Guiding Principles

Statement on Free Inquiry and Free Expression
Statement of Non-Discrimination
Terms and Definitions Within this Document
Statement on Privacy and Confidentiality
Statement on Retaliation
 

“The quality of life in a college such as Mount Holyoke relies on the conscious choice of students, faculty, and staff members to commit themselves to active and honorable participation in the creation and preservation of the college community” (Faculty Legislation). To enhance such participation, each person must abide by the principles of respectful and open communication. However, conflicts and misunderstandings may occur. It is important, therefore, to find constructive ways to resolve these various disagreements. 

Statement on Free Inquiry and Free Expression
“As an institution dedicated to seeking intellectual enlightenment and the enrichment of quality of life, Mount Holyoke College believes in the right, indeed the necessity, of free inquiry and free expression for every member of the college community. The College aims to provide an environment hospitable to open interchanges of knowledge and opinion in the terms of reasoned discourse. The citizen’s right to free speech, free movement, free association, peaceful assembly, and orderly protest extends to every member of the College. So do the citizen’s responsibility to uphold the law and the civilized person’s obligation to respect the rights and feelings of others” (Faculty Legislation).

Statement of Non-Discrimination

Terms and Definitions Within this Document
Below are definitions of standard terms used within this policy:

  • Grievant: The person filing the complaint
  • Respondent : Name of the person(s) alleged to be responsible for the offending behavior
  • Compliance Coordinator:  College appointed officials responsible for coordinating the College's compliance with federal and state regulations. Refer to Resources section, page 4, for a listing of the College’s Compliance Officers.
  • Protected Class: a term used to describe an individual or groups individuals with a characteristic that  by federal and/or state law is protected from the discrimination, including harassment.

For the purpose of this document, characteristics of protected classes include age, disability, national/ethnic origin, race/color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Statement on Privacy and Confidentiality
To the best extent possible, the College will attempt to respect an individual’s desire for confidentiality; however, the College may be legally required to take action depending on the nature of the grievance or complaint. The grievant will be informed if, in the course of satisfying this obligation, the College may be unable to comply with the request for confidentiality.The College will respect the privacy of all individuals throughout the grievance process.

Statement on Retaliation

Retaliation against a grievant for having filed a grievance, or against any individual who participates or cooperates in the grievance proceedings, will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.