Class Policies

Class Meetings
Class lectures are once a week in Gerald Thomas 194. Attend the lecture section for which you are registered. Lab sessions meet twice a week in the Speech Building classrooms. Proper registration and attendance for both lecture and lab are required.

Early Nonattendance
Since this class is usually in great demand, students who do not show up for the first two lab sessions without contacting the instructor may be dropped from COMM 265G.

Make-Up and Late Work
You can only receive full credit for makeup exams, late speeches, and/or a late paper if you have an excused absence. An excused absence will be given only in the cases of a documented 1) medical emergency; 2) participation at a University sanctioned event; 3) serious family emergency (death or illness of an immediate family member). Documentation must be presented at the time you take the exam or turn in the assignment. There will be an absolute deadline to turn in assignments late. This deadline is two weeks after the last possible due date for an assignment. No assignment will be accepted after this absolute deadline. Please note the following specific late policies for exams, speeches, and papers.

There will be one scheduled opportunity to make up exams 1 & 2. Normally, this opportunity will be on the Monday after the exam at 8am; the professors may change these dates if necessary. There will only be one make up for the final exam at 8am on Wednesday the day after the Tuesday night exam. If a student with an unexcused absence elects to take a make up exam at the scheduled make up time, 10 points (or 10 percent of the possible exam grade) will be deducted from his/her exam grade. If the student misses the scheduled make up opportunity, an additional 10 points per day will be deducted up to 2 weeks. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange a time to take the make up with his/her instructor. For example, if a student arranges to take a make up exam on Tuesday after the Friday of the exam, 20 points would be deducted. A Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday make up exam would result in a deduction of 30, 40, or 50 points respectively. For the first and second exam, the student must make up a missed exam within two weeks of the regularly scheduled exam date. Each lab instructor will inform the students as to the absolute deadline for making up a missed final exam.

Ten percent will be deducted from your speech grade should you miss the scheduled time to deliver your speech due to an unexcused absence. Any missed opportunities offered by your instructor to deliver your speech thereafter will also result in the deduction of an additional ten percent per opportunity offered.

Ten percent will be deducted per weekday for papers late due to an unexcused absence.

Incomplete Grades
In accordance with university policy, I-grades will be given a) only past the last date to withdraw from the class; b) only in documented cases of circumstances beyond a student’s control, such as an extended emergency or illness; and c) only if a student is currently passing the class.

Appropriate Class Conduct
You are expected to act in a manner that facilitates, not inhibits, your own and other students’ learning during lab and lecture. Conversations among students during class are distracting, so please resist talking to other students while any one person is speaking to the class. Also, treat your instructors and other class members with respect and courtesy at all times. In cases of violations, we will follow university policy on dealing with disruptive behaviors. The first incident will result in an oral warning from the instructor. The second incident will result in a meeting with one of the professors and may result in a report to the university judicial officer. In any case, if the instructor or other students feel threatened by your behavior, you can be removed from class. We will also call the university police if your actions pose a threat or danger to others. We encourage you to use this time to develop yourself in an academic nature.

Electronic Devices
The classroom is a professional environment and all electronic devices (e.g. smart phones, cell phones, MP3 players, etc.) must be silenced during class.

Extra Credit
Only the course professors may offer an opportunity to participate in a study for extra-credit points on an exam; however, the opportunity will be offered to COMM 265 students as a whole and not individually. Requests for extra-credit assignments made by individual students seeking to supplement their grade will not be granted.

Grade Appeals
If you believe there has been an error in the calculation of your points for either an individual assignment or your final grade, please approach your instructor so that s/he can adjust your score. If your grade is calculated correctly, but you disagree with the grade you earned on an assignment and want to appeal it, you should initiate your appeal with a written statement to your lab instructor detailing the specific ways in which you believe your assignment was incorrectly evaluated. The written appeal must be presented within 10 school days of receiving the grade you want to appeal. After reviewing the appeal, your instructor will approach you to arrange for a meeting time and discussion of your appeal. Unresolved appeals to your lab instructor may be taken next to the professor of your lecture section, following the same procedure. One special note concerning the appeal of speech grades:  If a student wishes to appeal a speech grade, he or she must visually record the speech at the time it is delivered in lab. Toward this end, students must provide the appropriate media on which to record the speech. Graduate assistants will provide more information if necessary on this policy.

Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct covers any academically unethical practice such as plagiarism, cheating on exams, the copying of other people’s assignments (including speeches and analysis papers), violations of copyright law, and inappropriate collaboration on assignments. Be very careful when you are preparing your speeches or paper to quote any information you use directly from a source, and to cite the source of any information coming from someone other than yourself when you borrow ideas. All use of quoted material, paraphrased material, speeches, music, creative writings, projects, drawings, and/or artwork must be accompanied with its proper credit (in-text citation for written work and oral citations in speeches). The best way to avoid plagiarism is to carefully cite your sources. A penalty for academic misconduct will be imposed even in cases of inadvertent plagiarism. The penalty for plagiarism can include but is not limited to a zero score on the assignment, an F grade for the course, and/or suspension from the university. Please review the information from the NMSU Library via the following links.  OR

All assignments must be original work done by you for this class. Use of work not credited to the original source or use of someone else’s work is a serious academic offense and will not be tolerated.

Policy on Web Sources  
The World Wide Web has significantly changed the manner in which students are able to conduct research. There are a number of problems associated with conducting research solely on the web. According to Susan Beck of the NMSU Library, these include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Anyone, regardless of qualification, can publish anything on the web
  • Authors of works are frequently not indicated on web pages
  • Web pages rarely have editors or fact checkers like some traditional print resources
  • Currently there are no standards to ensure the accuracy of information on the web
  • It is often difficult to determine how thoroughly a web page treats a particular subject
  • Often the web serves as a public forum where people can express their opinions which makes it hard to assess the objectivity
  • Information on the web quickly becomes outdated
  • It is hard to tell when the information was produced, etc.

Because of this, you will only receive credit for citing World Wide Web sources that are connected to reputable local, regional (such as Las Cruces Sun-News at, Albuquerque Journal at, or national (e.g. Time, U.S. News, USA Today etc.) publications. If you are unsure about the credibility/reputation of a web site, DO NOT USE IT.

Students with Disabilities
If you have special needs as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, feel free to call Jerry Nevarez, Director of Institutional Equity, at 575-646-3635 with any questions you may have about NMSU’s Non-Discrimination Policy and complaints of discrimination, including sexual harassment. Also, please feel free to call Diana Quintana, Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities, at 575-646-6840 with any questions you may have on student issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. All medical information will be treated confidentially. If your disability requires accommodations on exams, please discuss this with Dr. Armfield and your instructor during the first two weeks of the semester.