Recently, I applied to attend a workshop of 14 days. I came to know about this workshop from colleague of mine. After a few days, I received an email saying I got accepted, along with that, some procedures that I need to follow. Among the points, one was
Once you join the course, you will also have to sign (i) an agreement that you will be present in each and every event (talk, discussion, practicals, field trip etc.) and (ii) maintaining good conduct and behavior throughout the course with fellow participants/ organizing personnel/ hotel staffs/ speakers etc. Any violation of agreement or any kind of misconduct reported to the organizer will attract strict academic as well as legal action.
The agreement signature issue was not mentioned when I applied for the event. I mailed as there was a line saying "violation of the agreement would lead to strict legal and academic action". Seeing this point, I was a bit concerned, as this point talked about legal action. I have never been to any workshop, or nor have I known anyone speak of any workshop where one has to sign an agreement that he/she has to attend every lecture. I recently communicated a paper, and I feel I may get a review at that time. And right now I cannot afford to anger the reviewer. Hence I wrote an email saying:
Thank you for considering me eligible for participating in the lecture course. I had a query regarding the fourth point which says: "Once you join the course, you will also have to sign (i) an agreement that you will be present in each and every event (talk, discussion, practicals, field trip etc.) and (ii) maintaining good conduct and behaviour throughout the course with fellow participants/ organising personnel/ hotel staffs/ speakers etc. Any violation of agreement or any kind of misconduct reported to the organiser will attract strict academic as well as legal action."
According to (i), there will be an agreement that I have to be present in each and every event (talk, discussion, practicals, field trip etc.). Will there be some consideration in the exceptional cases of physical sickness or if during that time I am asked to review an already submitted work of mine in some journal (since the review period will be time bound, in such a case I may not be able to compulsorily attend each and every event, I may have to work for the review during that time). Since signing an agreement is a serious business and violation of the agreement would lead to strict academic as well as legal action, hence I had to query about this issue.
To this, I got the reply:
Thanks for your query. This course, unlike others is a prestigious and highly demanding one. This is aimed to make every participant as beneficial as possible. This is the reason, why *** is spending this huge amount. This can only happen if the beneficiary participants like you will be alert, responsive and receptive. You should rather be happy and positive to get an opportunity like this, instead of thinking negatively in anticipation of being sick or reviewing papers with a challenging attitude.
I would suggest you to rather take care of your review of manuscript than attending this course. There are many deserving candidates out there who are willing to leave everything behind and simply be attentive to listen and grasp knowledge from world leaders. Think twice, if you are the one who is fit for such course or not. If not, simply withdraw your candidature and we will be very happy to send your participation fee back.
Your candidature will be withdrawn if I fail to hear from you within the next 24 hours on the acceptance of the terms and conditions.
I felt that the reply was a bit rude. Was this reply appropriate? Is there something wrong with my e-mail? I may be wrong, do let me know if you feel the same. I personally felt that the person could have just said that they will be sticking to the rules, instead of going into so much of details. Do correct me if I am wrong...
P.S. I am just a student. I have been in research field for not more than 1.5 years, so I still may not be knowing the drills. My advisor thinks i am wrong in asking this. The *** stars are just used to replace the event name and the organizer name. My main email contains the real names...