Geology Department Norms

These norms were compiled in 2020 during a Department All-Hands Meeting.

1. Equality, kindness and respect

○ Strive to treat all members of the department equally; equal treatment for all.
○ Be respectful and kind.
○ Be respectful of each other’s time.
○ Be helpful when you have the chance.
○ Treat people the way you want to be treated.
○ Relate to each other on an equal footing and work toward minimizing power dynamics.
○ Recognize and welcome that we are here for different reasons, and equally value all (BAE, BA, BS programs, academic vs. applied professional goals).

2. Communication

○ All communication should be respectful.
○ All questions are good questions.
○ Assume best intentions.
○ Assume that every person has important business when engaging others and ask if interrupting is okay.
○ Be open to correction.
○ Improve communication across all spheres of influence – bridge the gap between undergraduates and graduates, and between students and faculty.
○ Listen to understand – be an active listener.

3. Inclusivity

○ Recognize that there are many ways to be an Earth Scientist/Geologist.
○ Be cognizant of everybody’s experiences, backgrounds, contexts.
○ Be open to correction and learning from others.
○ Be open to different backgrounds and ideas.
○ Be welcoming and friendly to others in hallways and classes – inclusive to all.
○ Students should actively work to include others in their classwork and lab work.
○ Provide others with space and voice.
○ Let others know how you want to be treated.

4. Environment (safety, brave space)

○ Make the department a “brave space” (environment that encourages students to not fear failure and be willing to make mistakes; people should expect others to make mistakes). Encouragement by faculty and staff to create this space.
○ Make the department a “safe space” (where students feel mentally and physically safe in the department and in classes).
○ Distinguish between a “safe space” (a space to be) and “brave space” (a space to grow).
○ Assume we are all trying to help each other move towards a common goal.
○ Communicate boundaries while welcoming interaction.
○ Know when to step forward and when to step back.
○ Take space and give space.
○ Professors should state their role as professor plus or minus other roles like mentor, friend, confidant, and know resources where they can send students.