PSGSA Preamble and Principles

The Political Science Graduate Students Association (PSGSA) is an important institution in the Department of Political Science. Through it, Political Science Graduate Students are able to coordinate their efforts and effectively present their concerns to the faculty and the university’s administration. Association representatives at the faculty meetings are full voting members of the Department, and student representatives are accorded full privileges on all committees.

1. Preamble

1.1 The purpose of the PSGSA is to coordinate the concerns of Graduate Students enrolled in the Political Science Department and to structure their input into the administration of the program. The PSGSA seeks to create a vibrant intellectual and social community in the department.

1.2 In this pursuit, the PSGSA supports and promotes the objectives of educational equity and the building of an inclusive community free from discrimination and harassment. The PSGSA is similarly committed to the pursuit of knowledge, scholarly excellence and academic freedom.

1.3 This statement of Principles in intended for Graduate Students in their capacities as students, teaching-assistants, and instructors.

1.4 Graduate Students have a responsibility to be familiar with the following University policies — the Department of Political Science Handbook, Faculty of Graduate Studies Guidelines, the University Calendar, the University Policy on Discrimination and Harassment, Policy on Student Discipline, and the Collective Agreement between UBC and CUPE (Local 2278). Graduate Students shall endeavor to abide by and cooperate with these policies and any other policies relevant to graduate students (see the UBC Policy Handbook).

1.5 This is a statement of principles. It is hoped that Graduate Students will respect and share these principles, but the statement is non-binding and does not include a dispute resolution mechanism.

2. Principles

2.1 Graduate Students shall treat colleagues, undergraduate students, faculty and staff with fairness, civility, and respect.

2.2 Graduate Students have an obligation to defend their rights and the rights of their peers, undergraduates and faculty to academic freedom. Graduate Students shall contribute to departmental efforts to maintain a working and learning environment that is conductive to the free and open exchange of ideas and scholarly debate.

2.3A Graduate Students shall promote a working and learning environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, as defined by the UBC Policy on Discrimination and Harassment.

2.3B Graduate Students shall strive to maintain an environment that is free from personal harassment, meaning but not limited to offensive behavior, personally demeaning comments, or persistent and unnecessary rudeness.

2.4 Graduate Student instructors and teaching assistants shall endeavor to discharge their instructional responsibilities with academic integrity, scholarly competence, and pedagogical effectiveness. Graduate Student teachers shall strive to be fair, objective, and balanced in their grading of assignments. Graduate Student teachers shall seek to avoid conflicts of interest with their students.

2.5 Graduate Students serving as Teaching Assistants must be familiar with the Collective Agreement between UBC and CUPE (Local 2278) and abide by its terms. Graduate Students should also be familiar and respectful of departmental guidelines for teaching assistants.

2.6 Graduate Students shall consider the work of their peers objectively and fairly and with the intent of advancing scholarship.

2.7 Graduate Students have a responsibility to acknowledge appropriately their academic and intellectual debts to colleagues and faculty.

2.8 Graduate Students shall support and participate in university and departmental complaints and appeals processes in good faith and shall not engage in acts of retaliation against any persons who participate in such processes.

2.9 A Graduate Students should be familiar with and accept their responsibilities, as defined in the Department of Political Science Handbook and to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Guidelines. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, respecting the rules, procedures, and standards in place in the program, and seriously considering comments and advice provided by professors and thesis supervisors concerning submitted work and professional development.

2.9B In the event of disagreements with professors or supervisors, Graduate Students shall, in accordance with the FOGS Guidelines, seek to resolve disputes as close as possible to the source, by first discussion the problem frankly with the professor in question. If the problem persists, the appropriate course of action is to approach, in order, the Graduate Advisor, the Head of the Department, and finally the Dean of Graduate Students. Assistance may be obtained from the Departmental Advisor on Policy and Procedures and from relevant University offices.

2.10 In the interest of fostering a collegial, scholarly and professional community, Graduate Students are encouraged to participate in the governance and activities of the Association, Department, and University.