Student Rights & Responsibilities
The Code of Responsibility is based upon the belief that Davidson’s purpose can best be advanced in an education environment that emphasizes the responsible use of freedom within a community that values integrity and mutual respect.
Therefore, rather than detailing an elaborate list of rules, the Code of Responsibility defines basic principles the college expects all students to adopt so that everyone can freely develop and exercise responsible judgment.
Acts that violate the Residence Life Policy Handbook, Honor Code or the Code of Responsibility and which may occur off campus may, at the discretion of the Dean of Students Office and Student Solicitors, be grounds for disciplinary action under the procedures outlined in the Code of Disciplinary Procedures.
Upon entry to Davidson, students adopt the following Statement of Community Responsibility under the Code of Responsibility:
I. We are a community of learners who value personal and intellectual honesty.
It is the responsibility of teacher, administrator, and student to create a climate at Davidson which encourages learning and the development of relationships characterized by integrity. Such a climate requires personal discipline and scholarly integrity. For example: A student who represents himself or herself with a false identification card may be charged with an act of dishonesty. The false use of a Davidson I.D. card constitutes the misuse of an official college document.
II. Our actions reflect maturity, social responsibility, and respect toward others.
Social responsibility Students are expected to develop social skills and relationships which are mutually beneficial and which lead to personal maturity. Social conduct is therefore to be based upon concern for others. For example, students have the obligation to avoid any action which might impair the well-being or reputation of guests. Residence hall units, fraternities, and other social organizations have a special responsibility to promote these standards of conduct.
Financial responsibility Since financial integrity is an essential part of maturity, it is expected that every student will satisfactorily settle all outstanding financial obligations. No student may graduate or receive transcripts from the college until their financial obligations to the college or campus organizations are settled to the satisfaction of the Business Office or those organizations.
Respecting others and their rights The students of Davidson College are responsible for maintaining an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect. To that end, students will not engage in any form of activity which intentionally or recklessly results in physical injury to any person on College premises or at College sponsored activities, or which interferes with the rights of visitors or members of the community. Physical abuse, threats of violence, hazing, or conduct which might endanger the health and safety of others are prohibited whether on or off campus.
Respecting community space and property of others It is the responsibility of students to respect the property and rights of others. Therefore, students will not engage in any form of activity which results in or might naturally result in (1) damage to property, (2) interference with the rights of members of the community or visitors, or (3) interference with the normal activities of the College. Damage to information on computers will be viewed in the same manner as damage to property. Since a person keeping information on computers has the right to assume its privacy, students will thus not engage in unauthorized review, transfer, or alteration of information on computers.
III. We value individual differences and will not tolerate harassment or discrimination.
Harassment is unwanted behavior that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person's or a group of persons' educational, work, social or living activities. As such, it violates this code and, in some cases, federal or state law.
Harassment can take many forms. Types of harassment include:
- Peer harassment involves persistent, intentional degradation, intimidation, or abuse of another person.
- Quid pro quo harassment involves abuse of one's power, authority, or position such that,
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's education or employment; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting the individual's welfare.
- Hostile environment harassment involves conduct that substantially interferes with an individual's educational, work, social, or living environment.
- Discriminatory harassment involves conduct of an offensive, demeaning, intimidating, or hostile nature based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender (including pregnancy and parenting), orientation, age or disability.
Sexual misconduct, relationship abuse and violence, and stalking Davidson College does not condone and will not tolerate sexual misconduct, sexually exploitative or harassing behavior of any kind, stalking, or relationship abuse or violence. The college community is committed to creating and maintaining an environment that is not only free of sexual misconduct, stalking, and relationship abuse and violence, but which promotes a healthy spirit of responsibility, dignity, and respect in matters of sexual conduct and interpersonal relationships. Davidson students share an ethical tradition of abiding by the highest moral standards, taking responsibility for their actions, and treating people with integrity and respect.
IV. Our actions show respect for health and well-being.
Legal and responsible use of alcohol. Davidson College expects to operate in accordance with the laws of the State of North Carolina. Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages by anyone under twenty-one years of age is forbidden by the State of North Carolina. The use, sale, and possession of alcoholic beverages on campus is subject to this law. Davidson students and organizations are expected to be familiar with the Davidson College alcohol policy and to operate within that policy (See the full Alcohol and Other Drug policy for additional information). Patterson Court houses have a special obligation to promote responsible behavior regarding the use of alcoholic beverages and to ensure that their officers and members know and abide by the laws of North Carolina regarding alcoholic beverages.
Drugs. The use of alcoholic beverages and of certain drugs is potentially disruptive of the community and harmful for the user. The college disapproves of the illegal use of either. Disruptive conduct will be dealt with as such, whether connected with the use of drugs, including alcohol, or not. The college will seek, by education and counseling: (1) to prevent the illegal use of drugs, including alcohol, (2) to prevent harmful legal uses of drugs, including alcohol, and (3) to help students suffering from undesirable effects of the abuse of drugs, including alcohol. Misuse of drugs, including alcohol, by any student is grounds for disciplinary action by the college (See the full Alcohol and Other Drug policy for additional information).
Students are expected to know and abide by state laws regarding drugs and alcoholic beverages.
Community and public safety. The possession or use of firearms, weapons and explosives poses a serious threat to the safety of the other members of the community. Their possession, use, or display is not allowed on campus. Moreover, other objects used in a threatening manner could be considered weapons. For example, the menacing display of a pocketknife could be seen as a threat to the safety of others. Students are expected to be cognizant of state laws concerning firearms, weapons, fireworks, and other explosives. (See NCGS 14-269.2 and 14-284.1).
Response to campus officials. Campus officials are to be treated with courtesy and respect by all members of the community. It is the responsibility of students to comply immediately with a request from a campus official.
V. We honor Davidson by upholding the policies that support our community standards.
Residential living. Residence hall living necessarily imposes upon student’s obligation of courtesy and respect for others. The preservation of property and the maintenance of conditions conducive to study and privacy are corporate and individual responsibilities of those living within residence hall units. Every student residing in college housing has the right to exclude at any time anyone other than their roommate(s) from their room.
Campus regulations. Realizing the requirements of harmonious community life, Davidson College recognizes the need for certain detailed procedures regarding the operation of the community which nonetheless should be distinct from this code. Every member of the college community is expected to be familiar with the campus regulations.
Rights of the Respondent
Any student (a “Respondent”) alleged to have violated the Honor Code or the Code of Responsibility subject to disciplinary proceedings before the Code of Responsibility Council or the Honor Council will be afforded the following rights:
- To be assumed not responsible unless and until proven otherwise by a clear and convincing information standard.
- A prompt, fair, and impartial case resolution process, meaning a process that:
- Is completed within reasonably prompt timeframes
- Is conducted in a manner that is consistent with college policy
- Includes timely notice of meetings at which the Respondent may be present
- Provides timely access to information that will be used during the complaint resolution process
- Is conducted by individuals who do not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against the Respondent.
- To be informed in writing of the charges against them and given adequate time to prepare their cases. (See specified times in Code of Disciplinary Procedures, Part III, Sections E and H.)
- In referrals to the Honor Council, the right to the advice and assistance of the Defense Advisors.
- To receive written notification of the result of the complaint resolution process (subject to any redactions required by federal law)
- To present relevant witnesses and ask questions of the witnesses at disciplinary hearings
- An outcome based solely on information presented as part of the complaint resolution process
- Preservation of privacy, to the extent possible and allowed by law
- When applicable, to not take any reviews or examinations between the time they are charged and two days after the outcome is delivered
- To share or to not share information about their involvement in the reported behavior, without being charged with lying in relation to the information they share as part of the complaint resolution process. However, the hearing officer or disciplinary body may request other students to share information about their behavior, and the Respondent may be subjected to more severe sanctions for lying about the facts of an incident or referred for a potential violation of the Honor Code.
Rights of the Complainant
Complainants/reporting parties are afforded the same rights as a Respondent and have the right to be present during any hearing.
Mutual Resolution Process
The Mutual Resolution process allows for the Respondent to discuss the alleged violation informally with a Dean or their designee and, when appropriate, resolve the case without referral to the Code of Responsibility Council. If the Dean or their designee determines the mutual resolution is an appropriate option to resolve the case, they will offer the Respondent the option during the administrative conference.
The Respondent will have three (3) days to respond to an offer of mutual resolution. A Respondent who accepts the mutual resolution must:
- Voluntarily accept the determinations on responsibility and sanction(s) proposed by the Dean or their designee;
- Waive their right to a Code of Responsibility Council Hearing; and
- Waive all appeal rights
If the Respondent does not accept the proposed mutual resolution option, the Dean will refer the case to a Code of Responsibility hearing for resolution.
Code of Responsibility Council
The function of the Code of Responsibility Council is to hear and determine all charges of violation of the Code of Responsibility presented on referral from the Dean or their designee.
The Code of Responsibility Council is composed of a Dean, who will act as Chair, a faculty or staff member randomly chosen from the Student Conduct Council, and three students randomly chosen from the Honor Council.
Still have questions? Contact the Dean of Students Office or review our list of frequently asked questions.