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Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct for the working group of "Modelling of Human-Environmental Interactions"

Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

Working in the working group “Modelling of human-environmental interactions” at Freie Universität presents opportunities for interacting with not only other members of the working group, but also other working groups and communities from all over the world with different cultural and religious backgrounds. Our goal is to create a work environment where everyone feels safe and accepted. This also means that everyone, including faculty, staff, students, and visitors, is responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that helps improve an environment of learning in which the rights, dignity, worth, and freedom of each member of the academic community are respected.

Our working group affirms its commitment to the core ideals of the Freie Universität with regard to teaching and learning, as set down in the “Leitbild Studium und Lehre.” [Guidelines on Teaching and Education]. We recognize and value the diversity of everyone’s experiences and expectations and are committed to treating all members of the group, both academically and personally, in a fair and transparent manner. Staff, in return, are required to comply with the guidelines set down in this Code of Conduct, as follows:

  • We respect each other and maintain respectful interactions with everyone.
  • We take the expertise, opinions and values of all people seriously, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, age, disability (physical or mental), socioeconomic status or background, physical appearance, or body size, and accept that different opinions and values exist.
  • We act against negative stereotypes, relating to an individual’s or a group’s characteristics, declaring (‘outing’) someone’s religion of sexuality, referring to people in a way that misidentifies their gender and/or rejects the validity of their gender identity. We work towards creating a safe environment for everyone identifying as LGBTQI+.
  • Intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory and demeaning actions and behavior will not be tolerated. Offensive language, especially racial slurs, is not accepted. No instructor, student or administrator will voice the N-word in any context.
  • Stalking or following, unwelcome physical contact without explicit consent, and unwelcome sexual attention (including invading personal space in a sexual way, or persistent unwelcome questions about someone’s sexual preferences of sexual conduct) will not be tolerated.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

Problems in communication and in professional relationships should be addressed promptly in order to improve and foster a healthy atmosphere in the study/workplace. People affected by inappropriate or abusive behavior are encouraged to report to the corresponding contact person (see below). We will ensure that such a report will have no adverse effect on the university career of the person making the claim.

Working group responsibilities

We will deal with all disciplinary issues in a fair, transparent, and consistent manner. It recognizes that, for the students and staff concerned, involvement in disciplinary procedures can be difficult and stressful. We will therefore ensure that those involved are made aware of available guidance and support and that disciplinary issues are dealt with as quickly as the specific circumstances allow. Considering and implementing disciplinary action at an early stage can prevent more serious offences or issues arising.

In addition, we will:

a)  Make this Code and associated guidance material available to all staff, and students in a dedicated section of the website.

b)  Respect the need for confidentiality in relation to disciplinary issues.

c)  Regularly review and streamline processes in accordance with university-wide policies

Procedure for Complaints and Further Guidance

If you face or witness any of the mentioned situations above please get in touch with María Piquer-Rodríguez, the head of our working group, or the Gender Equality Officer of the Institute (Stine Gutjahr, geofrau@zedat.fu-berlin.de)

After official implementation of this Code of Conduct, the working group will monitor and review the guidelines and procedures, inviting feedback from students, staff, and faculty.

Further resources:

If you have experienced sexualized harassment, discrimination, or violence, you can also get confidential support from the FU counseling services:


Councelling services of the General Students’ Committee (AStA) FU Berlin



Adapted from John F. Kennedy Institute, FU Berlin