A healthy academic community is made up of individuals who are actively learning how to be citizens, scholars and leaders. Each and every member has a part in the success of our community.
In choosing to live in the residence halls you have accepted an opportunity and an obligation: the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from a healthy academic community, and the obligation to conduct yourself in ways that help other citizens to do the same.
We who live at Maryland do so with a set of living principles constantly in mind. These principles guide each citizen's conduct and actions to promote the best of what the community has to offer. They also teach us what we can contribute to our future communities.
Each of us must have the sense that we are safe from danger and harm. At no time should we have to fear for our welfare or the security of our possessions or living space. The immediate physical safety of each and every citizen must be the first concern for all of us.
This sense of safety depends largely on the commitment of each citizen and his/her understanding of the utmost importance of safety to community. The loss of the feeling of being safe interferes with everything else; rest, study, recreation, and relationships.
Any act that creates a threat to the safety of others or to one's self, or the failure to act to stop a threat to safety, poses the most immediate and serious conceivable injury to our community. We must be mindful of this before anything else, and we must hold ourselves and our fellow citizens accountable to the most stringent standards for behavior that affects our safety and security.
Each of us must feel that he or she has a rightful and recognized place in this community. This sense of belonging is reinforced when we act toward one another in a civil fashion which affirms the dignity and respect that is due each citizen, regardless of his or her race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability or nationality.
The importance of civility in a healthy community does not demand that we agree with, endorse, or support the values, beliefs or lifestyles of every other citizen. However, our disagreements, objections or differences can be addressed in a civil fashion. The health of the community demands nothing less than this, and the basic level of tolerance that is required of each of us.
If we treat others with abuse, harassment and intolerance, we can injure their dignity and sense of their rightful place in this community, while also hurting our ability to focus on those things we have in common. Our commonalities are extremely important to our community and our civil behavior toward one another in all our interactions insures our ability to return to our common interests.
Living together as closely as we do requires communication and compromise on the conflicts that will likely occur. The varying ways in which we like to rest, study or socialize, and the need to share bathrooms, lounges and lobbies are among the demands of group living.
Living together as closely as we do requires communication and compromise on the conflicts that will likely occur. Our different schedules, the varying ways in which we like to rest, study or socialize, and the need to share bathrooms, lounges and lobbies means that no one of us can have everything exactly the way he or she sees fit.
These are the demands of group living, and we are all responsible and accountable to one another for the flexibility and cooperation that will make this work. Our individual rights are directly tied to our responsibilities to the community, which include reaching agreements on mutual expectations, listening carefully to other individuals when conflicts arise, and coming together as a group to solve community problems when necessary.
By choosing to be safe, civil and cooperative, we allow our community to exist and function. When we get involved in our community, we invest in it; we help it grow, flourish and reach its potentials, and each of us gets a great return.
Our involvement brings about activities and improvements. We socialize, learn, and celebrate together. We provide service to help ourselves and others. We use and develop our abilities as leaders, planners and collaborators.
When we involve ourselves in these ways, not only do we have fun and enjoy the fellowship, we learn things about ourselves that we wouldn?t learn any other way. Finally, by investing ourselves, we educate our newest members about our community, and they learn to perpetuate its best traits.