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Academic Community Charter - Supplement to the Code of Conduct for Students

You are at our University and at the International Studies Programme in particular to increase your knowledge of the world and your intercultural awareness. You have chosen to participate in our academic community as a student, and conversations and debates form essential elements of being part of this community. We introduce this Charter to emphasise that being a member of an academic community brings with it certain responsibilities. We are committed to open debate, as long as that debate is carried out in an academic manner respectful of others, based on facts, and clear in argument We expect everyone to abide by this approach, not just in face to face meetings, but also, and especially, online. In this way, we all contribute to our Programme’s academic community in a professional and respectful way.

Bastion of Freedom

Leiden University has as main m otto Praesidium Libertatis Bastion of Freedom. This provides
the foundation for our academic community. It covers the following:
• Academic Freedom: At the heart of academic freedom is the liberty to discuss and investigate anything and everything of scientific merit without external interference –from e.g. political or economic forces – into the process of teaching and learning and research, that forms the core of what the university is. Free academic debate and exchange of arguments are essential for a healthy academic community. Academic freedom requires an environment where all can freely participate and where each idea is considered on its own merits. In order to make this open exchange of ideas possible, we need to respect basic Academic Standards and maintain the open atmosphere in which this takes place.
• Academic Standards: Arguments should be reasonable, logical and clear and supported by verifiable sources and facts.
• Academic Community: Common standards of behaviour are expected between students and staff, and between students themselves. Discrimination, intimidation, and any form of aggression cannot be tolerated.
For further details on faculty policy in this regard, please consult the guidelines as stated in the Codeof Conduct for Students of the Faculty of Humanities.

Academic Environment, some ground rules

The environment in which academic interaction amongst students and between students and
lecturers takes place, should be conducive to the exchange of arguments. Together we create
a space for learning from each other. Some basic principles will benefit this environment:
- The Vegas rule: what happens in the classroom, stays in the classroom
- Voluntary restraint: assume good faith, reserve judgement
- Start believing before you doubt: take the arguments of others seriously
- Reflection: be aware of your own limitations and unwitting biases

Responsibilities of Students

Online Education
When you are following a class online, it is sometimes harder to remember that you are still
in an educational environment,. You should behave in a manner befitting that educational
environment. Use professional language and behave in a r espectful manner towards staff and
fellow students, just as you would in a university lecture room.

Social Media
Everyone is responsible for their own behaviour in their personal time. However, as a student,
you are always affiliated with your chosen programme. You have a responsibility to engage in
a civil and respectful discourse in all forums and platforms, including those that allow
confidential or anonymous participation. The Programme Board expects students to follow
these guidelines:
• Always respect the privacy of others;
• Always try to resolve conflicts directly with the person involved;
• If you have issues you want to discuss, do not talk about people (be it other students or university staff) on social media, but talk to them.
Be aware of the natu re of social media!
• Everything you post is often immediately accessible for many people. Think about what you post before you post it!
• Even on private sites, posts, or screenshots of posts, can be forwarded and distributed. There is no such thing as an entirely closed site;
• Once posted, even for a short time, a message has its own life. It is difficult to completely erase information;
• Think about how a post might be received, and its how it could affect others. Think about what kind of responses they might generate. Always aim to express respect for and acceptance of others.

Supplement to Code of Conduct for Students

This Academic Community Charter is a supplement to the Code of Conduct for Students of the
Faculty of Humanities and other guidelines of the university. It lays out the expectations of BA
International Studies as a multi disciplinary study programme for all those associated with it,
students and staff of a diversity of backgrounds. The Charter will be discussed as part of the
introduction process for those entering the programme. Further regulations can be found in the Code of Conduct for Students of the Faculty of Humanities.

Would you like to raise an issue in relation to this Charter? Please get in touch with your study
advisor. They are your first point of contact for all issues related to the above. Things discussed
with your advisor will be kept private and confidential, except when it concerns potentially
harmful situations, in which case they will be communicated to the Programme Board If
further steps are deemed neces sary, the required procedures are outlined in the Code of Conduct for Students of the Faculty of Humanities.

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