Acadenics

Student life

Visit the Student Life department website at goshen.edu/campuslife.

Commitment to Community Standards

A spirit of hospitality

Goshen College is dedicated to fostering a spirit of hospitality on our campus, including all students, faculty and staff and college guests, as part of maintaining a healthy living and learning community. We welcome all students as God’s creation regardless of color, gender, religion, ethnicity or nationality, sexual orientation and social or economic class. In order for a diverse community to thrive, we must recognize our differences and seek understanding and integrity in our relationships. Students and faculty at Goshen College are expected to support an environment of mutual respect and accountability, to care for the personal dignity of others and to have integrity in their conduct and communication.

The spirit of respect and hospitality at Goshen College reflects our character as a Mennonite-Anabaptist liberal arts community of scholarship, teaching, learning and service. We believe that the expression of hospitality is best understood in the life and character of Jesus Christ, who welcomed the Gentile and the Jew, women and men, the poor and the wealthy, the slave and the free, the sick and the healthy. The Mennonite Church promotes a community founded on love and justice in which all persons possess inherent dignity as children of God. Our search for truth and our understanding of complex modern challenges is informed and transformed by the life and teachings of Jesus and the tradition of Anabaptist Christians to be accountable to each other in the context of the church.

Expectations: Individual commitments within community life

Invitation to Christian community

Goshen College is committed to encouraging students in intellectual, social, moral and spiritual growth. Students are invited to engage in a dynamic and life-giving community here and to mature as individuals through respectful relationships in the classroom, the local community, in the broader Christian church and among other cultures. All are expected to demonstrate sensitivity toward others’ convictions, perspectives and struggles.

Within the context of a Christ-centered community, we seek to become:

  • Christ-centered
  • passionate learners,
  • global citizens,
  • servant leaders and
  • compassionate peacemakers.

Expectations

Members of the Goshen College community are expected to demonstrate individual responsibility in showing consideration for the beliefs and feelings of others; abiding by federal, state and local laws; and demonstrating exemplary conduct. When a student’s behavior has direct implications for others and/or the well-being of the campus community, there is cause for community involvement, regardless of where the situation occurs (e.g. home or abroad.)

  • Academic honesty
  • As an academic community that expects integrity, we seek for truth and knowledge by requiring intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching, research and service. As an academic community of integrity, we uphold personal accountability and take action against wrongdoing. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not all inclusive of, the following: plagiarism, cheating on assignments or exams, falsification of data, sabotaging the work of another, and aiding in academic dishonesty of another. The Academic Dean's Office holds students accountable for their academic work.

  • Alcohol
  • Goshen College is an alcohol free campus. The use of alcohol is illegal for minors as defined by state and federal law, and alcohol also may create dependencies, invite an unhealthy escapism, waste money, abuse health and take lives. Abuse of alcohol can also lead to offensive behavior impacting others. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited from the campus and all college-related functions. Students are expected to be responsible for themselves and their peers regarding the use and presence of alcohol.

  • Drugs and illegal drugs
  • Goshen College is a drug free campus. The possession, distribution or use of any illegal drugs, including synthetic substances (i.e. K2, "Spice," etc.) is prohibited. Drug paraphernalia (e.g. bongs, wrappers, etc.) is also prohibited. In accordance with state law, use of prescribed medications outside the supervision of medical professionals is also prohibited. The misuse of any drugs may create dependencies, invite unhealthy escapism, waste money, abuse health and take lives. Misuse can also lead to behavior negatively impacting others. Students are asked to be responsible for themselves and their peers regarding the possession and use of illegal drugs, prescription medications and paraphernalia. Student found in violation of this expectation may be asked to submit to random searches and drug testing. Searches and testing will be determined by reasonable suspicion based on behavioral observations or information from others regarding use or possession determined at the sole discretion of appropriate Goshen College officials.

  • Firearms and fireworks
  • The possession or use of firearms, including pellet, bb or air guns is prohibited on campus. Fireworks are also a safety concern and are not permitted.

  • Fire and safety equipment
  • Tampering with any fire and safety equipment on campus is unacceptable. It is also both a federal and a state offense.

  • Fraud and theft
  • Students are expected to respect the identity and property of others. Examples of fraud or theft include, but are not all inclusive of, the following: dishonesty on timecards, theft of or other misuse of personal or college property, and identity theft.

  • Honesty
  • Students are expected to cooperate with integrity and honesty during any investigation.

  • Racial prejudice
  • Racial prejudice is attitudes or beliefs that hold particular racial or ethnic groups superior to others, often resulting in justification of discriminatory treatment or other acts of racial prejudice. Racial prejudice denies the humanity of others and denies the truth that all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God.

    Goshen College creates a social and academic environment where students develop awareness of issues of race, sensitivity to minority populations and intercultural understanding. The campus reflects God’s world: multicultural, multiracial and multiethnic. We believe that attitudes and actions of racial prejudice do not exemplify the love of Christ, and violate the inclusive intention of the mission of Goshen College.

    As an institution of the Mennonite Church, Goshen College believes that racial prejudice is contrary to the life and teachings of Christ. Therefore, we will resist the pervasive racial prejudice of our society by identifying and confronting its evidence.

  • Sexuality
  • Sexuality is an integral part of our personalities, reflecting who we are as individuals. To care for another person includes honoring and respecting that person as a sexual being. Sexuality cannot be separated from the other dimensions of our lives. It is our understanding that sexual intercourse is to take place within the covenant of marriage.

    Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to discrimination, coercion, exploitation and abuse. These destructive behaviors are detrimental to both relationships and to individual self-esteem; they also violate the caring nature of our community. Goshen College is firmly opposed to sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.

    The goal of accountability in these matters, as in all others, will be for well-being, reconciliation, repentance, forgiveness and redemption. Our counseling and health-service personnel are available to students wishing to discuss issues regarding sexuality or sexual behavior. These conversations will be held in strict confidence.

  • Tobacco use
  • The use of tobacco and nicotine products imposes a serious and unnecessary burden upon the health of the user and community. It also constitutes a fire hazard in some cases. Use of tobacco and paraphernalia (e.g. pipes, hookas, electronic cigarettes, etc) in any form is prohibited on campus or at any off-campus official college activity and strongly discouraged elsewhere.

  • Violence or threats of violence
  • An act or threat of violence against another individual, whether verbal or physical, is unacceptable.

  • Vandalism
  • Any vandalism on campus will be considered offensive behavior. Responsibility for restitution will be expected.

Serious intent

While it is difficult to determine a framework of community standards that completely matches the ideals of each individual, clear expression of commonly held expectations is vital to productive, positive life and work together in a diverse campus setting. Every Goshen College student is expected to show serious intent to live according to these standards.

Values inform our work

As a community of higher education, Goshen College seeks to center its campus life on the Core Values. Christ-centered, passionate learners, servant leaders, compassionate peacemakers, and global citizens are what we seek to become and emulate in our relationships with each other (goshen.edu/aboutgc/mission). Similarly, values and principles inform program, policy and relationships within Student Life.

Five ethical principles in Student Life

Student development theory reflects the typical developmental tasks commonly engaged by young adults during the point in their lives when most students decide to pursue higher education. Most are making decisions and investing in relationships that will impact them for years to come. Student development theory provides a framework for empowering students in these life tasks.

The five ethical principles that inform our work as student life professionals are

  • Autonomy
  • Prevent Harm
  • Do Good
  • Justice
  • Fidelity

In the goal of Autonomy, we recognize the need for students to become increasingly independent. With a clearer sense of self, students develop an increased sense of confidence and self-direction. Students must answer the question, "What does it mean to become independent and responsible?" Secondly, within this increased sense of autonomy, we must Prevent Harm. Safety policies (e.g. Community Standards) are designed to prevent harm to individuals and groups; safety plans (e.g. fire drills) are in place to respond to harmful situations should they occur. However, avoiding harm is not an end in itself; we want to provide the opportunity to Do Good. Student Life promotes positive modeling, direction and leadership opportunities. Student groups, clubs, and events provide opportunities for students to contribute to a life-giving campus life. Interacting within a campus context, we treat each other with equity. Student Life professionals value Justice; recognizing that individuals are different, we retain objectivity in our perception of each other. We also understand that trust is critical for developing relationships. Fidelity is reflected in our commitment to confidentiality, professionalism and knowledge of our abilities and limitations. To be most meaningful, trust and confidentiality is embraced by both faculty and students when engaging sensitive issues.

Response process for violation of Standards

The response process is a positive, restorative means of assisting individuals in achieving their goals by developing a greater sense of responsibility and maturity. In short, the goals are personal growth, resolution of the problems and reconciliation where alienation has occurred. If an individual does not change behavior, then separation from the community may result. The process is designed to assist individuals in monitoring their own behaviors, rather than relying on external rules and regulations.

To view the full "Community Standards," please visit goshen.edu/aboutgc/community/

Housing

The Residence Halls are an integral part of campus life and contribute in many ways to the education students receive. Students live and work in groups in residence halls. All full time students enrolled at GC must live in campus housing unless they meet any of the following requirements:

  • Have 112 or more credit hours posted on their transcript
  • Turn 23 years of age during a given semester
  • Live with parents or an immediate family member

New students' living arrangements are completed during the admission process. Near the end of spring semester, continuing students select residence options from the following list for the next year. See the residence life website for an explanation of the selection process.

  • Residence halls

    All full-time single students younger than 25 are welcome to live in one of three traditional residence halls. Kratz, Miller and Yoder Halls each house both men and women on separate floors. Additional housing options are available for students who have graduated from high school at least two years prior to the first day of classes.

  • Small group housing

    Students who graduated from high school at least two years prior to the first day of classes can live in small group housing. This program offers an opportunity to deepen friendships in a largely self-governing environment. Small groups are responsible for managing and cleaning their own facilities. Students apply as a group during the spring semester for space the following year.

  • Junior/senior floors

    Kulp Hall provides housing for juniors and seniors. This facility is designed to offer increased independence with the convenience of on-campus locations. Eligible students graduated from high school at least two years prior to the first day of classes. Students interested in these accommodations will make their selections in accordance with the residence life lottery system for room selection.

  • Student Apartments

    Apartments are available for students who graduated from high school at least two years prior to the first day of classes. Students must be enrolled a minimum of 9 credit hours. Each apartment is fully furnished and is configured with a kitchen, living area, one or two baths and two-four bedrooms. The fourth floor features a loft area for additional lounge space. Laundry and individual apartment storage spaces are available to students in the basement. Apartments offer increased independence and flexibility within the proximity of campus. Students live in self selected groups and select apartments through an online application form that is available in late March.

Campus ministries

Goshen College encourages growth in faith through worship, Christian community and service. The Campus Ministries office offers both support for students’ faith journeys and challenges to new discoveries in spiritual life. While Goshen is a Christian college rooted in the Mennonite Church USA, we welcome seekers and people of all faiths to attend campus spiritual life activities.

Worship opportunities include chapel services every week, a variety of worship groups that meet throughout the week (Taizé worship, Discipleship Hour, Hymn Club, Unity, etc.), and Sunday morning involvement in local congregations. Christian community sustains students through friendships and in small groups organized by campus ministries that meet for prayer, Bible study, accountability and sharing. Ministry Leaders on each residence hall floor seek to foster a vibrant Christian community of hospitality and dialogue through peer support and regular programmed opportunities.

Interdisciplinary summer internships are available to sophomore and junior students through the Camping, Ministry and Service Inquiry Programs, under the direction of Campus Ministries.

Service projects of many kinds allow students to reach beyond themselves and the campus to show concern for needs of the world. Types of service include the Big Brother/Big Sister program, tutoring, Habitat for Humanity, working with the elderly, housing rehab and collecting supplies to be sent for world relief. During breaks, groups of students travel to service locations.

Facilities that support spiritual development include:

  • Labyrinth – an outdoor space for contemplative prayer, located between East Hall and the Music Center.
  • The Quiet Place and Prayer Room– rooms for individual reflection and small group meetings in the basement of Coffman Hall and in the Church-Chapel building.
  • Witmer Woods and College Cabin– an 18-acre arboretum of plants native to Indiana located across Main street from the campus. The College Cabin, adjacent to Witmer Woods, is available to students for meetings and recreational activities. A Meditation Garden is located near the College Cabin along the Elkhart River. It is a place for quiet reflection and contemplation.
  • Brunk Cabin – a retreat facility in southern Michigan which can house student groups accompanied by a resident assistant.
  • Merry Lea–a 1,189-acre nature preserve located 30 miles southeast of the campus. Picnic areas and eight miles of hiking trails through forests, wetlands and meadows. Geodesic dome and cottages also available for modest rental fees.

Convocations and chapels

Convocations and chapel services gather the campus community to focus on themes that connect with our personal lives and also to the world at and beyond Goshen College. Chapel services foster Christian worship and faith formation. They may include guest speakers, faculty faith stories, hymn sings, or student presentations. Convocations are educational events that promote the mission and core values of Goshen College and overall health and wellness on campus. They may include faculty speakers, guest lecturers, drama or music performances or student presentations by Study-Service Term units.

Chapel and convocation services are both held in the church-chapel, which is also the worship space for College Mennonite Church. Attendance requirements for convocation and chapel are publicized at the beginning of each semester. Students can monitor their attendance record online.

More Student Life programs and services

Academic Resource and Writing Center

The Academic Resource & Writing Center promotes independent, life-long learning for all students of Goshen College. The ARWC assists students with documented disabilities by helping them advocate for themselves and by helping coordinate reasonable academic accommodations with teaching faculty. The ARWC trains peer writing mentors and tutors who are available to help all GC students grow as writers and scholars. ARWC offices are located in the first floor of Good Library.

Alerts system

The Student Life office coordinates an alerts system to identify and provide timely services to students who are experiencing problems that impact their academic performance.

Recreation and Fitness Center

The Roman Gingerich Recreation and Fitness Center is a multi-faceted facility that houses the athletic department, kinesiology department, counseling center, and intramural programs. The building is also available as an individual workout facility for students at no charge from 5 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.Saturday , and 1 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.

Workout facilities include three full-size basketball courts, a 200 meter running track, a variety of cardio machines, a large weight room with Cybex weight equipment, and a climbing wall.

Athletics

Goshen College holds memberships in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Crossroads League. Goshen men compete in baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis and track and field. Women compete in basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

Intramural athletics

Over half the student body participates in the intramural program, which includes one-night tournaments in a wide variety of sports, as well as longer sports seasons of four to six weeks. Sports include soccer (indoor/outdoor), basketball, volleyball (indoor/sand), ultimate frisbee, kickball and more.

Career guidance and employment preparation: Career Services

The Career Services office offers students the skills they need to become employed during college and throughout their lifetime. They help students figure out career direction, confirm a choice of major, and help students connect with employers by presenting themselves well on paper and in person.

Services include career coaching, résumé and cover letter preparation, practice interviews, job search skills, job and internship listings, and alumni connections. They also maintain an extensive website, including a job and internship bank and resources specific to each major.

Students who desire on-campus employment should contact this office, located in the Administration Building on the first floor (Ad 14), within the Student Life offices.

Wellness and Health

Basic services

Goshen Family Physicians provides medical services to GC students and is located a little over 1.5 miles from campus. GFP provides the following services: diagnosis and treatment of illness; physical exams, including pelvic exams; preparation for SST; referral to specialists when indicated; and health and wellness information resources to enable students to achieve personal goals of well-being. Regular fees and insurance coverages apply.

Staff

Goshen Family Physicians is staffed by seven medical doctors and a nurse practitioner, along with nursing staff, and is available 24 hours a day. In addition, a full-time administrative assistant on campus coordinates health and counseling services and can be reached at (574) 535-7474. All interaction with students is strictly confidential.

Counseling

The counseling office, located in the Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center, provides professional, short-term, on-campus counseling services to students on a free and confidential basis. Services support students’ personal, social and spiritual health, while increasing students' ability to succeed academically. The counseling office provides individual, couple and group mental health counseling, wellness education, crisis intervention and referral to community providers.

Commuter student program

The Commuter Student Lounge is located at the south end of the Union building. The lounge has a kitchenette, work tables, study rooms, lockers and WiFi. The commuter student club meets regularly to discuss special interests and concerns of students who live off campus.

Orientation and first-year learning communities

Orientation activities are offered for all new students. Fall orientation includes special activities for intercultural students, transfer students, first-year students and parents. An abbreviated orientation is also offered to new students in spring semester.

First-year students participate in specially designed Goshen Core courses in both fall and spring semester. In the fall semester course Identity, Culture and Community, the focus is on the college experience: understanding the Goshen Core curriculum, personal identity, and cultural markers within the broader campus community. The spring semester Learning Community focus is on the academic major and career, informed by Christian faith and service. Students create electronic portfolios to document their learning and their co-curricular and leadership involvement throughout the college experience.

Student activities

Assistant Directors of Residence Life oversee the Campus Activities Council (CAC) and collaborates with other departments to hold social and recreation events on campus. CAC sponsors a variety of events that include, but are not limited to: Kick-Off (bi-annual talent competition), Hour Afters, movies on the lawn, cosmic bowling, themed dances, and various other late-night activities.

Student government and clubs

The student body is represented by the Student Senate. A five-member cabinet is elected each spring to lead the next year’s Senate of campus group representatives and residence hall representatives. Student Senate appoints members to campus committees where students are actually involved in making decisions side by side with faculty and administrators. The Senate also manages all club funds for various student clubs and organizations.

In most cases membership is open to any interested student. New clubs or organizations may be formed with the approval of Student Senate. Following is a partial listing of groups that meet currently:

  • 8 Ball Society
  • Arab and Middle East Club
  • ASL Club
  • Black Student Union
  • Campus Activities Council
  • Campus Ministries Team
  • Climbing Club
  • Community Garden Club
  • Commuter Club
  • Eco-Pax
  • Enactus
  • Extempore
  • GC Coffee Club
  • GC Nursing Students Association
  • GC Players
  • GC Service Club
  • Goshen Student Women’s Association (GSWA)
  • Hymn Club
  • International Student Club
  • Knitting Club
  • Latino Student Union
  • Pax
  • Ping Pong Club
  • Poetry Club
  • Pre-Medical Club
  • PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America)
  • Salsa Club
  • Sidestage
  • Soccer Club
  • Social Reform Club
  • Social Work Action Association
  • Student Art
  • Student Senate
  • Swing Dance Club
  • Tutors and Mentors Club
  • Yoga Club

Parents program

The Student Life office sponsors a parents program which provides avenues for parents to learn about their student’s education and to communicate with administrators and faculty. Programs and services include a newsletter and a web site especially for parents at www.goshen.edu/parents/.

Withdrawal procedures

Student Life staff works closely with full-time students who must withdraw from college for medical or other reasons. See the Academic policies section of the catalog for detailed information.

Privacy rights

Student Life staff members honor the national FERPA law, which protects individual student information. See the Academic policies section for more details.