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Policies and Guidelines

Important Guidelines…

  1. At the start of each semester, please sign up for a maximum of ONE conversation circle. We want to make sure that everyone has a chance to join a Circle. If openings still exist at the end of the sign-up period, we will let you know and allow those who are interested to sign up for a second circle.
  2. Attendance Policy: Conversation Circle participants are expected to attend every session except in cases or illness or other unavoidable circumstances. It is ok to miss a circle meeting, as long as you give your facilitator advance notice. However, if you miss a circle two weeks in a row, miss with no notification, or miss more than two times, you may be removed from your Circle. So, if you know you will need to miss more than one or two sessions, you should not sign up. If you are removed from a circle for absences, you will not be allowed to sign up for future conversation circles. You should always give your facilitator advance notice of unavoidable absences.
  3. Please remember that the purpose of Conversation Circles is to improve your English through friendly conversation. We want to make sure that everyone enjoys the program and benefits from it, and that no one feels uncomfortable in their circle as a result of other members’ behavior. So, please observe the following guidelines:
    • Everyone in your circle should have equal opportunities to speak. Please do not dominate the conversation. Try to interact with your circle members and encourage quieter members to contribute to the discussion.
    • Respect the diverse backgrounds and beliefs of your fellow circle members. Be sensitive to topics like politics or religion, and if they come up during your circle, please discuss them in a friendly, non-confrontational way.
    • The Conversation Circles program is not a dating service. It is not appropriate to approach your facilitator or other circle members for dates. Unwanted romantic advances lead to awkward and uncomfortable situations, and can be considered a form of sexual harassment. The University of Michigan defines sexual harassment as unwanted sexual statements (comments on physical appearance, “dirty” jokes, etc), unwanted personal attention (e-mails, texts, visits, pressuring someone for dates, etc.), and unwanted physical or sexual advances (touching, hugging, etc.), whether intentional OR unintentional. It is your responsibility to be familiar with U-M guidelines and to follow them. Consequences for sexual harassment can be severe. More information is available here.