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Physics & Astronomy DEIA

Statement of Principles

The faculty, students, and staff of the Department of Physics & Astronomy (P&A) believe that we are strengthened by the broad perspectives of all in our close community. Support for diverse voices contributes to a vibrant and welcoming environment, which enhances our teaching, learning, scholarly activities, and service. We commit to meld our diverse viewpoints and experiences into our shared identity by actively encouraging all to act responsibly and equitably on campus and while representing the department. We expect all our members to abide by these values and to oppose inappropriate behaviors, attitudes, and actions that detract from our community, so that our department is a place where we will thrive together.

LSU Diversity Statement 

P&A Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility (DEIA) Committee 

P&A Feedback Form 

P&A Climate Survey 2021-2022 

P&A Pronoun Survey coming soon.  

Expectations/Examples for Professionalism in Academia

Professional behavior promotes a safe, inclusive, supportive, respectful, and courteous environment, whether in person or in virtual spaces. All members of our community should strive to be aware of how their actions affect others. Adherence to Departmental, College, and University rules is expected as a given. We believe that the following are examples of helpful behaviors:

  • Non-discrimination and inclusion, for instance making efforts to encourage all to participate in classroom activities, departmental activities, Society of Physics Students, etc.

  • Respect and empathy for all people regardless of race, color, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical appearance, disability, age, religion, politics, citizenship, income/social status, research interests, and all characteristics protected by law.

  • Respect of each other’s identities, for example respect and use of people’s personal gender pronouns and name(s), while at the same time being thoughtful about their use in public and private discussions. Use of a person’s pronouns promotes equity and inclusion, though some may not feel in a position to discuss details of their personal identity.

  • Awareness of both visible and invisible barriers faced by members of the community and their effect on an individual’s performance.

  • Respect of personal space and property. Likewise, being respectful of communal space and shared resources.

  • Acknowledgement that all members of our department are unique individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, but we are all equally part of the community.

  • Fostering a sense of community through encouragement, support, and respect of all members. This includes celebration of successes, honors, milestones, and other achievements.

  • Promoting accountability, to all members of the P&A community, for conducting themselves professionally and appropriately in all settings (in person, virtually, in group workspaces, etc.).

  • Taking actions or speaking up when inappropriate behavior is observed (see below). This includes pointing out instances where behavior may be offensive.

  • Providing constructive criticism of work by emphasizing strengths and providing actionable suggestions for improvement

  • Timely acknowledgment of communications, requests, concerns; effective, tactful, empathetic, and clear communications.

We believe some types of behavior, attitudes, and actions are never appropriate and will not be tolerated by the P&A community. Frequently, these are demonstrated through lewd/derogatory/unprofessional speech and actions, stereotyping, inequitable treatment, harassment and/or bullying. These include, but are not limited to, the list below; comprehensive descriptions are given in the LSU Student Code of Conduct and the LSU Employee Handbook.

  • Intolerance and prejudice based on perception of race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, physical appearance, disability, age, religion, politics, citizenship, income/social status, research interests, etc.

  • Unequal recognition or opportunities for participation in the classroom, or among peers; exclusion from group(s) or communal spaces; stereotyping.

  • Sexual harassment such as unwelcome physical contact; speech and actions that are sexual in nature; comments about a person’s gender; third party sexual harassment; or any potential Title-IX violations (see below).

  • Bullying (online, verbal or physical), rumor spreading, intimidation or threats, reprisal, etc.

  • Academic misconduct: Plagiarism, cheating, bribery/threats. Sharing of course materials (e.g., exam and homework solutions, handouts) without permission of instructor. Posting in-class videos without permission of participants.

  • Disruptive and Unprofessional Conduct, especially in communal spaces, that impacts the ability of others to study and work, including common spaces in Nicholson Hall.

Positive Reinforcement and Steps I can take if I have a problem or see a problem?

Our shared values and principles aim to foster a community where all stakeholders (students, staff, and faculty) share the benefits and responsibility for a vibrant and welcoming P&A department. Everyone can, and should, speak up about perceived problems, without fear for reprisal. We commit to be proactive and to follow up on all reports in a timely manner, with consideration for all parties involved and as required by LSU policies, state and federal laws.

In the following expandable sections, you can find links to LSU regulations, various steps you can take if you witness or experience bad conduct, and various resources to find help in general. You can also reach out to the P&A DEIA committee using the anonymous feedback form

Safety First 

If you have or see an emergency or need an immediate response, dial 911 and/or LSU police 225-578-3231. You can report suspicious or concerning behavior and criminal activity as an anonymous tip to LSU police and/or through the LSU Shield App.

Advice and resources for reporting sexual misconduct violations or sex discrimination as regulated by federal law (Title IX) – file a report.

  • All University employees are required to promptly report sex or gender harassment – including power-based trauma (e.g.: sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, etc.) of which they become aware, to the Title IX Coordinator. Failure to do so could result in termination.
  • Students can report a sexual assault or any form of sexual misconduct by calling LSU’s Title IX Coordinator at 225-578-9000 or file a report by clicking here.
  • Reporting resources are also available for students and employees, as well as medical resources.

Feel free to reach out to any of the following contacts if you are comfortable doing so, you can also talk with your academic advisor, job supervisor, or instructor about the situation.

  • Department chair (Jeff Blackmon) and Associate Chair (Dana Browne)
  • Graduate Student Advisor (Rob Hynes) and Undergraduate Student Advisor (David Young)
  • DEI committee representatives
  • Graduate Student Coordinator (Paige Whittington), LSU GRACE Training and SafeSpace (look for sticker on door)

You can anonymously contact the P&A DEI committee with issues, concerns, feedback, etc. using the anonymous feedback form; note the fields asking for contact details are optional.

You can report a violation of LSU code of conduct.

For informal, confidential advice from a professionally-trained practitioner, you can contact the LSU ombudsperson. Visiting with the Ombudsperson is voluntary and “off the record”. The Ombudsperson can provide voluntary mediation and recommend steps towards resolution.

LSU cares is available for online reporting of concerns or potential misconduct.

Where to find help in general?

Ombudsperson    LSU Student Health Center    LA Health Baton Rouge     

LSU Mental Health    LSU Disability Services   Military & Veteran Student Center   

Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response (STAR)   LSU Victim Services 

  Employee Assistance Program    LSU Food Pantry    GBR Food Bank   

Baton Rouge Food Pantries    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Education