DEI Suggested Syllabus Statements
The BioSciences DEI committee offers these sample statements for you to include in your course syllabi if you choose. While only the “Accommodations for students with disabilities” statement is required, the other statements show support for a diverse student body, promote a sense of inclusion and may prepare students for challenging topics that will be discussed in your courses. These templates are sourced from our colleagues, task forces, the Dean of Undergraduates and The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE). The CTE also has additional syllabus recommendations and other resources that may help you refine your syllabi.
Diversity Equity and Inclusion Statement: The BioSciences DEI mission statement can be found here. The instructors of this course are committed to its principles. This course may consider topics of historical and current discrimination, as well as unequal access to healthcare. Please feel free to discuss with the instructor any issues related to DEI that you feel are not being adequately addressed in this course.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities also should contact Disability Support Services in Allen Center Room 111 (firstname.lastname@example.org/x5841) to register their disability with the University. The Disability Support Services office will provide a letter describing appropriate accommodations. Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak with the instructor during the first two weeks of class. If you require refinement of your accommodations during the semester, please do not hesitate to contact me. All discussions will remain confidential.
Psychiatric/Mental Health Disabilities: Reports suggest that about 1 in 5 college students suffers from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or other mental health issues. Students with psychiatric disabilities are entitled to reasonable academic accommodations as provided by the American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and 2008 amendments. You do not need to have had your disability diagnosed before your arrival at Rice. To receive accommodations you must register with the Disability Support Services (DSS) Office in the Allen Center. A Rice student requesting accommodations must self-identify to the DSS office and provide recent documentation of their disability. This documentation is used to establish the Rice student as an individual with a disability, and provides rationale for reasonable accommodations. This process requires evaluation and documentation so do not wait until the last minute, speak with your healthcare professional or consult with the Student Wellbeing and Counseling Center. You will not need to disclose your specific disability with your instructor but documentation is required to secure accommodations.
Gender Diversity Statement: Everyone has the right to be addressed by the name and pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including non-binary pronouns, for example: they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, etc. Rosters do not list gender or pronouns so you may be asked to indicate the pronouns you use so that I don't make assumptions based on your name and/or appearance/self-presentation (you are not obligated to do so). If you use a chosen name, please let me know. Chosen names and pronouns are to be respected at all times in the classroom. Mistakes in addressing one another may happen, so I encourage an environment of openness to correction and learning. I will not, however, tolerate repeated comments which disrespect or antagonize students who have indicated pronouns or a chosen name. Chosen name and personal pronouns may evolve over time, so if at any point during the semester you would like to be addressed differently, please let me know.
Land Acknowledgement: The state of Texas, where Rice University is located, has been a meeting and trading location for Indigenous tribes including the Apache, Caddo, Comanche, Kiowa, and Wichita. Three federally recognized tribes and two state-recognized tribes currently reside in Texas. The land that Rice University occupies is the ancestral home of the Karankawa, Atakapa-Ishak, and Sana peoples. A painful history of settler colonialism, genocide, and forced migration and assimilation occurred here, and the descendants of these communities need to be recognized and included in the history of our community.
Basic Needs Security Statement: Food and housing insecurity can make learning difficult. Students who are having trouble making ends meet are encouraged to find support through the Access and Opportunity Portal and resources provided by the Office of Student Success Initiatives. For undergraduates, your College Magisters may be able to provide additional assistance. For graduate students, the Graduate Student Association and the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office have additional resources that may be of assistance.
Title IX Responsible Employee Notification: Rice University cares about your wellbeing and safety. Rice encourages any student who has experienced an incident of harassment, pregnancy discrimination or gender discrimination or relationship, sexual, or other forms interpersonal violence to seek support through The SAFE Office. Students should be aware when seeking support on campus that most employees, including myself, as the instructor/TA, are required by Title IX to disclose all incidents of non- consensual interpersonal behaviors to Title IX professionals on campus who can act to support that student and meet their needs. For more information, please visit safe.rice.edu or email email@example.com. For more information about Title IX, please contact Title IX Compliance Officer Richard Baker.
Religious Accommodations: Both Rice's policy of non-discrimination on the basis of religion and our core values of diversity and inclusion require instructors to make reasonable accommodations to help students avoid negative academic consequences when their religious obligations conflict with academic requirements. Every reasonable effort should be made to allow members of the university community to observe their religious holidays without jeopardizing the fulfillment of their academic obligations. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. You are obligated to provide me with reasonable notice of the dates of religious holidays on which you will be absent.