Dean of the Faculty

Special Exception for Reasons of Conscience

It is never easy to resolve conflicts between the conscience of an individual and the principles of a group. Colleges are, as they should be, especially sensitive to such difficulties and will always strive to avoid solutions that maximize administrative simplicity or tidiness at the expense of the individual whose actions, expressive of deep personal commitment, do not fit the general pattern. The general rules of the College have been adopted to deal humanely and expeditiously with the normal patterns of Amherst students and faculty. They must not be abrogated easily. On the other hand, there is reason to believe that some students may become involved in actions of conscience that put them into conflict with those rules. In an attempt to resolve such conflicts and without intending to weaken our belief in the general validity of the rules themselves, the Faculty adopted the following motion on April 25, 1972:

 

"When in the view of a professor and the Dean of Students a student is unable to complete assigned work within the deadlines set by College rule as a result of activities outside of the College, and when these activities are clearly ones that the student cannot put aside for reasons of conscience, extensions may be granted for the completion of that work by the Dean of Students with the consent of the teacher involved. (In such cases, a grade of "N" will be entered for the course.) The Dean of Students will consult with the faculty member involved when assigning deadlines."