Haverford College Honor Code

Haverford College

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    Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
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Our adherence to this written expression of our shared values establishes an open environment of learning and growing through personal and community responsibility. Because we subscribe to these values, we commit as members of the Haverford community to follow the Honor Code.


[T]he Code requires discussion that is active, inclusive, responsible, and safe for all students given the omnipresent variables of power and privilege and the imbalances they create. We understand conduct that is not in line with these values inherently damages the community and thus violates the Code. Confronted students using the idea of ‘respect’ as grounds to silence and/or invalidate the experiences of harmed parties, including invalidating experiences of harm by claiming discrimination against a privileged identity (e.g., claims of reverse-racism), or refusing to reflect on their actions also violates the Code. We recognize that for parties harmed by acts of discrimination, microaggression, and harassment as defined below, their experiences of harm should not be silenced on the basis of the confronted party’s discomfort. Reckoning with privilege is a difficult process, and discomfort is a necessary element that cannot and should not be avoided. Using one’s political beliefs to justify disrespectful or discriminatory words or actions is also a violation of the Code.

In particular, we recognize that acts of discrimination, microaggression, and harassment, including, but not limited to, acts of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, tokenism, cultural insensitivity, discrimination based on citizenship status, discrimination based on religion, and discrimination based on national origin, accent, dialect, or usage of the English language are devoid of respect and therefore, by definition, violate this Code. Further, we commit to being actively anti-racist, not just passively “not racist.” As such, we commit to continually educating ourselves, holding others accountable, and practicing anti-racism in our daily lives. This includes, but is not limited to: rejecting anti-Blackness, recognizing white privilege, challenging structures of whiteness and white comfort, and crediting the work of BIPOC and especially women of color. This commitment should not be treated passively, as passivity condones white supremacy and the multitude of systems it creates.

We also recognize that a person’s political opinions are necessarily intertwined with their values and outlook, and thus influence their practices, which may violate the Honor Code. As such, students must be respectful of community standards when expressing political opinions. As the Social Honor Code applies to all of our interactions at Haverford, engagement in political discourse falls within its jurisdiction, and political beliefs may not be used to excuse behavior that violates the Code. If we find that our political beliefs perpetuate discrimination, we are obligated to re-evaluate them as we would any of our beliefs that perpetuate discrimination.


As part of the Haverford community, we are obligated to reflect on our own actions as well as the actions of those around us in light of their effect on the community and confront others when their conduct disturbs us. We must also report our own breaches to Honor Council if it becomes clear through self-reflection or through expressions of concern by others that our academic or social conduct represents a violation of community standards. We are obligated to report ourselves even if doing so may result in consequences for the breach of trust.