Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,700 students. Since its establishment in 1837, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked in the top ten liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine.
The Honor Code
As students and alumni proudly attest, the honor system at Davidson is the touchstone of Davidson College, creating an atmosphere of trust in the college community. In addition to faculty and administration support, the students believe in this system, defend it, and shoulder the responsibility for its implementation. Evidence that the system actually works is the open stacks and unguarded doors of the library, the absence of proctors during tests, the self-scheduled final examinations, and the sense that a person's word is his or her bond.
The Honor Code is very simply stated:
"Every student shall be honor bound to refrain from cheating (including plagiarism). Every student shall be honor bound to refrain from stealing. Every student shall be honor bound to refrain from lying about college business. Every student shall be honor bound to report immediately all violations of the Honor Code of which the student has first-hand knowledge; failure to do so shall be a violation of the Honor Code. Every student found guilty of a violation shall ordinarily be dismissed from the College. Every member of the college community is expected to be familiar with the operation of the Honor Code."
Entering students sign a pledge that they will live under the system, which includes the condition that students will report an observed violation. A student who does lie, cheat, or steal is tried under the Code of Disciplinary Procedure.
The Code of Responsibility is the basis of daily life at Davidson and attempts to foster an atmosphere of good conduct by emphasizing "the responsible use of freedom, as opposed to license." Students who violate the rights of others are subject to censure under the Code of Disciplinary Procedure.
The college community believes that these two codes are an integral part of the educational experience, helping students to develop an honorable, responsible lifestyle. The codes produce an atmosphere of trust and freedom unique among American colleges.