Community Contract

General Ground Rules

In this program, diversity and individual differences are respected, appreciated, and recognized as a source of strength. Students in this program are encouraged and expected to speak up and participate during activities, and to carefully and respectfully listen to each other. Every member of this program must show respect for every other member, so that everyone feels comfortable participating. Any attitude, belief, or language that implies that one person or group of people is superior to another (including but not limited to racist, sexist, xenophobic, ableist, and/or homophobic ideology) is unacceptable. Such beliefs are destructive to our community and will hinder our ability to learn from each other.

We are all at GOALS to learn. That means we all have a responsibility to support each other’s learning. No one is testing you here; please ask questions whenever you don’t understand something or want to learn more! But please make sure that your enthusiasm isn’t infringing on someone else’s learning space. This means, for example, saving tangential questions for a private discussion; holding back in the problem sessions if you’ve solved this exercise before; waiting to ask/answer a question if you realize you’ve been speaking up a lot lately. Of course, behaviors such as interrupting others, talking over others, disregarding others’ comments, etc. are not welcome at GOALS. We want GOALS to be a welcoming and productive learning environment for everyone and we expect all participants’ behavior to support that aim.

The organizers of GOALS will work to cultivate a supportive environment. If any participant feels that they are being mistreated, please write to any one of the organizers. All reports of this type will be kept confidential.

Discussions on Imposter Syndrome, Implicit Bias, and Equity in Mathematics

Throughout the program, we will have discussion surrounding challenging topics involving bias in mathematics such as racism and/or sexism. We acknowledge the difficulty in handling these conversations. Here are some guidelines for these discussions.

  • Share only what you are comfortable sharing.
  • Stories stay, lessons leave. Other people’s experiences are not ours to share. Please learn from others’ stories and pass on the lessons you learned, but without “outing” the origin of the lesson.
  • “Listen for understanding rather than responding” - Dr. Pamela Harris (Asked and Answered, P. 14).
  • Self-moderation: if you’ve been doing a lot of the listening, consider sharing. If you’ve been primarily sharing, increase your listening.
  • Embrace non-closure. We aren’t going to solve racism or sexism in the 2 weeks we have together.
  • Commit to non-judgement. We’re here to grow together.
  • It is okay that you are not perfect. What matters is that you are trying to improve.

To Our Guest Speakers

Thank you so much for joining us at GOALS, and for joining our commitment to create an inclusive, supportive community for young operator algebraists. Both during and after GOALS, we hope you will get to know the GOALS students, personally and professionally, and that you will be a resource for them as they continue in their careers. We have invited you to speak at GOALS because we anticipate that you will be an important role model for the GOALS students.As such, your role at GOALS will lead many GOALS students to see you as an authority and an inspiration; we ask you to be cognizant of that power differential in your interactions with the GOALS students.