the diverse spiritual and faith traditions of PLU students, staff and faculty members. Our office suite (AUC 190) is a place to study, connect, and relax. You can also check in with Pastor Jen Rude or Miss Melannie Denise Cunningham for care and support.  Pastor Jen is one of PLU’s Confidential Resources. 

PLU’s Food Pantry is located in the Campus Ministry office and accessible via your Lute Card.  

For quiet, private space to pray or meditate, use your Lute Card to swipe into our Multi-Faith Meditation & Prayer Space (AUC 205).

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Center for Gender Equity

The Center for Gender Equity supports, challenges, and empowers our community to combat gender-based oppression and enact positive social change. The CGE is excited to share multiple DJS-related spaces with The Diversity Center and Office of DJS on the lower level of the Anderson University Center. Appointments with the Victim’s Advocate as well as other CGE professional staff are available in person or virtually. Check here for more information

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Center for Military Support

The Center for Military Support is a resource for military-affiliated students who want to improve their academic performance, learn about veteran benefits, and connect with other PLU, State, Federal, or private resource providers. Students can learn more HERE, and schedule virtual meetings or connect with the Vet Corps Navigator (vetcorps@plu.edu) in the Hauge Administration Building, Room 107

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Center for Student Success

The Center for Student Success (CSS) is a campus-wide network of units dedicated to helping you succeed at PLU. They provide individualized academic and personal support and resources through a collaborative, student-centered approach. By visiting the CSS, you can access Academic Advising, Tutoring & Assignments, Career & Vocational Planning, Financial Services, Personal Health & Wellness, and the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations as well as learn about resources for affinity groups such as students of color, LGBTQ students, international students, veteran & military students, and transfer students, among other groups.

The main hub of the CSS is located on the first floor of the Mortvedt Library building; additional partner offices can be located using the CSS services map. Advisors are available in person or via gchat or Zoom. If you are unsure or would like help navigating the resources, you can contact the CSS directly at success@plu.edu and 253-535-7459.

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The Diversity Center

The Diversity Center is committed to empowering the PLU community to engage in dialogue, programs, and initiatives that promote and enhance equity, agency, and action. The Diversity Center is excited to share multiple DJS-related spaces with The Center for Gender Equity and Office of DJS including our new DJS Lounge and classroom, The CAVE community for commuter students, and the Community Garden. To learn more about upcoming events, workshops, and identity retreats and resources visit our website.

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Land Acknowledgment

PLU is on the traditional lands of the Nisqually, Puyallup, Squaxin Island and Steilacoom peoples; we acknowledge and respect the traditional caretakers of this land. [If you would like to have a conversation about how to connect this acknowledgement to your course so as to help deepen its significance and meaning, feel free to contact Jen Smith (jennifer.smith@plu.edu). Additional resources include Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement and this video What Good is a Land Acknowledgement? with Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy.]

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Lute Library & Course Reserves

[The Lute Library and Course Reserves has returned for Fall 2021. Information and options for providing students with access to materials, can be found in the May 25th Faculty Newsletter or the library’s Course Reserves page and the specific information for Faculty. If you have questions or need help adding resources, please contact Faculty Liaison for the Lute Library, Dr. Andrea Munro (munroam@plu.edu) or Hunter Hobbs, Library Circulation Coordinator (hobbsmr@plu.edu )] 

Copies of the course texts and certain course materials are available for you to borrow for two hours at a time via the Lute Library & Course Reserves. This system, part of Mortvedt Library’s Course Reserves system, is located on the Library’s main floor at the Circulation Desk. If the materials you need are not currently available when you search under Course Reserves by instructor and/or course or item title, please contact me so that I can have that item integrated to the Lute Library or so we can attempt to find another solution, if possible.

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Mental Health & Wellness Resources

Example #1
We all may experience a range of mental health issues that can impact our life in all varieties of ways. These might include anxiety, high levels of stress, alcohol/drug problems, strained relationships, feeling down, or loss of motivation. PLU’s Counseling Center is here to help you with these or other issues you may experience. You can learn about the free, confidential mental health services available on campus by calling 253-535-7838, visiting https://www.plu.edu/chws/ or emailing counseling@plu.edu. For urgent mental health support at any times, contact the Counseling Center Crisis Line at 253-535-7075. Help is always available.

Additionally, Lute Telehealth is a resource for you that expands access to mental health and medical care by providing free on-line or phone-based services 24/7/365 from licensed mental health providers, health coaches, and nurse practitioners.

Finally, the Couple and Family Therapy Center (part of PLU’s Marriage and Family Therapy program) offers affordable, high-quality care to individuals, couples, and families — including PLU students — using the latest advances in the field.

In addition to direct mental health service, PLU provides referrals for students in search of longer term (more than 6-8 sessions) or specialized mental health care to community mental health providers via Thriving Campus

Example #2
If you find yourself struggling with your mental or physical health, please feel free to approach me. I will try to be flexible and accommodating. You can also find free, confidential mental health services at PLU’s Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services, Lute Telehealth, or Couple and Family Therapy Center. [Adapted from Northwestern University]

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PLU Pantry

The PLU Pantry exists to care for you should you experience food insecurity in any way. There are two locations that include the first floor of the AUC inside of the Campus Ministry office and also the first floor of South Hall inside the kitchen. Both are accessible using your Lute Card.  When the Campus Ministry office is closed, access to the Pantry is available 24/7 by contacting PLU Campus Safety by phone at 253-535-7441 or by email at csin@plu.edu to request entry. You will need to have a valid PLU ID on hand when requesting access. The South Hall Pantry is available to any student with swipe access into the building.  If you have any questions regarding the Pantry, you can connect with Melannie Denise Cunningham at 253-682-9264 or by email at cunningham@plu.edu.

The PLU Pantry is located on the first floor of the Anderson University Center between the Scandinavian Center and Campus Ministry. It is open Mon-Fri from 9am to 5pm. or help outside of regular hours, students can contact either their community director or commuter director, both of whom have access to the pantry. Any member of the community with a valid PLU ID can access the pantry.

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Religious Accommodations

[Note: Washington state passed a law in 2019 requiring that syllabi include a religious accommodations statement. Also, this Diversity Calendar 2021-2022 created by Cultures Connecting may also be helpful (e.g., as you consider your schedule for exams and assignment deadlines).]

I will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations for all students who, because of religious observances, may have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments, or required attendance in courses. Please review the course schedule at the beginning of the semester to determine any such potential conflicts and let me know about the need for religious accommodations. If you could do so at least three weeks in advance of the date when the conflict occurs, that would be ideal. While I am happy to provide such accommodations, I understand that asking a faculty member for assistance can be intimidating; if that’s the case, you can contact PLU’s University Pastor Jen Rude (rudejl@plu.edu or 253-535-7465) for support in making this request.

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Resources for Students of Color

For students of color, especially Black and Indigenous students, attending a predominantly white institution (PWI) can present particular stressors and obstacles. While I will do everything I can to mitigate the impact of these stressors and eliminate such obstacles, I wanted to point out other resources on campus where you can find support:

  • The DJS Lounge

The DJS Lounge  is a community that explores and celebrates issues of intersectional identity and DJS. At the DJS Lounge, studnets can connect with programs, staff, and resources that center the voices, leadership, and needs of minoritized identities inclusive of those who identify as people of color, LGBTQIA+, undocumented students, first in the family, and those interested in diversity, justice, and sustainability.

  • Identity Programs & Resources
    • The Diversity Center and Center for Gender Equity host a variety of programs throughout the year including the Students of Color Retreat, Sista Circle, Men of Color connections, and the Gold Group. Learn more HERE
    • Alumni and Student Connections understands the importance and necessity for including career resources for students of different identities and backgrounds. They have compiled a list of scholarships, job websites, publications, and professional organizations that may interest you, and help in your career journey.  Learn more HERE
    • The Wang Center for Global and Community Engaged Education seeks to bring diverse individuals together to learn from one another in off-campus global and local settings and through programming focused on pressing world issues. In addition, they have curated a list of resources for students of color interested in study away.  Learn more HERE
  • Student Clubs & Organizations [Note: Most student clubs become active or reactivate once the semester begins. For an updated list of active clubs, please visit the DJS Clubs page.]
    • Black Student Union: Black Student Union provides the PLU community the opportunity to engage in elements of Black culture & conversation. Email: bsu@plu.edu. Advisor: Pamela Rice
    • Sista Circle: Sista Circle strives to be a safe space for womxn, nonbinary, femme, and trans people of color by providing opportunities to discuss self-love, colorism, growth, and the challenges and joys of being us. Join us for #Community #Healing #Connection. If you are interested, contact Nicole Jordan at nicole.jordan@plu.edu.
    • Asian Pacific Islanders Student Association: The Asian Pacific Islander Association strives to celebrate the culture and identity of Asian-American and Pacific Islander students through food, music, activities, and conversation. Our goal is to provide a welcoming place for those who identify as API or those who want to be more educated on a culture different from their own. Email: api@plu.edu. Advisors Brandon Bruan & Julian Franco
    • Indigenous People’s Club: Indigenous Peoples Club aims to connect indigenous and non-indigenous students and indigenous cultures at PLU. We have events based on indigenous cultures around the world and advocate and educate the community about indigenous cultures. We are a group of students who feel it’s important to feel connected to our cultures and our heritage. Email: ipc@plu.edu. (Not yet active for the 2020-21 school year.) No advisor listed. For information, contact Nicole Juliano, Director of the Diversity Center (juliannh@plu.edu).
    • Latinx Unidos: Latinx Unidos, former Amigos Unidos, seeks to empower the Hispanic/Latinx student population for the purpose of providing scholarly support, cultural awareness, social enrichment, and community outreach. It provides a space on campus that allows Hispanic / Latinx students to feel like home, build a community together, and have some fun in the process. Stay connected by following us on Instagram: pluamigosu, like us on Facebook: PLU Amigos Unidos. Email: amigosu@plu.edu. Advisor: Luke Ruiz.
    • Na Hoaloha O Hawaii: Our club promotes the Hawaiian and Asian Pacific Islander cultures and educates ourselves, our peers, and the community in order to obtain unity through diversity and create a warm and welcoming environment for all students of Pacific Lutheran University. Email: hawaii@plu.edu. Advisor: Brandon Bruan
  • Bias Incident Response Team

While we strive to create an inclusive and welcoming community, unfortunately, bias remains a part of our everyday reality. The purpose of the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is to collect data regarding instances of bias within our community and monitor the type and frequency of such occurrences. Doing so will help us better understand our campus climate, create community-based educational opportunities to address trends, and foster an environment where everyone feels welcome. BIRT can be utilized by anyone within the PLU community.

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Student Care Network

The Student Care Network (SCN) works with the PLU community to proactively connect with you and those who are invested in your wellbeing for a successful academic, social, and emotional experience at PLU.

  • SCN will provide one outlet for faculty, staff, students, and parents/guardians to report any concern (academic, emotional, physical, social) related to the well-being of a PLU student.
  • SCN will connect with the student of concern and provide resources, support, and assistance as appropriate.

If you would like additional information about the SCN or to submit a form, please go to https://www.plu.edu/srr/student-care-network/.

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Supporting DACA and Undocumented Students

Our mission of care, rooted deeply in our Lutheran heritage, requires action and an unequivocal commitment to fight for social justice. This page listing various resources for DACA and undocumented students – including those related to housing, legal issues, financial aid, and study away – is just one aspect of PLU’s ongoing commitment to supporting our undocumented students. 

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Title IX

Example #1

As an instructor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment on our campus. I also have a mandatory reporting responsibility related to my role as a faculty member. It is my goal that you feel able to share information related to your life experiences in classroom discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible. However, I am required to share information with the University regarding sexual misconduct or information about a crime that may have affected a member of PLU’s community, and/ or occurred on campus or on property that PLU exercises substantial control over. Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting PLU’s Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services, the Campus Pastor in Campus Ministry, and the Gender-Based Violence Advocate in the Center for Gender Equity. [Adapted from Purdue University]

Example #2

As an institution of higher learning that receives federal funds, PLU is required to abide by Title IX, which states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” I take discrimination seriously and the University requires me to report known or suspected acts of sexual harassment including sexual violence as defined by Title IX. While privacy can often, but not always, be maintained, mandatory reporters are required to report the following when incidents of sexual harassment or sexual violence occur: The (1) nature of the harassment or discrimination, (2) the date (when the incident occurred and when it was reported), (3) the time of the incident, and (4) generally location of the incident; as well (5) the disposition of the complaint, if known. Other information may need to be reported on a case-by-case basis.

Students have access to confidential services through PLU’s Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services, Campus Ministry, and the Center for Gender Equity. 

For more information on Title IX, including contact information, visit  www.plu.edu/title-ix.

If you feel that our classroom environment in anyway impedes your ability to participate or subjects you to discrimination, or you are experiencing harassment outside of class that disrupts your educational opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact me or the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office/Title IX Coordinator.

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Resources for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students

Example #1

I strive to affirm people of all gender expressions and gender identities. If you use a name other than what is on the class roster, please let me know. (You can also designate your name with the Registrar’s Office via the link below.) Whether you are seeking answers to support your transition or working to create an inclusive environment, the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Resources page serves to connect you to community members, resources on and off campus, and opportunities for engagement and advocacy.

Example #2

Knowing and using the names and pronouns that students use is a crucial part of developing a productive learning environment that fosters safety, inclusion, personal dignity, and a sense of belonging across campus. Please let me know the name and pronouns you use anytime throughout the semester, should they differ from those included in my roster. Additionally, PLU has created a repository of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Resources that you may find helpful. [Adapted from the University of the Pacific]

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Pandemic-Related Statements for Blended or Online Courses

Health Directives

All students and campus employees must follow university health directives. If those directives change during the term, I will be sure to share them with the class so we can discuss what the changes mean for our particular course. 

If you come to campus for any reason, please comply with the current health directives.

As we begin the term, university health directives are straightforward: all campus community members are required to wear face masks in all indoor spaces, regardless of their vaccination status. The requirement applies indoors when other people are present and in all public and common areas, including classrooms, dining areas (except when you are actively eating or drinking), meeting rooms, elevators, and shared vehicles.

In crowded outdoor locations where physical distancing is not possible, masks are recommended for fully vaccinated people and required for those not currently vaccinated.

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Attendance & Participation

Not attending class will not, in itself, cause your grade to be reduced. This includes, of course, the synchronous components of our course. However, to succeed in this course, you will need to understand the work that was done in a synchronous online experience that you missed and complete any work that is assigned during or in lieu of a class session.

Should your health or other circumstances change, negatively impacting your ability to succeed in our class, please notify me as soon as possible so that we can work together to connect you to support resources and work through possible options.

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Guidelines For Synchronous Online Class Sessions

I have outlined a few guidelines below that will enable us to co-create a supportive community and learning environment during our synchronous class sessions:

  • I expect your cameras to be turned on during our synchronous sessions. Being able to see each other is helpful to creating connections, a sense of mutuality, engaging in discussions, and building trust — all of which contribute to an effective and engaging teaching and learning experience for everyone.
  • If you would be more comfortable using a virtual background, you can follow these simple instructions to do so. There are already several PLU-themed backgrounds loaded into PLU Zoom accounts. Simply go to Preferences (after you’ve logged into Zoom via PLU), select Backgrounds and filters, and then choose from a number of preloaded backgrounds. (Please note that not all computers or devices are able to run virtual backgrounds.)
  • Of course, if you have limited internet bandwidth, no camera, or you’re unable to find an environment without a lot of visual distractions, I understand that you cannot use video. If this is the case, please send me a private message to let me know the situation.
  • Your Zoom profile should include a photo and name so that we can connect more effectively should you need to turn off your camera. You can learn how to customize your Zoom profile here.
  • As during our class sessions on campus, I look forward to your full attention during our synchronous sessions. We all should be prepared to respond to discussions, chat, surveys, or to engage in activities because each of us plays an important and necessary role in contributing to a robust learning environment.
  • Finally, I welcome suggestions and ideas for additional guidelines that will help us collectively create an engaging learning experience for everyone this term.

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Course Recordings & Privacy

Note: For use if you have chosen to record synchronous sessions.

I have chosen to record online synchronous class sessions. The purpose of this is to provide access to material for students who are unable to be present. In addition, these recordings can be a resource for all students who would like to review the material we covered during the session. Recordings will be stored within our Sakai site [or Google folder] and will only be available to view only by me and your classmates. I will delete them at the end of the end of the semester. If you have any concerns about being recorded, please share them with me, and we’ll work something out. [You might also include a question in a pre-semester survey about students’ comfort with being recorded. Adapted from Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College]

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updated August 2021

Printable Suggested Syllabi Statements

Syllabi Statements

Fall 2021 Instruction
(PDF)

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Syllabi Statements

Fall 2021 Instruction
(Google Doc)

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Record of Change

J-Term & Spring 2021
(Google Doc)

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Record of Change

Summer II 2021
(Google Doc)

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