AU Student Resources as of 23Aug2020


Student Resources

and University Information for the Syllabus

Updated 23 August 2020

University Information

If you experience difficulty in this course for any reason, please do not hesitate to consult with me. In addition to the resources of the department, a wide range of services is available to support you in your efforts to meet the course requirements.

The University asks faculty members to include in a syllabus the following information on academic integrity, emergency preparedness, and additional support services

AU Police Emergency ext 3636 202-885-3636
AU Police Non-Emergency ext 2527 202-885-2527
AU Sexual Assault Advocates ext 7070 202-885-7070
AU Student Health Center ext 3380 202-885-3380
AU Counseling Center ext 3500 202-885-3500

American University during the Covid-19 Pandemic

The AU web site lists additional AU resources relating to Covid-19.

Academic integrity

Academic honesty is expected of all American University students.  The University asks faculty to include the following language in a syllabus:

All students are required to follow the University’s Academic Integrity Code.  If you have not already done so, please familiarize yourself with the standards and requirements of the University’s Academic Code of Conduct.    Violations of the Code of Conduct will not be tolerated and will be reported appropriatelyPlease see me with any questions on the Academic Integrity Code.  Website:

Academic integrity is much more than looking over the shoulder of a classmate during an exam or obvious plagiarism.  Issues include, but are not limited to, giving or receiving work not meant to be shared, and representing someone else’s work as your own.  You should particularly note that in academics and in the real world, with issues of plagiarism there is often a presumption of guilt, not innocent until proven guilty.  You should carefully examine the information at

* My own perspective:  Some instances that raise questions of academic integrity are genuine opportunities for learning moments. Others are intentional, severe insults against your fellow students. There are at least two difficulties with academic integrity.  The first is that regarding plagiarism, there is inside and outside academia presumption of guilt.  Understand what plagiarism is and work vigilantly to avoid it. The second is that academic integrity is multi-directional. The USMA honor code requires that you “will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do.”

* “Academic integrity builds trust and fosters respect” (  If/when we engage in policy discussions, we will not typically seek “agreement”; rather, we will strive to evaluate issues from a variety of perspectives with respect, humility, and generosity.  Political science courses are especially conducive to – and vulnerable to – the exchange of sharp differences of opinions. I am confident that simple a request to be mindful and appreciative of the backgrounds, experiences, and opinions of each other is unnecessary – but I mention it here anyway.

Emergency Preparedness

In an emergency, AU will implement a plan for meeting the needs of all members of the university community.

In an emergency, AU will use the communication tools the university has at its disposal in as timely a manner as possible using AU Alerts. These messages will provide information on what is happening, what to do, and links to available additional information.

Should the university be required to close for a period of time, we are committed to ensuring that all aspects of our educational programs will be delivered to our students.  These may include altering and extending the duration of the traditional term schedule to complete essential instruction in the traditional format and/or use of distance instructional methods.  Specific strategies will vary from class to class, depending on the format of the course and the timing of the emergency.  Faculty will communicate class-specific information to students via AU e-mail and Blackboard, while students must inform their faculty immediately of any absence due to illness.  Students are responsible for checking their AU e-mail regularly and keeping themselves informed of emergencies.

Our communication tools include text and email alerts, the university’s home page, Facebook, and Twitter, the general information line 202-885-1100, indoor yellow AlertUs emergency beacon boxes and outdoor speakers located throughout campus.

You can customize whether you receive alerts as e-mail and/or text messages. Add additional work or home phone numbers and e-mail addresses so AU Alerts reach you no matter where you are when an emergency occurs. Website: 


In accordance with grading system put forth by the AU Office of the Registrar, grades will be assessed on an A-F scale:

A: Excellent academic work: displays high-level thinking – analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of the course material; creativity and originality; intellectual engagement with ideas, theories, and interpretations. [A = 100-93; A- = 92-90]

B: Good academic work: displays a command of the material and some high-level thinking – analysis, synthesis, creativity, and intellectual engagement. [B+ = 89-88; B = 87-83; B- = 82-80]

C: Satisfactory academic work: displays an understanding of, and engagement with, course material. [C+ = 79-78; C = 77-73; C- = 72-70]

D: Poor academic work: displays familiarity with course materials and meets minimum course requirements. [D = 69-60]

F: Failure: work does not satisfy minimum course requirements. [F = 59-0]

Additional Support Services

If you experience difficulty in this course for any reason, please do not hesitate to consult with me. In addition to the resources within your department, a wide range of services is available to support you in your efforts to meet course requirements.

Academic Support & Access Center, MGC 243, 202-885-3360,  ASAC supports the academic development and educational goals of all AU students while also providing support to students with disabilities.  We offer workshops on topics of interest to all students such as managing the college workload, stress management, time management note taking, critical thinking, memory skills, and test taking.  Additional support includes free private and group tutoring in many subjects, supplemental instruction, The Math Lab and  The Writing Lab are also available.

Counseling Center,  MGC 214, 202-885-3500 is here to help students make the most of your university experience, both personally and academically.  We offer individual and group counseling, urgent care, self-help resources, referrals to private care, as well as programming to help you gain the skills and insights needed to overcome adversity and thrive while you are in college. Contact the Counseling Center to make an appointment in person or by telephone, or visit the Counseling Center page on the AU website for additional information.

Center for Diversity & Inclusion, MGC 201 and 202, 202-885-3651 is dedicated to enhancing LGBTQ, Multicultural, First Generation, and Women’s experiences on campus and to advance AU’s commitment to respecting & valuing diversity by serving as a resource and liaison to students, staff, and faculty on issues of equity through education, outreach, and advocacy.

OASIS:  The Office of Advocacy Services for Interpersonal and Sexual Violence,  202-885-7070 provides free and confidential advocacy services for anyone in the campus community who is impacted by sexual violence (sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, and stalking).

American University expressly prohibits any form of discriminatory harassment including sexual harassment, dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The university is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws in its programs and activities.

If you experience any of the above, you have the option of filing a report with the AU Department of Public Safety (202-885-2527) or the Office of the Dean of Students  202-885-3300 Please keep in mind that all faculty and staff – with the exception of counselors in the Counseling Center, victim advocates in the Wellness Center, medical providers in the Student Health Center, and ordained clergy in the Kay Spiritual Life Center – who are aware of or witness this conduct are required to report this information to the university, regardless of the location of the incident.

The Writing Center,  First floor of Bender Library, offers free, individual coaching sessions to all AU students. In your 45-minute session, a student writing consultant can help you address your assignments, understand the conventions of academic writing, and learn how to revise and edit your own work.  Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.  Call 202-885-2991 to arrange a session.   Meanwhile find handouts, information, and a weekly writer’s blog at the Writing Center website and on Facebook.

International Student & Scholar Services,  Batelle 4th Butler Pavilion, Rm. 410.  Resources to support academic success  and participation in campus life including academic counseling, support for second language learners   response to questions about visas, immigration status and employment and intercultural programs, clubs and resources.

Intellectual Property, Privacy, Social Media, and Respecting Your Classmates

Students are not permitted to make visual or audio recordings, including live streaming, of classroom lectures or any class related content, using any type of recording devices (e.g., smart phone, computer, digital recorder, etc.) unless prior permission from the instructor is obtained and there are no objections from any of the students in the class. All materials in this course, including any recordings, supplied materials, PowerPoints, exams, etc. are limited to the personal use of students registered in the course and for educational purposes only, even after the end of the course. Appropriate exceptions will be made for a student who presents a signed Letter of Accommodation from the Academic Support and Access Center.

To supplement the classroom experience, lectures may be audio or video recorded by faculty and made available to students registered for this class. Faculty may record classroom lectures or discussions for pedagogical use, future student reference, or to meet the accommodation needs of students with a documented disability. Any material provided to students is limited to personal use for this course only and may not be distributed, shared, sold, or posted on social media outlets without the written permission of faculty.

Unauthorized downloading, file sharing, distribution of any part of a recorded lecture or course materials. or using information for purpose other than the student’s own learning may be deemed a violation of American University’s Student Code of Conduct and subject to disciplinary action (see Student Conduct Code VI. Prohibited Conduct)

Particular Difficulties and Personal Care

It’s not all rules and regs – faculty choose teaching because they choose a career filled with students.

To this end, AU has systems for academic and personal concerns.  Instructors might use the Early Warning Notice to contact you, your advisor, and ASAC about insufficient quality of work, incomplete assignments, poor attendance, or other academic questions.

On personal matters, every member of the AU community can share concerns anonymously to AU’s Care Network about a student who might be in distress.  Learn more about the Care Network.

Nota bene. This syllabus is flexible and may be changed at any time. You are well advised to keep up with the readings. You will be expected to have them completed before the beginning of each class.  Be sure to let me know any questions you have about this syllabus or anything else about class – ask me in class, after class, by email, by fb msg, by Skype, or in an office-hours meeting – but be sure to ask me.

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