Computer Science Department Statement of Values

We share with you The Department of Computer Science Statement of Values. This document formalizes our intent to work toward creating an intellectual environment where all members, regardless of background or personal attribute, can grow and learn without discrimination, harassment, or other mistreatment.

We expect all members of the Oxy Computer Science community to uphold the values in our statement; we are in the process of developing a form that will allow members of the community to share upholdings and violations. The department will review submissions regularly and will report back to the community about any common issues or themes.

Background: Why have a Statement of Values?

In 2018, only a year after the launch of our department, we were already aware of several racist and sexist incidents. We were troubled that our departmental culture was not what we had envisioned. In fall of 2019, in order to help foster the community that we desired, a small group of faculty proposed that the department adopt a Code of Conduct and wrote a first draft. Since then, departmental faculty and students have been working on refining that initial document into the statement we share with you here.

The Statement of Values is a living document that will continue to evolve; you can find the timeline of our discussions below.

Timeline

  • Fall 2022. Based on the feedback from students in the new COMP 101 Justice and Equity in Technology course, the Statement of values was revised to emphasize the potential harms of technology more generally. The department also clarified how we will continue to engage with the Statement, via specific courses (COMP 101, COMP 390), and how the community can contribute via an anonymous form.
  • Spring 2021. Intercultural Community Center Director Chris Arguedas met with the department and student representatives and provided additional feedback and recommendations. Revisions based on that conversation were quickly approved. Shortly thereafter we convened a focus group of students to provide feedback, but none was given.
  • Fall 2020. The original statement was rewritten and approved by the department and student representatives. For further review, the new statement was circulated by email among a group of students identifying as belonging to certain marginalized groups.
  • Spring 2020. The department and two student representatives approved the idea of a departmental code of conduct, changing the name to Statement of Values.
  • Fall 2019. A small group of faculty proposed that the department adopt a Code of Conduct and wrote a first draft.

Participants in the process to date

Students:

  • Dyani Dillard '22
  • Joey Rose '22
  • Alexis Hale '20
  • Teagan Mucher '20
  • Joshua Pulido '23
  • Jasmine Reyes '22

Courses:

  • The Fall 2021 COMP 101

Faculty:

  • Bernie Boscoe
  • Celia Chen
  • Hsing-Hau Chen
  • Paul David
  • Alan Knoerr
  • Kathryn Leonard
  • Justin Li
  • Jeffrey Miller
  • Teddy Pozo
  • Irina Rabkina
  • Sheldon Schiffer
  • Ümit Yalçinalp
  • Thomas Yeh