Southeastern Louisiana University provides a student code of conduct, with which I (Dr. Wright) expect all Wright Lab students to comply. The Wright Lab also has additional code of conduct items to ensure that all students have a safe and productive learning environment. Visitors are also expected to follow the code of conduct, and lab members are expected to abide by the code of conduct in other spaces they frequent to as part of their job (conferences, etc).
You might wonder why we have a lab code of conduct at all. It’s because I want for us to have a positive culture of contributorship to all of our projects. That means that we have to define some behavior (below) that is explicitly off-limits.
But this is also a statement of our values. We’re a diverse group of people, from a variety of backgrounds. My aim is to facilitate a space where you all feel safe to learn together, and from one another. When we communicate with each other, we should bear that in mind. We should aim to interact kindly, and to build each other up, rather than putting each other down. Sometimes, we’ll fail at that, and when that happens, it’s our job to non-defensively receive feedback and take appropriate action.
The code of conduct has been shaped by my own experiences of misconduct. I don’t want any of you to ever go through the things I have gone through. And so it’s important to me that we’re clear from the outset that all lab members – including me – are partners in creating an inclusive, positive environment.
The Code of Conduct
The Wright Lab is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body, ethnicity or perceived ethnicity, veteran status, age or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of lab members or guests in any form. Harassment can include making unwelcome comments verbally or using digital means, such as email, Slack, or Facebook. Harassing behavior can also include other problematic conduct, such as stalking, inappropriate touching, interrupting or sabotaging work progress. Off-campus spaces, such as conferences, that you are visiting in your capacity as a researcher in the Wright lab are also covered by the code of conduct.
What to do if you experience Code of Conduct violations?
If you feel comfortable to do so, contact me immediately. I will help navigate the appropriate next steps to take. Be aware that I am a responsible employee, and if behavior rises to the level of violating the university’s code of conduct, I do need to report it.
If you do not feel comfortable to speak to me, incidents can be brought straight to the Title IX office for sexual harassment, or The Office of Student Development for other types of bias incidents. If I am the problem, please contact the Department Head The Office of Student Development directly for help. If you need help with an incident that involves a relative, close collaborator, supervisor of mine, it would not be appropriate for me to interact with that incident. In this case, it would also be appropriate to speak to the OSD.
If you need a safe space to talk, whether about code of conduct violations, or simply about life stuff, be aware that the university has a Counseling Center. They also provide emergency crisis intervention.
The Lab’s Code of Conduct is adapted from the Ada Initiative. It is strongly informed by my own experiences of misconduct, and is subject to change as my thoughts evolve.
I have also outlined this document on what you can expect from me as a mentor, and what I will expect from you as a learner. There will be times when we fall a little out of sync on these expectations, too. When that happens, know that you are always welcome to speak directly to me and we’ll work as a team to get everything back on line. It would also be fine for you to ask for a third party’s involvement, such as department head Dr. Chris Beachy, graduate coordinator Dr. Kyle Piller, honors adviser Dr. Claire Procopio, or an ombudsman from the OSD to help guide the conversation to make sure all of your obligations are met. We are here for your success, and it is impossible to offend me by asking for help in having a productive research experience in my lab.