Our community is a dynamic, active multicultural community. Our citizens identify themselves in many different ways with distinctions that include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, physical ability, mental ability, class, cultural history, and life experience.
Out of this diversity, we seek to build a community where we are able to balance our desire to explore individual differences with our desire to celebrate common bonds; a community that is equally concerned with our rights as individuals and our responsibilities as members. Our success in this effort depends on each citizen's understanding of those rights and responsibilities as well as one's adherence to the principles upon which our community is built.
Our community is based upon each citizen's practice of the principles of honesty, integrity, decency, civility, equity, and fairness. These principles are crucial to a healthy multicultural community, and create an environment in which:
- each citizen feels he or she rightfully belongs;
- one's dignity and membership is recognized and respected regardless of distinctions in identity;
- the moral and legal rights to free thought, speech, and opinion are encouraged in an atmosphere of mutual acknowledgement and respect;
- judgments by others are made solely on one's conduct, character, and exercise of citizenship and intellect.
Our community and our principles foster multicultural skills in our citizens. We believe that these skills are a fundamental and necessary capacity for every citizen in any pluralistic, multicultural, and democratic society.
We seek to recruit, select, and train a diverse and talented staff that is prepared to meet the complex challenges and demands of our community. We expect every staff member to commit to the demanding tasks of understanding the complexities that a multicultural community poses to daily practice; to be equitable and just in the performance of his or her duties; to receive and serve each individual student with care, candor, humanity, respect, and efficiency.
We expect our staff to model our commonly held principles in the conduct of their duties. Our staff members are expected to commit the energy and thought required to discern between biased and equitable practice in every aspect of their work. Our standards make no allowances for any form of discrimination that is proscribed by professional ethics or law.
Your rightful membership as a citizen of this community is directly tied to your fulfillment of the responsibilities of citizenship. First among these is to recognize the rightful place of every other citizen in our community, and to abstain from acts of abuse, harassment or assault towards others.
It is our belief that any willful attempt to repress, undermine, or otherwise damage any person or group constitutes a legitimate threat to the health and welfare of our community. Such acts are inherently anti-intellectual and contradict the institutional goals of education and enlightenment. As such, discrimination, harassment, intimidation, abuse, assault, verbal or written threats (direct or implied) will be addressed immediately, and dealt with seriously.
Furthermore, we believe that an investment is called for on the part of each citizen in understanding the potential for offense borne of acts of ignorance or indifference. This investment results in a level of individual enlightenment that accommodates both empathy for others and the pursuit of truth. As citizens, you should take advantage of the opportunity to learn from a rich multicultural resource: your diverse peers. Your success in a multicultural society, now and in the future, will be enhanced by your participating in activities that:
- increase awareness of the diversity of cultures and identities around you;
- teach about the importance of dialogue and the mutual commitments to listening and understanding that make it possible;
- focus on the multicultural implications of local, national, and international events and seek to understand their meaning and impact for each of our citizens and our collective community.
We citizens, students and staff alike, face similar challenges as members of this multicultural community. Multicultural environments often present dilemmas that cannot be dismissed or solved with simple answers. We make difficult choices in an attempt to find the best balance between priorities which can be in opposition:
How do we honor and preserve free speech and thought while weighing with care the impact of our speech on fellow citizens?
When should the certainty of what we know to be truth give way to what we learn that may be vexing, confounding, or painful?
How do we discern when individuals should be treated exactly the same in the interest of equality from those times when it is right and proper to treat some differently in the interest of equity?
How do we find common ground while also understanding and accepting things that cannot be reconciled?
When do we speak as one voice and when do we choose to hear many different voices?
How do we preserve the right to belief for each citizen, whether we feel that belief to be enlightened or uninformed, yet expect and enforce limits on actions based on those beliefs?
These are the principles, responsibilities, and challenges that we willingly undertake in our choice to become citizens of this multicultural community. They will help to prepare us for life in a multicultural world. We find them to be both exciting and perplexing, and we regard each other as rightful citizens and fellow learners in our community.