Ethical Principles

It is the responsibility of a GSI to behave in a professional manner, and to follow the ethical principles which all university instructors must adhere to. This clearly prohibits the following:

  • Discrimination against any student on political grounds, or for reasons of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or ethnic origin, or for other arbitrary or personal reasons.

  • Refusal to follow instructions of a faculty member in charge of the course.

  • Discussion of the academic work of a student with people other than the faculty member and the other GSIs involved in the course.

  • Criticism of the course, instructor or other GSIs in the presence of the students.
  • Exploitation of students for private advantage. Decisions made by GSIs have a significant effect on their students’ grades. GSIs should be especially careful not to abuse their authority. GSIs should evaluate student work as objectively and as fairly as possible. In particular:

    • GSIs may not serve as paid tutors for students in their class.

    • GSIs must avoid romantic involvement with students in their class. Such involvement makes objective evaluation difficult and also raises questions of sexual harassment. These prohibitions may generate problems for a GSI who is normally a friend or coworker of a student. Such situations must be dealt with on an individual basis in consultation with the instructor or Student Affairs Coordinator. If any real or perceived conflict of interest arises, notify the instructor, Student Affairs Coordinator or Department Chair immediately.