Commitment to Community Standards

winter2013.0850A 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.

Report a Community Standards Violation

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 in among other cultures. All are expected to demonstrate sensitivity for 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.


Members of the Goshen College community are expected to demonstrate individual responsibility by 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. For more information, see the Academic Dishonesty and Grievance Policies.


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.


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 & safety equipment

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

Fraud & 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 time cards, theft of and other misuse of personal or college property, and identity theft.


Students are expected to cooperate with integrity and honesty during an investigation.


Racism is a set of attitudes or beliefs that hold particular racial or ethnic groups superior to others, often resulting in justification of discriminatory treatment or other acts of racism. Racism 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 multi-ethnic. We believe racist attitudes and actions do not demonstrate 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 racism is contrary and inconsistent with the life and teachings of Christ. Therefore, we will resist the pervasive racism of our society by identifying and confronting its evidence.


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; these 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, hookahs, 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.


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 ( Similarly, values and principles inform program, policy and relationships within Student Life.

Additional Content:

Commitment to the GC Community Standards as articulated above is also a commitment to the principles, policies and processes articulated in the following documents

Reporting Forms:

Report a Community Standards Violation

Report Racial Misconduct

Report Sexual Misconduct