Class Rules

POLS &200/ BUS &201 - General Class Rules

The purpose of the following rules is to augment and clarify the objectives and expectations of the Course Syllabus previously provided to students. If there is any conflict or disagreement between these rules and the Syllabus, the Syllabus will govern. The instructor reserves the right to modify these rules, as circumstances require. However, every effort will be made to provide advance notice of any such change.

Exam Taking

Students will take several chapter examinations during the course. Delays in student exam taking often prevents review of the exam by the rest of the class in a timely manner. Therefore, it is expected that each student will be present in the classroom to take exams on the scheduled day, unless a written request for an exception is made at least 24 hours in advance of the exam day. Subject to paragraph one, above, exceptions will be considered only for the following situations:

  1. Serious Illness or hospitalization of student or immediate family member.
  2. Emergency transportation problems
  3. Required Legal obligations
  4. Death of close relative
  5. Students who speak English as a second language, upon the showing of the need for reasonable accommodation.
  6. Students with documented physical or learning disabilities, who have made proper institutional requests for assistance. Refer to syllabus.

Other unexpected emergencies, such as unexpected work obligations, not falling into the above categories may be considered at the discretion of the instructor. It is the student's responsibility to provide advance notice to the instructor about these matters.

Without proper prior documentation or notice, the instructor's options may include, but are not limited to, the following:

An alternate exam assignment may be given consisting of written problem sets at the end of relevant chapters and/or the examination may be allowed to be taken at the Testing Center (if open), subject to a 10% discount for first occurrence, and additional 5% deductions for each subsequent occurrence.

Class Absences

As the syllabus indicates, class participation is an integral part of this course. Each student is expected to come to class prepared and ready to discuss assigned cases and questions posed by the instructor. As each student will be assigned to a presentation group for cases, absences will necessarily detract from the overall group assignment. If you meet one of the conditions above (as for exam absences), you are expected to also notify your group members and/or provide your portion of the presentation to them prior to the group's presentation date. Delays will not be granted for group presentations without penalty. For planning purposes, you will be provided a tentative schedule for case assignments and presentations. Excessive absences will indirectly affect your group presentation grade, and may also be taken into account for the overall course grade.

Group Work

As noted on the syllabus, group presentations are an important portion of each student's grade. It is understood that in such endeavors, individuals do not usually contribute to group work in equal proportions. Therefore, it is not uncommon for group dynamics to be affected by disproportionate student contributions. For this reason, a mechanism is in place to allow for grading adjustments to be made in such circumstances within the discretion of a majority of group members. The initial presumption is that each member of a group will contribute equally and receive the same score. If this assumption is challenged by a majority of the group, score adjustments may be made within the group, as long as the average group score remains the same. That is, in order for a group member to gain points, another member must give up points. It is up to each group to negotiate such point allocations should intragroup circumstances dictate. If the group can not reach a settlement on the matter, the instructor may be called upon to mediate or arbitrate a resolution. If this option is chosen, however, an "administrative fee" of 5% for mediation and 10% for arbitration will be deducted from the group score before the matter is resolved. Note: There can be no point reallocation for students who have dropped or stopped coming to class. Note: While negotiation proposals require group consensus, an individual group member may request mediation or arbitration if negotiations have stalled. Thus, the "costs" associated with this request may act as an incentive for further bargaining. Since law is fundamentally about conflict resolution, such experiences can provide an opportunity for direct application of "cost-benefit" analysis and other course principles.

The "Free Agent" Potential

In extreme cases, and with prior instructor permission, a group may reach a consensus that a particular group member has become a non-contributor or detractor to the group effort. If such circumstances should arise, a written warning of group action, including dismissal, shall be issued by the group members to the affected member, and a copy shall be delivered to the instructor (e-mail is okay). The warning will give a one week remediation period to the affected group member. If such remediation does not occur and/or the affected group member does not show reasonable cause why group action should not be taken, the group reserves the right to dismiss such member from the group. If such member is dismissed from further group participation, such action may be disclosed to the class and the affected student will become a "free agent". The affected student may attempt to be "rehired" by another group. However, no group will be obligated to accept such free agent. If no one will accept the free agent, the instructor will determine an alternate assignment for the member, subject to a discretionary penalty for being dismissed. y failure to negotiate a cohesive resolution to the controversy. Conversely, a group member may wish to voluntarily withdraw from group activity. Since both of the above events are evidence of failure of group cohesion, each group member will be assessed a 5% penalty. It is not in student's best interests to allow either of these actions to be taken.

Class Disruptions

As courtesy dictates, each student is entitled to be able to participate in class, free of interference. Therefore, disruptions of any type (particularly cell phones, I-pods, laptops, or similar devices) will not be tolerated during class time, and may affect a student's participation points. If there is a need to converse or communicate with classmates during class, students are asked to step outside the classroom to do so.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding of these Rules. Please see the instructor if you have more specific questions about them.