Student Code of Conduct: Rights and Responsibilities

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Student Conduct system is to foster a campus community that supports students, faculty, and staff in pursuing their educational and vocational goals in an environment that promotes concern for the well-being of others, collaborative learning and respect. By observing the guiding principles of the College’s mission statement and Core Values, the conduct system intends to work with students and hearing participants to maintain a system that seeks to determine clarity through a transparent and consistent process that is in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations and the Guilford College Handbook. The conduct system, through the processes for responding to student conduct choices, promotes accountability, self-governance, respect, personal and institutional integrity, honesty, and citizenship.

Student Conduct and Early College Students

Violations of the Student Code of Conduct by Early College students are handled primarily through the disciplinary process of the Guilford County School System. Staff from the Office of Academic and Student Affairs is available for collaboration or consultation.

Disciplinary Authority

The Dean of Students is designated by the College’s President to be responsible for the administration of student conduct. The Dean of Students, in consultation with students, faculty and staff, shall develop policies for the administration of campus discipline. The Guilford Student Body Association, along with several additional faculty and staff members, will normally review the policies and procedures and recommend changes to the Dean of Students.

Self-Governance and Personal Freedom

Guilford College recognizes that students are maturing adults and therefore should receive the respect and assume the responsibilities that come with this status. The College also recognizes that many students come directly from home and secondary school environments that are much more structured than life at Guilford. Personal freedom is both an opportunity and a challenge. We ask students at Guilford to assume the following responsibilities: 

  • take ownership of their actions and expressions of opinion
  • insure that their actions or the actions of others do not infringe upon the rights of others or the fundamental integrity of the living and learning environment that is Guilford College
  • respect the rights of others to the same freedom of expression claimed for themselves through civil discourse regardless of disagreement on matters of substance, taste, politics, or evidence.

The Division of Student Affairs staff members observe and respond to student behavior, and offer guidance, advice and counsel in assisting students to make decisions that impact themselves and the community. Students are expected to be aware of the Core Values of the College and the policies set forth in the Student Handbook. At times, staff intervenes in the lives of students to assist in setting boundaries, especially for those who are unable or unwilling to exercise personal freedom responsibly.

Quakerism and Discipline

In the context of Guilford's Quaker ethos, those faced with disciplinary action sometimes respond with a statement such as, "But I thought Quakers were tolerant!" Quakers do have a history of deep respect for the worth and dignity of each individual as a child of God, but also a history of committed advocacy against those things that stand in the way of a realization of that full humanity: war, slavery, injustice. Quaker "discipline" has always allowed for witnessing against that which "impedes the Light," and at Guilford that sometimes means disciplining those whose behavior harms themselves and the community.

Off-Campus Behavior

Although the College is not legally responsible or financially liable for students’ behavior off-campus, it does reserve the right to take disciplinary action against students when their off-campus behavior violates College expectations and policies or when it impacts the College community. Students participating in Guilford College off campus programs at Guilford College Study Abroad programs are bound by the policies contained in the Student Handbook.

Bystander Policy

A bystander is a person who (either directly or indirectly) has an opportunity to prevent or respond to a situation that they know to be damaging to another person or the community, and does not do so, either by choice or inability to act. 

The harmful role bystanders play during acts of disruption, prejudice, or violence toward others or oneself (i.e. overconsumption of substances) is receiving an increasing amount of attention across the nation. This is particularly true in cases of sexual violence but can include situations where students are witnessing a peer consume harmful quantities of substances, abusive relationships, or cruel or bullying behavior toward others. 

Students are being asked to recognize that they always have a choice: To either become active bystanders who call for help, report, or take action when they see situations that could potentially become violent or unsafe for those involved; or to remain passive bystanders who do none of these things. The conversations that occur during the student conduct process will include an intention to raise awareness of the issues of the role of bystanders in the well-being and health of our community. For every incident that occurs on our campus, there are multiple levels of responsibility. This includes direct and indirect contributions to the situation.