Laney College

Community Agreements and Consensus Structure

Community Agreements and Consensus Structure

Laney College Biology Collective Code of Conduct 

To strive for equity, our department runs by Consensus Structure with feedback from everyone. Click here for our BIOL consensus structure 1.2020 and meeting schedule spring 2020

Community Agreements

  • Consider the impact of our actions/words
  • Confidentiality (be clear if the conversation is confidential)
  • Treat each other with respect (listen and respond with honor)
    • Respect the “talking piece” in meetings
  • We will try to consider intent in the actions/words of others


To us, this means, the Laney Biology Collective is a supportive, safe, welcoming environment for all, regardless of basis of age, race, religion, color, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ancestry, citizenship, national origin, military or veteran status, disability, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition, and immigration status

  • Please be kind and courteous to each other. No personal attacks; direct strong emotions at ideas, not individuals. There’s no need to be mean or rude.
  • Debate is encouraged and part of how we develop. Be respectful, use healthy forms of discourse, and be open to new ideas. This is a science – we test, investigate and reassess
  • Respect that people have differences of opinion and that every decision carries a trade-off and numerous costs. There are frequently multiple right answers.

Who should I talk to?

In most departments, you would go to a chair with forms to sign, course updating questions or concerns about a class. For us, we have area leads:

Courses Faculty email
1A/1B (10, 70 back-up) Leslie Blackie
2,4 (20A/B, 24 back-up) Rebecca Bailey
3 Rajeev Banerjee
10/11 (1A/1B back-up) Amy Bohorquez
70 series, 28 Doug Bruce
20A/B, 24, 28 Laurie Allen-Requa

Some information that helped us with formulating our structure and continue to learn:

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by adrienne maree brown

Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond

The Deepest Well by Nadine Burke Harris, MD

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire

Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by bell hooks

We are also fans of April Thames, PhD who studies the physiological impact of racism and bias

Dimensionalizing Culture Hofstede Model in Context is a good resources that discusses collectivist versus individualist thinking

This essay addresses practices that perpetuate White Supremacy Culture and suggestions for antidotes!

Here is a great article we also reference on our homepage: Can Biology Class Reduce Racism?

From the SEAS research program Gyasi Alexander created and produced a podcast called Hidden Curriculum. Podcast written for first generation students, and other stakeholders seeking to understand and support them. Catch all six episodes at