Code of Conduct
All persons associated with the college share in the common responsibility to create a climate conducive to the pursuit of learning and free inquiry. The college regards students as maturing individuals with a large measure of personal freedom; at the same time, it expects them to accept responsibility for their actions. While Whitman does not attempt to impose a uniform moral standard, it does expect students to conduct themselves honorably and in ways which reflect respect for the rights of the other members of the community. In some instances, the diversity inherent in group living requires some concessions of individual freedoms.
The Student Life Committee, with a membership of six students, three faculty members, and three administrators, reviews all out-of-class student matters and recommends policies. This committee has provided the framework within which living groups have studied and created rules and regulations. Among the general policies stated by the committee are these: 1) students are held individually responsible for maintaining standards of conduct that meet the requirements of decency, the rights of others, the behavior patterns of a democratic society, and the particular needs of the Whitman community; 2) social regulations of whatever origin should ensure adequate consideration for the rights of individual students to privacy and the preservation of individual dignity and comfort, and an atmosphere consistent with, and in furtherance of, the basic educational purpose of the college; 3) all members of the community have the responsibility for adherence to local, state, and federal laws; and 4) residence hall staff members are available to mediate disputes and enforce residence hall regulations.
The Dean of Students Office, through the powers delegated to it by the president and faculty of Whitman College, may make such requirements explicit with specific regulations to whatever extent is considered necessary. The college also reserves the right to change its regulations affecting the student body at any time; such changes apply to all students, including prospective students, those currently enrolled, and former students returning to college.
Students and their parents should realize that the college does not act in loco parentis. Even though regulations exist in order to assure that all members of the college community may participate in their academic pursuits with a minimum amount of hindrance, the college does not control students’ lives. In all of its interactions with the college, students are assumed to be responsible for themselves. While striving to maintain as secure an environment as possible, the college cannot guarantee the safety of its students.
Each living group is responsible for adequate guarantees of the primary use of residence halls and fraternity houses for study and sleeping, and of the fundamental right of each resident to reasonable privacy.
The Board of Trustees has approved several policies – including policies on alcohol use, drug use, sexual misconduct, and sexual harassment – intended to ensure that Whitman College remains an environment based on consideration and respect for the rights of others and designed to support the college’s academic mission. These policies are available in the Whitman College Student Handbook.
Whitman College has included information that you need to know concerning the campus and its policies at www.whitman.edu/righttoknow. This information includes institutional information, alcohol policies, graduation rates, FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), services available to students with disabilities, institutional security policies and crime statistics, and other information that you might find helpful. A printed copy of this information is available upon request from Donna Cummins in the Dean of Students’ Office, Memorial Building 302.