Physics Department Community Principles

Physics Department Community Principles

The UC Berkeley Physics Department strives to create an inclusive and respectful environment for all. These are our Community Principles:

We Value Every Person

• We acknowledge and appreciate there are many ways to learn and apply what we learn in Physics  - one way is not inherently better than another.
• We value the multifaceted contributions of all community members in our department.
• We honor and acknowledge the importance of every individual’s identity in our community and in doing science.
• We pay particular attention that resources are distributed equitably.
• We are inclusive and welcome others into our community where appropriate. We do not rely on bias and stereotypes to make assumptions about who belongs, or doesn’t belong, in our spaces and in our community.
• We encourage a culture of appreciation, where the organization takes time to make sure that people's work and efforts are appreciated.

We Are Respectful

• We are respectful and considerate in conduct and speech.
• We value thoughtful action, active listening, and a growth mindset.
• We respect the practices, traditions, and cultures of individuals that hold identities different from our own.
• We use inclusionary language, not exclusionary. Some examples are:
• We recognize that gender and racial identities are socially constructed and that roles thought to be assigned to particular groups are often limiting and discriminatory.
• We avoid sexist or racist idioms, proverbs, and expressions in our language.
• We learn and use the pronouns of the people we teach and work with.
• We focus on people's work, not on their bodily traits. We strive to not label others or focus on appearance.
• We strive to use language that reflects peoples’ choice and style in how they talk about themselves.
• We don’t use gender-based, race-based, or culturally offensive humor, pranks, or behavior.
• We are respectful of every individual’s needs to adopt academic work-life boundaries and acknowledge that those boundaries may look different for everyone. 

We Learn Together

• We remain open to lifelong learning, no matter our rank or experience.
• When made aware of our own mistakes, we listen to the impact of our mistakes, own them, and adjust our actions so we don’t repeat them. We strive to not let shame or discomfort interrupt our learning. We expect to be held accountable for our actions so we can learn.
• We engage and listen to community members that have different perspectives and viewpoints from our own. We learn as we listen.
• In a learner mindset we are curious: we seek to understand instead of react.
• We devote as much attention to bettering ourselves and strengthening our community as we do our science and our work.
• We value independent thought and respectful debate.

We Speak Up

• We refuse to initiate, participate, or condone discrimination and harassment. We have a responsibility to call out unacceptable behavior that does not reflect our principles.
• We recognize that calling out discriminatory behavior or harassment in the moment can be difficult due to concerns for safety and/or power differentials, and we have clear alternate avenues for reporting/addressing a concern.
• We are responsible, and held accountable for, the culture of our department, classrooms, and our research groups. We take action to ensure that our culture reflects our Principles of Community and care for those that are harmed.

We Strive to be Transparent

• We value and strive for transparency in our policies, procedures, goals, actions, and decisions. Transparency is essential to foster a strong sense of community and to ensure open dialogue, communication, integrity, and accountability from every member of our Department.
• Our governance is clear; individuals are informed of and understand their level of responsibility and influence in our department.
• We make clear the expectations the department holds for students, postdocs, staff, and faculty. The expectations and progress are clearly communicated to individuals.
• There is a clear understanding of the reasoning behind decisions.
• There is a clear understanding of what parts of the discussion are confidential and why.
• We periodically review our practices and policies and use data and feedback to inform our decision-making. The decision-making process is clearly communicated and the data are made available to our community members when appropriate.
• We welcome feedback from those who are affected by decisions in the decision-making process. Feedback is used to evaluate processes and decisions and to continue to make improvements.

for more information and resources:

Download the Physics Department Community Principles Handbook