Belonging in Berkeley Political Science

The Department of Political Science is committed to fostering an environment in which all members of the Berkeley community feel empowered to pursue their educational goals in a welcoming environment. We believe that every individual must be treated with equality and dignity as we work together to ensure the success of students, staff, and faculty. While studying the complex world of politics can raise challenging issues as well as differing opinions, we aspire to sustain a culture of mutual respect in which everyone can freely and openly participate in the search for knowledge.

Our Department affirms its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as articulated through the University’s Principles of Community. All members of the Department are expected to uphold these principles, providing fair treatment to students, staff, and faculty, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, ability/disability, national origin, immigration status, or socioeconomic status. We are committed to ensuring that no person is denied academic or professional opportunities.

This page offers information on how our Department engages with issues of climate, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Links to a broad range of campus resources can be found below. Members of our Department can also draw on resources made available through the American Political Science Association (APSA), including the APSA Guide to Professional Ethics in Political Science, the APSA RESPECT Campaign, diversity and inclusion programs in the discipline, and options for responding to sexual harassment in the profession.








University Codes of Conduct

All members of the Department of Political Science are expected to uphold University codes of conduct to help sustain a positive environment in which we treat each other with honesty, integrity, and respect. Everyone should become familiar with the University’s Honor Code, Student Code of Conduct, Faculty Code of Conduct, and Standards of Ethical Conduct.

Department Climate Committee

 Political Science’s Department Climate Committee is tasked with helping to support ongoing efforts to promote equality of access, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Committee members meet regularly and advise the Department’s leadership on climate issues, help formulate solutions to existing challenges, and identify opportunities for fostering a respectful and positive environment for learning, teaching, and research. Appointed by the Department Chair, the committee includes faculty, staff, and graduate students, including representatives of the Department’s student groups, BX4 and WiPS (described below).

The committee members for the 2023-24 academic year are:

Committee members are available to discuss a range of climate-related issues with anyone in the Department. Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to contact them with questions or suggestions. Please note that committee members, though they are not Title IX compliance officers for the University, are required to send reports of discrimination and harassment to the Office for Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). Additional details for submitting reports of discrimination and harassment can be found further below along with information for alternative reporting and conflict resolution mechanisms.

Department Student Groups

Student-led groups play a vital role in ensuring that the Department of Political Science continues to strive to meet the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Additional information on these groups can be found at the links below. 

Brown Bears, Black Bears: Diversity Action Committee (Bx4: DAC): Advocates for the interests of students of color and to promotes diversity within the Department. 

Women in Political Science (WiPS): Provides resources for and promotes the interests of female graduate students and faculty in the Department.

Provide Feedback to the Department

The Department of Political Science maintains an ONLINE FEEDBACK FORM for anonymously sharing concerns about department climate, diversity, or inclusion. Suggestions for improvement are especially welcome. No identifying information is required for submitting feedback. Submissions will be treated as anonymous unless individuals choose to identify themselves.  Submissions will be automatically sent to the Department Chair, Professor Susan Hyde, the Department Climate Committee Chair, Professor Ryan Brutger, and the Director of Administration, Serena Groen. They will jointly ensure that submissions are appropriately directed to the Department Climate Committee or to other relevant University offices to facilitate further action. The Department Climate Committee will use the feedback to help improve conditions within the Department as well as recommend appropriate next steps to address specific issues. 

This feedback form is not a substitute for the University’s formal procedures for reporting harassment and discrimination. Reports of discrimination and harassment will be forwarded to the Office for Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). These formal options for reporting discrimination and harassment are described further below.

University Resources for Responding to Discrimination and Harassment

The University strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment as well as retaliation against anyone filing a complaint for discrimination or harassment. Several campus resources are available for anyone who has experienced discrimination, harassment, or any climate-related issues that impede their right to a respectful and safe environment. Only select resources can ensure confidentiality; these resources are indicated below in brackets wherever available.

Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD): Primarily responsible for receiving and responding to reports of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment and violence. Anyone can submit a report directly to OPHD by email, phone, or in person, as explained at the OPHD reporting page. OPHD provides specific guidance tailored for students, staff, and faculty.

PATH to Care Center: Provides support for victims and survivors of sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, dating and intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation. Offers a 24/7 Care Line for urgent support. [CONFIDENTIAL]

Addressing Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment: Resources to assist in navigating the support services and reporting options available on campus in responding to sexual violence and sexual harassment.

University of California Intolerance Report Form: UC-wide mechanism to file reports of bias, hate speech, and other campus climate issues.

Student & Postdoctoral Ombuds Office: Assists individuals seeking support in resolving campus-related conflicts or concerns. [CONFIDENTIAL]

Staff Ombuds Office: Available to all staff, non-Senate academics, and faculty who perform management functions to help resolve workplace concerns and conflicts. [CONFIDENTIAL]

Office for Faculty Equity and Welfare (OFEW): Provides information and support related to policies governing faculty recruitment, advancement, and well-being.

Division for Equity and Inclusion: Offers programs and services aimed at promoting equity and inclusion for students, staff, and faculty.

University Resources for Support and Advocacy

Transfer Student Center: Provides support services for students who transfer to Berkeley from other colleges and universities.

Disabled Students’ Program (DSP): Ensures students with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations and services.

Centers for Educational Justice & Community Engagement (EJCE): A collaborative of offices and centers that advocate for and support diverse communities, including the following:

Student Parent Center: Provides support services undergraduate and graduate students who are parents.

Financial Aid and Scholarships Office: Provides access to short-term emergency loans to help students meet unanticipated education-related expenses.

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP): Provides support services to first generation, low-income, and underrepresented college students.

Undocumented Student Program: Provides guidance and support to undocumented undergraduates.

University Resources for Health and Wellness

The University provides several resources to assist students with a range of health and wellness issues. Only select resources can ensure confidentiality; these resources are indicated below in brackets wherever available.

Social Services Counseling: Support for students’ immediate needs, whether medical, academic, legal, emotional, financial, or family-related. Tang Center therapists also provide emotional counseling to survivors of sexual harassment and violence. [CONFIDENTIAL]

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): Short term counseling for academic, career, and personal issues and psychiatry services. All registered students can access services regardless of their insurance plan. [CONFIDENTIAL]

Mental Health Handbook: Resource for faculty and staff to support students in distress.

Basic Needs Center: Assists students in accessing essential resources in areas of food, housing, transportation, healthcare, and finance.


This page draws on materials identified by the Departments of Economics, History, Linguistics, and Psychology.