Amherst College, as a place of teaching and learning dedicated to promoting intellectual and social growth in its students, depends for its effective operation on the personal concern of its members for each other and on the concern of all to maintain the community standards of conduct set forth in this statement. It is each student’s responsibility to contribute to an environment of trust that protects the freedom of all to exchange ideas and to grow. Only in such trust and freedom will it be possible for students to live together and learn from one another.
Every student enjoys the right to full participation in the academic and social life of the College, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, age, political affiliation and/or belief, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, economic status or physical or mental disability. Any instance of failure to realize this expectation undermines the ability of the College to achieve its purposes and diminishes the educational experience of each of its members.
The Amherst College Honor Code consists of the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility, the Statement on Respect for Persons, the Statement of Freedom of Expression and Dissent and the Statement of Student Rights. It is collectively shaped and upheld by students, faculty and staff. At least every fourth academic year, the College Council will review the current Honor Code and, if appropriate, will propose changes to the Honor Code to the campus community. The revised Honor Code will be voted on by the students and, if it passes, by faculty. If it is not favored by the majorities of both, then the current Honor Code will stay in effect while the College Council reviews it again the following year, and it will remain in effect until an alternative version is passed by the majorities of both the students and faculty.
The Dean of Students may publish statements and establish standards as appropriate to further the principles embodied by the Honor Code and/or to comply with applicable legal requirements. Similarly, the Dean of Students may make changes to the Community Standards Adjudication Process as appropriate to address behavior that violates principles embodied by the Honor Code and/or to comply with applicable legal requirements. The Dean of Students will keep the College Council informed of all such actions.
By matriculating at the College, students acknowledge that they have read the Honor Code, including all related statements and standards, and understand their obligations to subscribe to its principles, to respect the rights of other members of the College community and to avoid behavior that violates the community standards embodied in it.
Any student’s behavior alleged to violate the principles of the Honor Code, or rules of behavior elsewhere in the Student Code of Conduct or in other documents of the College, and that is determined by the College to warrant adjudication, will be thoroughly investigated in a manner that protects the rights of all parties to the issue. If a complaint is filed against a student for an alleged violation of the Honor Code, the responding student is entitled to have the complaint resolved through the adjudicatory processes described below. If the student is found responsible at the conclusion of this process, appropriate sanctions will be assigned.
1.1. Statement of Intellectual Responsibility
Every person’s education is the product of their intellectual effort and participation in a process of critical exchange. Amherst College cannot educate those who are unwilling to submit their own work and ideas to critical assessment. Nor can it tolerate those who interfere with the participation of others in the critical process. Therefore, the College considers it a violation of the requirements of intellectual responsibility to submit work that is not one’s own or otherwise to subvert the conditions under which academic work is performed by oneself or by others.
ARTICLE 1. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY
Section 1. In undertaking studies at Amherst College, every student agrees to abide by the above statement.
Section 2. Students shall receive copies of the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility with their initial course schedules at the beginning of each semester. It is the responsibility of each student to read and understand this statement and to inquire as to its implications in their specific course.
Section 3. Orderly and honorable conduct of examinations is the individual and collective responsibility of the students concerned, in accordance with the above statement and Article 2, Section 3, below.
ARTICLE 2. FACULTY RESPONSIBILITY
Section 1. Promotion of the aims of the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility is a general responsibility of the faculty.
Section 2. Every member of the faculty has a specific responsibility to explain the implications of the statement for each of their courses, including a specification of the conditions under which academic work in those courses is to be performed. At the beginning of each semester, members of the faculty will receive, with their initial class lists, a copy of the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility and a reminder of the duty to explain its implications in each course.
Section 3. Examinations shall not be proctored unless an instructor judges that the integrity of the assessment process is clearly threatened. An instructor may be present at examinations at appropriate times to answer questions.
1.2. Statement on Respect for Persons
Respect for the rights, dignity and integrity of others is essential for the well-being of a community. Actions by any persons that do not reflect such respect for others are damaging to each member of the community and hence damaging to Amherst College. Each member of the community should be free from interference, discrimination, intimidation, sexual harassment or disparagement in the classroom; the social, recreational and residential environment; or the workplace. Any behavior which constitutes sexual harassment or other verbal or physical abuse of any member of the community for reasons that include, but are not limited to, race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, age, political affiliation or belief, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, economic status or physical or mental disability will be regarded as a serious violation of the Honor Code, and anyone found responsible for such behavior will be sanctioned (please see also Section 3, College Sexual Misconduct Policy; Section 13, The Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Process; and Section 17, Consensual Sexual Relationships Between Faculty Members and Students).
1.3. Statement of Freedom of Expression and Dissent
Amherst prizes and defends freedom of speech and dissent. It affirms the right of teachers and students to teach and learn free from coercive force and intimidation and subject only to the constraints of reasoned discourse and peaceful conduct. It also recognizes that such freedoms and rights entail responsibility for one’s actions. Thus, every student bears the responsibility to protect the rights of all to express their views, so long as there is neither use nor threat of force nor interference with the rights of others. Demonstrated cases of disruption of classes (whether, for example, by the abridgment of free expression in a class or by obstructing access to the place in which the class normally meets) or similarly of other academic activities will be regarded as serious breaches of this Statement and community standards and will receive appropriate sanctions.
1.4. Statement of Student Rights
Subject to respect for the rights of others, every student enjoys the assurance of the full exercise of those rights expressed in the Honor Code and the preceding three Statements, including, but not limited to, the following specific rights:
1.4.1. The right to engage in the free exchange of ideas.
1.4.2. The right to protest and to dissent in a peaceable manner and to join with others in other nonviolent forms of common action.
1.4.3. The right to complain of injustice and to bring grievances to the appropriate offices of the College without fear of retaliation.
1.4.4. The right to attend functions and to utilize College facilities, subject to prescribed rules.
1.4.5. The right to reasonable peace and quiet in residential and academic facilities and to an atmosphere conducive to work and study.
1.4.6. The right to privacy in one’s assigned room, subject to compliance with the College’s regulations, and to the security of one’s own property and property furnishing the common and public spaces at the College.
1.4.7. The right, when participating in any aspect of life of the College or traveling among the Five Colleges, to be free from harassment for reasons of one’s race, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, age, political affiliation and/or belief, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, economic status or physical or mental disability.