St. John’s College is an academic community with the goal of liberal education. According to the Polity, the college’s governing document, the college’s purpose is to bring students into a community of inherited customs, intellectual traditions, and friendship, and the campus community itself is a part of that wider community. Our ability to govern ourselves rests on the observance of two principles, those of responsibility and honesty.
All members of the college community share the responsibility to uphold standards of decency and civility and maintain living conditions that are conducive to study and learning. Therefore, the college expects every student to abide by all of the rules of residence and refrain from misbehavior, even that which is not mentioned explicitly in the Community Standards. It expects every student to exhort fellow students to follow the same code, and also expects all students to report their own misdeeds, try to persuade others to do the same, and report the misdeeds of those who cannot be persuaded.
The college expects community members to be honest. In the main, there are two forms of dishonesty: lying and withholding information. The college expects students not to do either, either about themselves or their fellow students. Underlying both these principles is the understanding that the wellbeing of the campus community, which is composed largely of students, depends primarily on personal self-regulation through public-spirited acceptance of the common good, whether or not it is specified in written institutional regulations.
Most of the policies contained in this edition of the Student Handbook have been in effect for some time. When policies have been changed, the Dean, Assistant Dean, and Executive Director of Campus Health & Wellness have consulted with other college officials, with legal counsel when necessary, and with students when possible. Students are encouraged to report inaccuracies or omissions in the Handbook to the Executive Director of Campus Health & Wellness, and suggest ways in which our present policies may be improved, so that by working together, we can achieve and maintain a community that is most conducive to the learning and practice of the liberal arts.