Special Topics
Guns, Crime, Justice, Public Safety, and Harm

SEMINAR IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE POLICY - CJ 8320 001
Fall 2017

26327(CRN)
Temple University

R. B. Taylor

on the web at:
www/rbtaylor.net/guns_fall_17_main.html
instructor main web site: www.rbtaylor.net 

Date of last update: 10/10/2017

guns
Photos: Orlando nightclub shooting Image result for armed militia charlottesville Image result for gun buyback

 

Overview

This is a readings course examining research and policy about guns.

* What do we know about how they link to crime?

* What do we know about the harm caused?

* What do we know about the crime prevention benefits?

* What do we know about empirical impacts of specific policy actions addressing gun possession, carrying, purchase, or violence?


UPDATE BOX

9/4/2017 - Memo about shared listening/speaking expectations posted to memos - or CLICK HERE

9/4/2017 - facilitator class schedule set - go to memos page or CLICK HERE

9/4/2017 - KEY TERMS FOR READINGS - updated for 9/11 class

9/5/2017 - sequence of topics switched between 10/2 and 10/9 - facilitators for those weeks please note

9/6/17 - changed what we do for weekly writing uploads; send to Canvas, do not email the instructor. Changes have been made in the text below

9/11 CHAPTERS FOR 9/18 SHIFTED - read CHAPTER 1 in Cook and Ludwig but SKIP CHAPTERS 2 AND 3 - changes made on sequence of topics

9/20 - KEY TERMS FOR READINGS - updated for 9/25 CLASS

10/8 - KEY TERMS FOR READINGS - updated for 10/9 class

10/10 KEY TERMS FOR READINGS - updated for 10/16 class

10/10 - more details on final writing possibilities - click link to final writing project


Memo updates

Key terms for readings

Thinking about final writing project

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS COURSE

 

This class is a mutual exploration society. We are all bound together on a journey of discovery.

It is mutual because although the instructor starts the semester with a broad, general idea of where things might go (What sea are we sailing on? In which direction?) , the instructor also knows that every single person in this class is going to react in different ways to the course topics the materials seen and read, and the opinions expressed inside and outside of class.

It is a journey of discovery because we are all -- the instructor included -- in the process of discovering many things.

Things like: facts; research findings on particular topics, some more contested, some less contested; implications for individuals and segments of society; and, most importantly, what we think and feel about the topics we are examining. What DO I think about X? Why? Based on what evidence? Or personal experience? What does George think about X? Why? Based on what evidence? Or personal experience?

Because this is a mutual exploration society we each have a responsibility to be patient with one another as we each process process the voyage in our own way.

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http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/12/Capture-of ...

THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS COURSE

For this semester, all of you are now members of this one group. Groups develop norms; shared expectations about what will happen in the group.

We will spend considerable time the first class developing listening and speaking norms. How do you want to be spoken to in this class? How do you want to be listened to? In specific terms, what language, behaviors, and nonverbal behaviors are acceptable? What are not acceptable? The materials covered in this class can be viewed and reacted to in different ways, depending on a range of personal factors, including political orientation. Developing these shared expectations, and being able to rely on them, is a critical component of facilitating class discussion on challenging topics. Talking about tehse, and writing them down, may help grow and clarify the comfort boundaries for in-class discussions.

Course Learning Goals

I. Most importantly you will grow your way into evidence-based positions

* on the impacts of guns on crime, morbitiy, mortality, and public safety;
* on how gun sales are regulated, and how regulation and regulation reforms around gun sales, ownership and transfers link to legal and public opinion factors;
* on what seem to be the most promising and feasible approaches to reducing adverse gun impacts, and increasing positive gun impacts, on society

II. So that you can engage in informed debate with others about gun matters, you will master some basic facts about guns, gun violence, gun benefits, gun regulationincluding suicide and mass shootings, gun ownership, gun practices, gun culture, public opinion about, and gun crime prevention.

III You will gain a deeper understanding of the thoughts and sentiments behind contested views around guns and gun regulation.

IV You will grow your way into appreciating five different policy perspectives on guns, and how each of these views look at gun matters very differently:

V. You will be develop a deeper appreciation of the Herculean challenges of conducting empirical research and implementing policy on societally vital topics related to guns.

VI. You will learn more about facilitating, following, and processing seminar discussions.

Structure of the course

Seminar

This is a graduate seminar readings course.

It will be run as a seminar.

Definition

  1. [n]  a course offered for a small group of advanced students
  2. [n]  any meeting for an exchange of ideas

One scholar's definition: "The seminar is that midpoint between the lecture and the individual tutorial." (Jay Parini (July 23, 2004). "The Well-tempered seminar." The Chronicle Review.) To read Parini's full article, CLICK HERE

Note the phrases in the dictionary definition "advanced students" and "exchange of ideas." One definition of exchange is "to give and receive reciprocally."

This means YOU are going to do a lot of talking, and we are ALL going to be doing a LOT of listening and thinking. I and other students will be asking questions. I and you will be discussing and providing "answers" and reflecting out loud. We are all in the process of growing our way into understanding particular theories, and into understanding theorizing more generally.

Parini also tells his students at the beginning of each seminar: "This seminar is not about me. It's about you. The success or failure of the class will rest on your shoulders as well as mine. The only thing I expect of you when you walk into this room is, well, everything. I want your heart and mind at this table."

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Image result for harkness table classroom discussion

 

What you will do each week

1. Read the assigned readings well before class.
2. You will write about the reading. This is "low stakes" writing. In the writing you reflect thoughtfully - about 250-500 words typed, double spaced - on some points raised in the reading. You will do this every week that you are not responsible for discussion questions. What I am looking for in your reading is engagement with the material. I would like to see a thoughtful response to a small number of points, or perhaps better yet just one theme, that struck a chord with you. You can do any of the following in the weekly writings. YOU WILL UPLOAD YOUR WRITING FILE TO CANVAS, UNDER ASSIGNMENTS, BEFORE CLASS STARTS.

* You could explore in a thoughtful way some feature of your reaction. But if you are exploring your reactions, this needs to be thoughtful. Not just "OMG I cannot believe that firearm deaths by suicide outnumber intentional firearm deaths by such a large factor. This is CRAZY!" That's a start. But say more about why it is troubling. Is it because that so clearly makes this more of a public health than a criminal justice problem? Is it because the most major lethal impact of firearms never gets into the discussion about gun rights? "We deserve the right to buy products that allow us to kill ourselves quickly." Or, more seriously, you might argue as part of the "right to die" movement that people should be allowed to buy lethal handguns so they can kill themselves quickly should they choose to do so. Whatever your views, remember that sometimes we learn most when we argue opposite to what we believe.

* You could reflect on a point raised in the reading as it applies to an area of scholarship or law, or a current or historical event.

* You could develop the implications of a point raised in the reading. If you want to see the "ultimate" in gun rights, take a look at the short story "Red Card" , posted to Canvas pages under files

* You could write a haiku or a sonnet, or new verses of "Proud to be an Okie from Muskogee," or the telescript for an infomercial or a commercial or a political advertisement as long as you provide some interpretation of what you are doing.

We will see how this goes, and discover the bounds of what is helpful.


3. Be ready in class to be an active participant in the discussion. You will come to class with questions about the readings, thoughtful reactions to the readings, and a willingness to join in the joint exploration of this topic.
4. Be ready in class to offer reflections on features of the discussion itself.

What you will do twice a semester

Facilitate the class discussion of the readings for that week. This means
a. doing the reading by Thursday,
b. preparing a first round of possible discussion questions
c. discussing those questions with the instructor (face to face, webex or phone)
d. revising those discussion questions
e. running the revisions by the instructor (no later than noon Monday)
f. bringing hard copies of the revised discussion questions to the class for which you are the facilitator
g. touching base with the instructor just briefly following the class to share thoughts

It is also important to see what is happening "on the ground" currently around guns. That is why you will be attending a gun expo, and a meeting of a grassroots gun policy group. Although you must attend both of these events, and although you will write just a bit before and after each event, you will write up one of these visits for a slightly longer qualitative paper. We will discuss the advisability and feasability of a division of labor approach both for these visits and for the write ups themselves.

There will be a final project. Class attendees will work with the instructor over the first three weeks or so of the class to get this into focus.

What you will be graded on - tentative

Percent Assignment
30 Weekly low stakes writing (10 x, 3 each if uploaded on time and thoughtful)
15 Attend "on the ground" event (5), including short pre- (5) and post (5) write up
20 Facilitate (10 each , 2x)
10 Weekly discussion participation
25 Final project (to be developed as we move along)

 

Books Read

NOTE:
(1) There MAY be later changes. ANY LATER CHANGES IN WEEKLY READINGS ASSIGNED WILL BE FLAGGED UP IN THE UPDATE BOX AT TOP OF PAGE
(2) Many of these volumes are available at lower prices at used book sellers like abebooks.com (No endorsement) but with these outlets shipping time is longer so you need to plan ahead more.
(3) We will not be reading each book straight through. . Rather, we will be reading specific chapters and pages on specific weeks. See the Sequence of Topics page below
(4) Book is followed by [NAME USED IN SEQUENCE TABLE]
(5) We will be reading some occasional journal articles. These will help you see more of the "science" behind some statements, and will give you practice decoding empirical journal articles. I do not expect you to be able to master all the technical details of such articles. I do expect you to read them and bring questions to class. We will spend time as needed "decoding" these articles in class.

Cook, P. J., & Goss, K. A. (2014). The Gun Debate:  What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [GUN DEBATE]

Cook, P. J., & Ludwig, J. (2000). Gun Violence: The Real Costs. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [REAL COSTS]

Hemenway, D. (2004). Private Guns, Public Health. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. [HEMENWAY]

IOM (Institute of Medicine) and NRC (National Research Council). (2013). Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence [ONLINE: https://www.nap.edu/18319]. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. [IOM/NRC]

Ludwig, J., & Cook, P. J. (Eds.). (2003). Evaluating Gun Policy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. [EVALUATING] [DO NOT BUY - only reading a bit]

National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine. (2017). Community Violence as a Population Health Issue: Proceedings of a Workshop [ONLINE: http://nap.edu/23661]. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. [NAS 2017]

National Research Council. (2005). Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. Committee to Improve Research Information and Data on FIrearms. Charles F. Wellford, John V. Pepper, and Carol V. Petrie, editors [ONLINE:  https://www.nap.edu/10881]. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. [NRC 2005]

Webster, D. W., & Vernick, J. (Eds.). (2013). Reducing Gun Violence in America Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. AVAILABLE AS AN E BOOK through Paley Library [WEBSTER]

Younge, G. (2016). Another Day in the Death of America: Nation Books. [YOUNGE]

SEQUENCE OF TOPICS - as of 8/28/17 - later changes flagged in update box

NOTE- there could be additional journal articles assigned for several of these weeks here. That has not been finalized yet.

Week

Topic and Readings (readings are to be done BY that week)

ORIENTATION, GETTING STARTED, LEARNING THE BASICS

1

8/28

Course overview
How we listen to one another: how we speak with one another
Welcoming all points of view
Reviewing the Survey Monkey Poll results
Implications
What is a seminar: Your contributions
The role of this class in your teacher training
A basic introduction to the perspectives brought to these topics: public health, public opinion, economics, victims, public policy evaluation, criminal justice

READ: Stroebe et al: Introduction and general discussion ONLY
Stroebe, W., Leander, N. P., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2017). Is It a Dangerous World Out There? The Motivational Bases of American Gun Ownership. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43(8), 1071-1085.

9/4 NO CLASS

2

9/11

The Basics: Guns, gun owners, gun motivations, gun crime, gun suicide, gun manufacturing, overview on regulation, overview on gun control in history
READ: GUN DEBATE Chs. 1, 2, 4, 5, 8
THE ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVE

3

9/18

The Economic perspective on guns and gun control
READ:
(1) REAL COST, Chs. 1, , 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Recommended:
(2) NRC 2005: Executive Summary (pp 1-10)
(3) IOM/NRC: Summary, pp 1-10
(4) GUN DEBATE, Ch. 3
THE PUBLIC HEALTH PERSPECTIVE

4

9/25

I. The Approach & The Outcomes
READ:
(1) HEMENWAY: Chs. 2, 3 (pp. 8-63)
(2) IOM/NRC: 1-43
(3) WEBSTER: Miller, Azrael and Hemenway "Firearms and violent death in the United States" pp 3-20

5

10/2

II. Gun Public Health Benefits: Defensive Gun Use (individual level), Right to Carry and Open Carry (aggregate level)
READ:
(1) HEMENWAY: 64-78 (DGU)
(2) NRC 2005: 102-119 (Read 2x!) (DGU)
(3) HEMENWAY: 96-106 (RTC)
(4) NRC 2005: 121-151 (Read 2x!) (RTC)

Time permitting: DGU comedy Carl Reiner (Producor, creator). 1965 "The Cat Burglar"The Dick Van Dyke Show, Season 2, Episode 15

Time permitting: Maybe a bit more on: Marginal external cost of handgun ownership. Cook, P. J., & Ludwig, J. (2006). The social costs of gun ownership. Journal of Public Economics, 90(1-2), 379-391.

6

10/9

 

III. The Legal and Regulatory Context Within Which Public Health Initiatives Operate Including the Second Amendment
READ:
(1) HEMENWAY: 152-176
(2) WEBSTER Rosenthal and Winkler: "The Scope of regulatory authority under the Second Amendment" pp. 225-238

NOTE - LINK TO MAJORITY OPINION IN DC V. HELLER, AND TWO DISSENTING OPINIONS

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZO.html


THE PUBLIC POLICY EVALUATION PERSPECTIVE

7

10/16

I. The "Big" Ones: Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act and the Assault Weapons Ban
READ:
(1) WEBSTER: Cook & Ludwig "The Limited impact of the Brady Act: Evaluation and Implications" pp 21-32
(2) Ludwig, J., & Cook, P. J. (2000). Homicide and Suicide rates associated with implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Preventions Act. Journal of the American Medical Association, 284, 585-591. (We will spend time as needed in class decoding tables and findings.)
(3) WEBSTER: Koper "America's experience with the federal Assault Weapons Ban 1994-2004: Key Findings and implications" pp. 157-172
(4) GUN DEBATE: Chapter 6

8

10/23

II. Even "Bigger" Ones: Australia, Scotland
READ:
(1) EVALUATING: Reuter and Mouzos "Australia: A Massive buyback of low-risk guns." pp. 121-156
(2) WEBSTER: Peters "Rational firearm regulation: Evidence-based gun laws in Australia" pp. 195-204
(3) WEBSTER: North "Gun control in Great Britain after the Dunblane shootings" pp. 185-193

9

10/30

Read: Webster & Vernick, pages TBA
III: Smaller Scale: Cities and States as Laboratories.
The DC handgun ban (later reversed by the Supreme Court)
California denial of firearm purchases to persons convicted of all violent misdemeanors
Missouri Permit-To-Purchase Repeal
READ:
(1) Loftin, C., McDowall, D., Wiersema, B., & Cottey, T. (1991). Effects of Restrictive Licensing of Handguns on Homicide and Suicide in The District of Columbia. New England Journal of Medicine, 325, 1615-1620.
(2) WEBSTER: Wintemute "Broadening denial criteria for the purchase and possession of firearms" pp. 77-93
(3) WEBSTER: Webster, Vernick, Mcginty, and Alcorn "Preventing the diversion of guns to criminals through effective firearms sales laws." pp. 109-120

Time permitting: I will briefly outline some of the critiques of Loftin et al.

THE COMMUNITY INTERVENTION / PUBLIC HEALTH AND TRAUMA PERSPECTIVE

10

11/6

Race,disadvantage, violence, gun trauma, and adaptive gun use
Going after firearms dealers who are poisoning communities with crime guns
READ:
(1) NAS 2017: Chs 2-5 (pp. 7-56)
(2) WEBSTER: Webster and Vernick "Spurring responsible firearms sale practices through litigation: The Impact of New York City's lawsuits against gun dealers on interstate gun trafficking" (pp. 123-131)
(3) WEBSTER: Vernick and Webster "Curtailing dangerous sales practices by licensed firearm dealers" (pp. 133-140).

CRIMINAL JUSTICE PERSPECTIVE: CAN COURTS DO ANYTHING VIA SENTENCING PRACTICES?

11

11/13

Impacts of various reforms and initiatives
READ:
Makarios, M. D., & Pratt, T. C. (2012). The Effectiveness of Policies and Programs That Attempt to Reduce Firearm Violence: A Meta-Analysis. Crime & Delinquency, 58(2), 222-244.

11/20 NO CLASS - THANKSGIVING BREAK
THE VICTIM PERSPECTIVE

12

11/27

Individuals
READ:
YOUNGE: Chapters 1-10 (1-237)

13

12/4

Community
Mass Shootings and the prediction problem
VIEW "Newtown" (2016), Kim A. Snyder (Director)
READ:
(1) Berk, R. (2016). A Primer on fairness in criminal justice risk assessments. The Criminologist, 41(6 (November/December)), 6-9. (we will u npack this in more detail in class)
(2) Follman, M., Aronsen, G., & Pan, D. (June 14, 2017). A Guide to Mass Shootings in America. Mother Jones [ONLINE: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map/ ]. (Data at:
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data/

SURVEYS AND PUBLIC OPINION

14

12/11

Differing views of gun owners and non owners
Project presentations
READ:
WEBSTER: McGinty et al. "PUblic opinion on proposals to strengthen U.S. gun laws: Findings from a 2013 survey" (pp. 239-258)

12/18 PLEASE KEEP THE REGULAR CLASS TIME AND DAY OPEN ON THIS DATE. If we had a final exam in this course - which we do not - it would happen then. BUT: in case something happens during the semester, we may need to keep this date open.

 

Usage policies for web pages

. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on this WEB page and linked WEB pages (not publications) at the rbtaylor.net addresses are the sole property of Ralph B. Taylor and © 1999-2017 by Ralph B. Taylor. None of the opinions expressed on any of these WEB pages represent the opinions  of Temple University or Temple University's Department of Criminal Justice. The only viewpoint presented in these and other WEB pages is that of R. B. Taylor. All these WEB pages were converted from text pages and created as WEB pages by R. B. Taylor in his spare, discretionary time and not as part of required instructional activities, but rather as potential instructional enhancements. As part of his required instructional activities, R. B. Taylor has created paper, non-hyperlinked copies of these pages, and those will be distributed to all enrolled students. Further, the preparation and storage of all these WEB pages did not and does not involve Temple University resources in any manner. All users have the right to freely access and copy these WEB pages provided that they: acknowledge the source, do not make changes on any pages, and do not charge more than copying costs for distribution.  Further, all users by accessing this WEB page or any linked WEB pages in the rbtaylor.net domain or outside of it, do hereby explicitly and unconditionally indemnify the author of each accessed WEB page, including those in the www.rbtaylor.net domain, and all other domains linked to these pages,  from any and all liabilities or claims of damage arising from any variety of defects, inaccuracies, or misrepresentations appearing therein, or arising from trauma or suffering experienced as a result of exposure to any materials taken to be offensive, insensitive, unpatriotic, ill-conceived or otherwise distasteful; or from any uses to which these materials are put.

 

Basic Mechanics

Instructor R. B. Taylor
Time 3 - 5:30 PM Mondays
Office 537 Gladfelter Hall
Office Hours OFFICE HOURS TBA
Phone 215.204.7169 (v) (I will give you my home number in class)
E-mail EMAIL: at gmail.com write to: tuclasses . PLEASE USE THIS ACCOUNT FOR ALL CORRESPONDENCE.

Current Temple University Syllabus policy also requires that a current Temple e-mail address be listed. It is ralph.taylor at the temple.edu address. BUT PLEASE DO NOT USE IT! I schedule when I look for student emails, and if you do not send it to the gmail account I am more likely to miss it. See email policy below.

Instructor, Department, College and University Policies

This section includes various policies that apply to this course. It does not include all of my teaching and grading policies. Therefore, you may encounter policies during the semester that are not included here, although I have tried to be complete.

Grading Policies

1.  If I encounter solid evidence of academic misconduct I reserve the right to fail you on the assignment in question, and/or to assign you a failing grade for the course. I will try to state as clearly as I can the ways in which it is acceptable for you to cooperate with one another and network, and the ways in which it is not acceptable.

2. You do have a right to submit assignments for regrading. See below.

Academic Honesty and Avoiding Academic Misconduct

CLICK to see College Policy circa 1983 - I think this gives you the clearest examples and reasoning.

STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

We will discuss in class the nature of academic misconduct, including plagiarism. You are responsible for understanding the different varieties of academic misconduct, and for understanding the Graduate School's policies as described below. If I encounter solid evidence of academic misconduct I will discuss the matter with you, and then deliver the consequence I deem appropriate. Possible consequences include: failure on the assignment in question (i.e., a 0); assigning a failing grade for the course; or attempting to have you expelled from Temple University. Should you wish to contest a decision I make on academic misconduct, I will inform you of the procedures to follow. The department and the college have fully specified grievance procedures for graduate students. 

The following
section is from the University's Graduate Bulletin policies and procedure page [http://www.temple.edu/grad/policies/index.htm]


Academic Honesty

Academic honesty and integrity constitute the root of the educational process at Temple University.  Intellectual growth relies on the development of independent thought and respect for the thoughts of others.  To foster this independence and respect, plagiarism and academic cheating are prohibited.

Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another individual's ideas, words, labor, or assistance.  All coursework submitted by a student, including papers, examinations, laboratory reports, and oral presentations, is expected to be the individual effort of the student presenting the work.  When it is not, that assistance must be reported to the instructor.  If the work involves the consultation of other resources such as journals, books, or other media, those resources must be cited in the appropriate style.  All other borrowed material, such as suggestions for organization, ideas, or actual language, must also be cited.  Failure to cite any borrowed material, including information from the internet, constitutes plagiarism.

Academic cheating results when the general rules of academic work or the specific rules of individual courses are broken.  It includes falsifying data; submitting, without the instructor's approval, work in one course that was done for another; helping others to plagiarize or cheat from one's own or another's work; or undertaking the work of another person.

The penalty for academic dishonesty can vary from a reprimand and receiving a failing grade for a particular assignment, to a failing grade in the course, to suspension or expulsion from the University. The penalty varies with the nature of the offense.  Students who believe that they have been unfairly accused may appeal through their school/college's academic grievance procedure and, ultimately, to the Graduate Board if academic dismissal has occurred.

Disability statement
This course is open to all students who meet the academic requirements for participation. Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately as soon as possible. Contact Disability Resources and Services at 215.204.1280 in 100 Ritter Annex to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. You may require special services if you are sight or hearing impaired, or if you wish to register for gaining extra time for taking exams or completing assignments.

Statement on student and faculty academic rights and responsibilities and academic freedom
"Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inescapable facets of academic freedom. Temple University has adopted a policy on student and faculty academic rights and responsibilities." Temple University students who believe that instructors are introducing extraneous material into class discussions or that their grades are being affected by their opinions or views that are unrelated to a course’s subject matter can file a complaint under the University’s policy on academic rights and  The full policy can be found at:

http://policies.temple.edu/getdoc.asp?policy_no=03.70.02

The policy encourages students to first discuss their concerns with their instructor.  If a student is uncomfortable doing so, or if discussions with the instructor do not resolve the student’s concerns, an informal complaint can be made to the Student Ombudsperson for the student’s school or college.  Unresolved complaints may be referred to the dean for handling in accordance with the school or college’s established grievance procedure. Final appeals will be determined by the Provost.

Snow or Hurricane Cancellation
Yes, winter is coming. This is a day class and the emergency closing number is 101. If there IS a closing I will post an announcement on Blackboard (if it's working) and on the main course page. If there is no closing, assume that I am doing my best to get here.

Religious Holidays
"If you will be observing any religious holidays this semester which will prevent you from attending a regularly scheduled class or interfere with fulfilling any course requirement, your instructor will offer you an opportunity to make up the class or course requirement if you make arrangement by informing your instructor of the dates of your religious holidays within two weeks of the beginning of the semester, or three days before the holidays if the occur in the first two weeks of class."

Weapons of Mass Distraction
1. Turn off cell phones and iPods before you come to class.

2. If by chance you forget to turn it off, and your phone or pager rings, I expect you to turn it off immediately.

3. TEXTING IN CLASS OR CHECKING YOUR PHONE FOR TEXT OR EMAIL OR MISSED CALLS IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If there is an urgent message you are awaiting, alert me at the beginning of class.Yes, we do have a break every class. You can check all of your messages during break. After break - everything needs to be off again.

Email
You would do well to start thinking about how to send email in a professional manner. You can get a book about this called: “Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home.” To learn more about this book CLICK HERE.

For this course you may expect that I will reply to any email from you within three business days. I may reply sooner, but there is no guarantee. If there is something we need to address speedily, it may be faster to chat with me about it at the next class meeting or call me at home.

Special Services
Students who may require special services should notify the instructor at the earliest opportunity, and I will put you into contact with the Office of Disability Resources and Services at Temple (http://www.temple.edu/disability -  215.204.1280). You may require special services if you are sight or hearing impaired, or if you wish to register for gaining extra time for taking exams.

Controversial Subject Matter
In this class we will be discussing subject material that some students may consider controversial. Some students may find some of the readings, and/or some of the media materials used, and/or some of the comments in class (or in discussion conducted through a black board for them) challenging. Our purpose in this class is to explore the subject matter deeply and to consider multiple perspectives and arguments. Students are expected to listen to the instructor and to one another respectfully, but of course are free to disagree respectfully with views expressed in class in electronic discussions through blackboard or in readings.

Makeups
(does not apply)

Late assignments
There are weekly out of class writing assignments. These are low stakes. This means simply that if you do it, you receive credit for doing it.

To receive credit for these, each one needs to be uploaded (details to follow) on or before 2:00 PM (14:00) the day of class. To get full credit for this portion of the course you need to upload ten times during the semester. You do NOT do a weekly writing if you are facilitating that week.

There is one long term out of class assignment and two very short term out of class writing assignments. Due dates will be circulated. Each is due on the date indicated. I reserve the right to lower the grade for assignments that are handed in late. The amount the grade is lowered increases the longer the delay in handing the assignment in. Depending on the assignment, the grade may be lowered 1% to 10% a day.

If you have an excuse for a late assignment I will take this into account only if you notify me beforehand about the problem and I find your excuse for the delay to be a valid one and I have something in writing. Again, a friend's grandfather's death may be questionable.

Regrading
You have the right to submit any exam or assignment for regrading. If you wish to submit an assignment for regrading proceed as follows:

 Prepare a written statement explaining why the assignment should be regraded. This applies to written assignments, essay exams, and multiple choice exam questions where you think there was more than one correct answer.

 On a cover sheet print your name, SSN, name of the assignment or test, date of the assignment or test, and the date you submitted the assignment for regrading.

Staple the cover sheet to your written rationale and the original assignment.

I will review your request for regrading. I will consult with other faculty if I deem that appropriate. As a result of your request for regrading the grade on your original assignment may stay the same, or it may go up, or it may go down.

Grading standards for long term assignment
A more detailed grading rubric will follow for each assignment