The Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has upended our normal way of life for the past year and a half, and although we are hopefully at the tail end of it, the disruptions that we’ve experienced since March 2020 will have lasting effects in various ways. As of summer 2021, we are slated to be on campus and in person in the fall (yay!), but if the pandemic surges again, we have to be ready to shift online and conduct our class via Zoom and other online media.

Please rest assured that your health and safety and that of your family and friends will always come first, and I make it my mission to create a classroom environment that is supportive and safe as you navigate what’s happening in our world and deal with everything else that you have to deal with, in practical and emotional terms. If you have to miss class to take care of yourself or others, either physically or mentally, then do so and just let me know that you’ll be missing class via email. If you need extensions on assignments, ask for them. If you would like extra help outside of class time, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Needless to say, these are unprecedented times which call for extraordinary measures. Please don’t ever hesitate to email me, visit with me during student hours or non-preordained times via appointment, or leave a group or private message in the GroupMe with any questions, issues, or concerns that you have. We’re all figuring it out as we go; the best we can do is to be here for each other with compassion and patience. And maybe an occasional fuzzy animal picture or meme. Here’s a recent favorite of mine:

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Academic Conduct

You are expected to abide by Holy Cross’ Academic Integrity Policy, posted here. Cheating on homework, quizzes, assignments or exams (defined here as but not limited to reproducing answers from an answer key, referring to forbidden notes to help answer questions, or copying another student’s answers) may result in penalties ranging from a failure on the specific assignment to failure for the entire course.

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Student Hours

Student hours are an opportunity for you to meet with me outside of class to discuss anything you’d like: questions about grammar and syntax, clarifications about assignments, even simply shooting the breeze. My student hours are times that I am sure to be in my office, unless you’re notified otherwise, so I highly encourage you to take advantage of them! I’m also happy to make appointments outside of my regular student hours if they conflict with your availability; simply shoot me an email with what times and dates work for you.

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Gender Expression and Identity

I (Prof. Libatique) am a cisgender man and use he/him/his pronouns. Your first assignment will be to fill out a Google Form to let me know what your preferred name is, what pronouns you use, and what you hope to learn from this class. My goal is to avoid dead-naming, as your preferred name may not match the legal name on my class roster.

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Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect

Studying Latin at Holy Cross is one way to challenge a centuries-long tradition that reserved the study of the ancient world for a privileged elite. The challenge goes beyond simply welcoming students however they identify their race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religious or spiritual tradition, or socioeconomic background. As we work to see the multicultural world of the ancient Mediterranean through the original thoughts and language of Latin speakers and writers, we reflect on and actively explore how this can help us recognize and respond to structures of power and privilege in our own lives.

This work is especially important today, when historically false images of the ancient world are being invoked to support particular political viewpoints. Studying Latin helps us see through erroneous assertions about the “whiteness” of the ancient Mediterranean, and reject claims that the Greco-Roman world is the special province of any ethnic or political group.

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Any student who feels the need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Accessibility Services to discuss support services available. Once the office receives documentation supporting the request for accommodation, the student would meet privately with Accessibility Services to discuss reasonable and appropriate accommodations. Contact information for the Office of Accessibility Services can be found here. You may also call 508-793-3693.

If you are already registered with Accessibility Services, please be sure to get your accommodation letters and deliver them to me in a timely fashion. Instructors need 4-5 days advance notice to be able to facilitate the process of receiving testing accommodations.

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External Resources

In addition to my email and student hours, there are resources outside myself and the Classics department, like Academic Services and Learning Resources that can help with assignments or your progress through the course in general. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

By the way, to test whether you’re reading the syllabus all the way through, please send me an email indicating your favorite noun case by 12:00pm on Friday, September 3, 2021, with the subject line “I will not decline extra credit!” If you do so, you will receive five (5) extra credit points in your raw quiz point total for the semester.

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Mandated Reporter

As an instructor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment on our campus. I also have a mandatory reporting responsibility related to my role as your professor. It is my goal that you feel able to share information related to your life experiences in classroom discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible. However, any information that you disclose that addresses sexual misconduct or relates to a prior suicide attempt or an intention to attempt suicide requires my sharing that information with those on campus who are able to provide you with necessary resources.

Following the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, I will share information about sexual misconduct with the College’s Office of Title IX Initiatives. If you would like to talk to Title IX directly, they can be reached at 508-793-3336 or titleix [at] holycross.edu. For more information, please visit this website. If you would like to discuss the matter confidentially, the following confidential resources are available to you: the Chaplains’ Office, 508-793-2448; Counseling Center, 508-793-3363; Health Services, 508-793-2276.

Following the College’s Suicide Protocol, if you disclose a prior suicide attempt or an intention or plan to attempt suicide, I will share that information with the Chair of our student CARE Team, who will engage in appropriate outreach.

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