Property (B) (Fall 2012)

Professor Schnably

Ground Rules

You should be familiar with the following rules and any others I mention in class.


New Classroom:

Note that originally we were scheduled to meet in LC170. The Registrar’s office was able to switch us to a classroom at the Law School, F108. This is obviously much more convenient, especially on Tuesdays when you have Civ. Pro. at 3:30. So it’s a good thing overall. There is one consequence, though. F108 has exactly the number of seats we need for the class. This means it’s very important not to arrive late, because getting to your seat will be disruptive to others.

Seating Chart:

I will pass around a seating chart on the first day of class.  You must be on the seating chart to receive credit for the course. If you are not on the seating chart, I will not turn in a grade for you at the end of the semester, even if you take the exam. It is your responsibility to see to it that your name is on the seating chart. You must sit in your assigned seat for each class. If you would like to move to a different seat after the first day, just let me know and I’ll be happy to adjust the seating chart.

Attendance:

Attendance is mandatory, as is preparation. Class discussion is crucial to your understanding of the materials. No more than five unexcused absences are permitted. If you have more than five unexcused absences, I may lower your grade for the course by half a grade. So long as your unexcused absences number five or fewer, being absent will have no effect on your grade. Of course, if you are absent you will miss the class discussion that day, and that may have an indirect impact. There is no set limit on excused absences (e.g., for illness), but if the number of excused absences becomes so great that in my judgment it calls into question whether you could learn the material covered in the course, I would talk to you and consult with the Dean of Students, and then reach a conclusion as to whether you may continue being enrolled in my class.

Procedure in case of absence: If you are absent for any class, please fill out one of the absence forms in the Dean of Students, which you can do on-line. It’s fine to e-mail me as well, but you must submit the Dean of Students form in any case. As for what constitutes an excused absence, these include:

  • inability to attend class for religious reasons on a “religious holiday.” (The list in the link is just for convenience; under University policy religious holidays are not limited to those listed.)
  • other reasons to be considered on a case-by-case basis. For example, if you are too sick to attend class, that would be an excused absence.
My judgment in each case (based on the form you file with the Dean of Students Office) is final. No absence will be excused for any date the student is not present if the student does not file a form with the Dean of Students Office. You should file the form before the date you will be absent, if possible, or within a few days afterwards.

You must be on the seating chart to receive credit for the course. If you are not on the seating chart, I will not turn in a grade for you at the end of the semester, even if you take the exam. It is your responsibility to see to it that your name is on the seating chart. You must sit in your assigned seat for each class.

Class conduct:

  • Please arrive on time. It’s better to aim for at least a few minutes early so you can get settled.
  • Please don’t talk during class except to participate. I welcome class participation, but side conversations -- even whispering, even if it’s about class-related materials -- disturbs other students around you, as well as me.
  • Please don’t let any electronic device you bring make any noise in class. You’re welcome to bring your cell phones, blackberries, laptops, etc. into the classroom, but you need to make sure that any electronic device you have doesn’t create a disturbance in class. This means:
    • Before each class, turn off cell phone or set it to vibrate.
    • Set your laptop to start running silently, with no sound sequence when it starts up.
    • If you arrive late, don’t turn your laptop on unless you’re certain it will make no noise when you start it. If you’re not certain it will start silently then take your notes by hand that day.
    • If an electronic device of yours does go off during the class, please come up and see me after class to let me know what you’ll do to prevent it from happening again.
  • Please use your laptop in class only for class purposes such as note taking. Using your laptop for other purposes, such as playing games or sending or receiving instant messages or e-mail, is inconsistent with the class. It distracts students around you and makes you unprepared when I call on you, which slows down the class.
  • Please don’t leave class before it’s over, even briefly. Coming and going during class, like arriving late, distracts everyone, including me. Occasional instances where someone has to step out for an urgent need won’t be a problem, but if it starts happening too often I will impose a requirement that anyone leaving before class is over not return for the rest of the class, which will at least cut the disruption in half.
Taping classes:

You may tape the class only with my prior permission.

Disability:

If you believe that you have a disability that might affect your ability to comply with any of these ground rules, please contact the Office of Disability Services.

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