As a liberal arts college committed to the Christian faith, Davidson College seeks to liberate men and women of humane instincts, and of disciplined and creative minds for lives of leadership, service and self-fulfillment. Recognizing that the educational process encompasses far more than academic activities, Davidson College believes that its purpose is promoted or hindered by the total quality of life within a college community. The promotion of a climate that is most conducive to the realization of its purpose is the sole reason for the promulgation of a code of responsibility. However, if the violations include an offense that constitutes Sexual Misconduct (as that term is defined below), the charge will be handled by the Sexual Misconduct Board (See Code of Disciplinary Procedures for details).
The Code of Responsibility is based upon the belief that Davidson's educational purpose can best be advanced in a context which emphasizes the responsible use of freedom, as opposed to license. The aim of this Code is to encourage individuals to develop responsible judgment capable of directing their conduct with a minimum of specific prohibitions. An elaborate system of rules strictly enforced might promote a surface conformity to the standards of behavior desired, but would not effectively serve to develop the maturity of character which is the aim of the college. Rather, responsible maturity is more likely to develop when members of the college community are both free and obligated to wrestle with principles of conduct and to accept full responsibility for their own actions and decisions. Specific rules are laid down in this Code only when they seem necessary to prevent actions which would infringe upon the freedoms and well-being of others, or would endanger persons and property, or would be disruptive of community life. Nothing contained in this Code is intended to condone or excuse the violation of any applicable public law or regulation.
Any student, faculty member, administrative officer, employee or guest of the college may charge a student with violation of the Code of Responsibility. These charges are made to the Dean of Students. The Dean may require the charge to be signed. If the Dean determines that further proceedings are warranted, he or she may prepare a formal charge. Violations that result in the filing of a formal charge may be handled by the Judicial Committee or by the Honor Council. However, if the violations include an offense that constitutes Sexual Misconduct (as defined below), the charge will be handled by the Sexual Misconduct Board. (See Code of Disciplinary Procedure for details.)
Section I: Student Integrity
Acts of basic dishonesty, while not dealt with in the Honor Code, may be dealt with by the Honor Council. It is, therefore, 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.
Section II: 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 be graduated or receive transcripts from the College until his or her financial obligations to the College or campus organizations are settled to the satisfaction of the Business Office or those organizations.
Section III: Social Responsibility
Students are expected to develop social skills and relations which are mutually beneficial and which lead to personal maturity. Social conduct is therefore to be based upon concern for others and must conform to high standards of courtesy and propriety. 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.
Section IV: Misconduct Which Affects the Rights of Persons
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, or conduct which might endanger the health and safety of others are prohibited whether on or off campus.
Section V: Harassment
The students of Davidson College are responsible for maintaining an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect. 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. 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, a. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's education or employment; or b. 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 , orientation, age or disability.
Section VI: Sexual Misconduct
Davidson College ("Davidson" or the "College") does not condone and will not tolerate sexual misconduct or sexually exploitative behavior of any kind. The College community is committed to creating and maintaining an environment that is not only free of sexual misconduct, but which promotes a healthy spirit of responsibility, dignity, and respect in matters of sexual conduct. 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.
Sexual misconduct includes any non-consensual conduct of a sexual nature and sexually exploitative behavior. "Non-consensual" means without either explicit verbal consent or overt action clearly expressing consent. Such signals of consent must be mutual and ongoing, as well as offered freely and knowingly. If at any time during a sexual interaction any confusion or ambiguity should arise on the issue of consent, it is incumbent upon each individual involved in the activity to stop and clarify the other's willingness to continue. Non-communication constitutes lack of consent. A verbal "no," even if it may sound indecisive or insincere, constitutes a lack of consent.
Likewise, incapacitation constitutes a lack of consent. By definition, it is not possible for a person to give consent if incapacitated by drugs, alcohol, or other physical or mental impairment; or if they have been threatened or coerced into giving their consent; or if the person is under the age of 16. Engaging in sexual activity with someone who is incapacitated is considered by law and the College to be sexual misconduct. Such behavior runs contrary to the College community's expectation to respect the inherent worth and dignity of another human being. Indications of consent are irrelevant if the person is incapacitated.
Examples of incapacitation include, but are not limited to, being highly intoxicated, passed out, or asleep. Indicators of incapacitation may include the following:
- Slurred speech
- Bloodshot or unfocused eyes
- Unsteady gait
- Outrageous or unusual behavior
- Concern expressed by others about the individual
- Expressed memory loss or disorientation
- Consumption of alcohol, in and of itself, does not relieve a party of responsibility to obtain ongoing consent.
Sexual misconduct encompasses a broad range of behavior, from inappropriate touching to criminal sexual assault. It includes, but is not limited to, any of the following, if non-consensual:
- Sexual intercourse
- Penetration of any body opening with any object
- Touching of intimate body parts such as genitalia, groin, breast, buttocks, or mouth or any clothing covering them
- The removal of another person's clothes
- Touching a person with one's own intimate body parts
- Compelling another to touch one's intimate body parts
For purposes of this policy, Sexual Misconduct also includes sexually exploitative behavior, which occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own benefit, or to benefit anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, engaging in voyeurism; forwarding of pornographic or other sexually inappropriate material via email or otherwise to non-consenting students/groups; and any activity that goes beyond the boundaries of consent, such as recording of sexual activity, letting friends watch consensual sex, and knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student.
For purposes of this policy, Sexual Misconduct also includes sexual harassment. Harassment is conduct that has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a person's work or educational opportunity; creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment; or otherwise negatively affects an employee's or student's work or educational opportunities. Sexual harassment denies an individual dignity and respect and may take on different forms. It includes, but is not limited to:
• Unwelcome verbal, written, or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of that individual's gender (or that of an individual's relatives, friends, or associates);
• Unwelcome threats, derogatory comments, jokes, innuendos, insults, slurs, epithets, negative stereotyping, and other similar conduct that relates to gender; or
• The placement, dissemination, or circulation on campus of any unwelcome written or graphic material (in hard copy or electronic form) that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of gender.
Sexual harassment may further include unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature where:
• Submission to or tolerance of such conduct is made either an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment or student admissions, enrollment, participation, and programming;
• Submission to or tolerance or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment or for academic, athletic, or other educational decisions affecting an individual;
• The conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work or academic, athletic, or other educational performance; or
• The conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.
If an individual has welcomed sexual advances or other harassing conduct (whether sexual or otherwise) by active participation in or encouragement of such activity, he or she should specifically inform the alleged harasser if such conduct is no longer welcome in order for any subsequent conduct to be deemed unwelcome. However, failure to give such notice in no way prevents the college from taking appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action against the alleged harasser for his or her behavior.
The Davidson College Student Sexual Misconduct Policy sets forth and governs procedures for charges involving Sexual Misconduct.
Section VII: Misconduct Which Affects the Property or Rights 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.
Section VIII: Alcoholic Beverages
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 the Davidson 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 Appendix A). Patterson Court houses have a special obligation to promote responsible behavior in regard to the use of alcoholic beverages and to insure that their officers and members know and abide by the laws of North Carolina regarding alcoholic beverages.
Section IX: 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 Appendix B). Students are also expected to know and abide by state laws regarding drugs and alcoholic beverages. The College will not allow itself to become a sanctuary for lawbreakers.
Section X: Weapons, Firearms and Explosives
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 pocket knife 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. The Law of the State of North Carolina states: GS 14-269.2. "It shall be unlawful for any person to possess, or carry, whether openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol, dynamite cartridge, bomb, grenade, mine, powerful explosives as defined in GS 14-284.1, bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slingshot, leaded cane, switchblade knife, blackjack, metallic knuckles or any other weapon of like kind, not used solely for instructional or school sanctioned ceremonial purposes, in any public or private school building or bus, on any public or private school campus, grounds, recreational area, athletic field, or other property owned, used or operated by any board of education, school, college or university board of trustees or directors for the administration of any public or private educational institution. . .Any person violating the provisions of this Act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished in the direction of the Court by fine or imprisonment or by both such fine and imprisonment, not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) fine or six months imprisonment."
Section XI: Response to Campus Police
Because Campus Police are agents of the administration they 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 to show their identity cards to any member of the campus police force.
Section XII: Residence Hall Life
Residence hall living necessarily imposes upon students 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 his/her roommate(s) from his/her room. Cohabitation is prohibited.
Section XIII: 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. (The President issues certain specific regulations regarding the use of the residence halls, general property, parking, etc. These regulations are available from the Dean of Students Office.)
All codes, regulations and procedures for their implementation and adjudication are contained in the Honor Code, the Code of Responsibility, and the Code of Disciplinary Procedures. Copies may be obtained in the Dean of Students Office. Acts of dishonesty which violate the Davidson College Honor Code and other acts which violate the Code of Responsibility and which may occur off campus may, in the discretion of the Dean of Students and Student Solicitors, if available, be grounds for disciplinary action by the College under the procedures outlined in the Code of Disciplinary Procedures.