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A. Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

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Faculty Handbook Revision Approved by the Knox College Faculty, April 9, 1973

Faculty regulations on student social (nonacademic) conduct state that the College expects its students to be responsible citizens and to cooperate in creating a campus community in which the objectives of the College may be most fully realized.

Students who violate College social (nonacademic) rules or principles of conduct are subject to disciplinary procedures or penalties established by the faculty through the Student Life Committee. All disciplinary actions are subject to review by the President. As a general guide for living in the Knox Community, the faculty adopted the following policy statement on April 9, 1973.

Faculty, students, administrators, staff and trustees of Knox College have an obligation to fulfill the responsibilities incumbent upon all citizens. They also have the responsibilities of their particular roles within the academic community. All members share the obligation to respect:

  1. The fundamental rights of others as citizens,
  2. The rights of others based upon the mature of the education process,
  3. The rights of the institution,
  4. And the rights of members to fair and equitable procedures for determining when and upon whom penalties should be imposed for behavior contrary to campus regulations.

These are listed in detail below.

  1. As citizens, members of the Knox Community enjoy the same basic rights and are bound by the same responsibilities to respect the rights of others, as are all citizens.

    Among the basic rights are freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, freedom of political beliefs and freedom from personal force and violence, threats of violence and personal abuse.

    Each member of the Knox community has a right to organize his or her personal life and behavior, so long as it does not violate reasonable standards of conduct, established to safeguard the educational process.

    The Campus is not a sanctuary from the general law.

  2. All members of the Knox community have other responsibilities and rights based upon the nature of the educational process and the requirements of the search for truth and its free presentation. These rights and responsibilities include:
    • the obligation to respect the freedom to teach, to learn and to conduct research and publish findings in the spirit of free inquiry;
    • the obligation of the teacher not to divert significant time to material extraneous to the subject matter of his or her course;
    • the obligation not to interfere with the freedom of the members of campus to pursue normal academic and administrative activities, including freedom of movement;
    • the obligation not to infringe upon the rights of all members of the campus to privacy in offices, laboratories and residence hall rooms and in keeping of personal papers, confidential records and effects, subject only to general law and to conditions voluntarily accepted by the members of the campus community; records on its members should contain only information which is possibly related to the educational purposes or safety of the campus;
    • the obligation not to interfere with a member?s freedom to hear and study unpopular and controversial views on intellectual and public issues;
    • the right to identify oneself as a member of the campus and a concurrent obligation not to speak or act on behalf of the institution without authorization;
    • the right to be heard and considered at appropriate levels of the decision-making process about basic policy matters of direct concern.

    Members of the community who have a continuing association with the institution and who have substantial authority and security have an especially strong obligation to maintain an environment conducive to respect for the rights of others and fulfillment of academic responsibilities.

  3. The institution has right and responsibilities of its own. The rights and responsibilities of the institution include:
    • rights and obligations to provide and design an open forum for members of the campus to present and debate public issues;
    • the right and obligation not to take a position, as an institution, in electoral politics or on public issues, except on those issues which directly affect its autonomy, the freedom of its members, its financial support and its academic functions;
    • the rights and obligations to protect the members of the campus and visitors to it from physical harm, threats of harm or abuse; its property from damage and unauthorized use; and its academic and administrative process from interruption.

  4. All members of the Knox community have a right to fair and equitable procedures which shall determine the validity of charges of violation of the College regulations. Members of the campus charged with or convicted of violations under general law may be subject to campus sanctions for the same conduct, in accord with campus policies and procedures, only when the conduct is in violation of a College rule, essential to the continuing protection of other members of the College, or to the safeguarding of the educational process.

Respect for Others

Perhaps the best general guiding principle for any residential academic community is one which emphasizes tolerance for a diversity of ideas and the necessity of mutual sensitivity and respect in interpersonal relationships. Special care should be taken to avoid actions or words which suggest racial prejudice, sexism or prejudice of any other nature.

Common courtesies and respect for the dignity of others go a long way toward making community life what it ought to be. Fighting, hazing, physical attacks or intimidation perpetrated against any member of the College community will not be tolerated.

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Printed on Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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