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Principles of the Community

In June of 1980, the Board of Trustees endorsed the following “Principle of Community” for Dartmouth College:

The life and work of a Dartmouth student should be based on integrity, responsibility and consideration. In all activities each student is expected to be sensitive to and respectful of the rights and interests of others and to be personally honest. He or she should be appreciative of the diversity of the community as providing an opportunity for learning and moral growth.

This statement provides a basis for interaction between and among all members of the College, and each of us is expected to be mindful of it in pursuing our own interests as members of this community.

Because the Principle of Community is a statement of aspirations and values and not a promulgation of rules, it cannot be the basis of a disciplinary hearing. It should be understood in the context of the Principle of Freedom of Expression and Dissent (below) as well as Dartmouth’s Standards of Conduct, which prohibit behaviors such as threats, harassment, disorderly conduct, coercion, hazing, and causing physical harm. As stated in the preamble to the Standard of Conduct, other behaviors that are not violations, but are nonetheless rude, disrespectful, intolerant, obnoxious or offensive, are still taken seriously by the College. The many effective responses to redress the negative impact on individuals and the community may include expressions of disapproval in the exchange of different ideas through free and open discussion and debate.

Freedom of Expression and Dissent

Freedom of expression and dissent is protected by College regulations. Dartmouth College prizes and defends the right of free speech and the freedom of the individual to make his or her own disclosures, while at the same time recognizing that such freedom exists in the context of the law and in responsibility for one’s actions. The exercise of these rights must not deny the same rights to any other individual. The College therefore both fosters and protects the rights of individuals to express dissent.

Protest or demonstration shall not be discouraged so long as neither force nor the threat of force is used, and so long as the orderly processes of the College are not deliberately obstructed. Membership in the Dartmouth community carries with it, as a necessary condition, the agreement to honor and abide by this policy.

The Academic Honor Principle

Fundamental to the principle of independent learning are the requirements of honesty and integrity in the performance of academic assignments, both in the classroom and outside. Dartmouth operates on the principle of academic honor, without proctoring of examinations. Any student who submits work which is not his or her own, or who commits other acts of academic dishonesty, violates the purposes of the College and is subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including suspension or separation.

Equal Opportunity

Dartmouth College is committed to the principle of equal opportunity for all its students, faculty, employees, and applicants for admission and employment. For that reason Dartmouth does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, military or veteran status in its programs, organizations, and conditions of employment and admission. (Dartmouth College refers to the entire institution, including the professional schools, graduate programs, and auxiliary activities.)

Last Updated: 10/5/09