Living in Community

Iowa State University is a community of persons from diverse cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. Each person is a unique individual, drawn from the broad spectrum of our society. As a member of the residence hall community, you have the opportunity to contribute to and learn from the other members of your community.

We must each strive to understand the individuality and life choices of those among us. We can best learn from one another in an atmosphere of positive encouragement and mutual respect. As we engage in our daily activities and interactions, we must possess a genuine desire to learn from others. In addition, we must give others the respect which we, ourselves, desire. We therefore encourage students to exercise their freedom of speech in a manner that demonstrates maturity and respect

The principle of free exchange and inquiry is fundamental to the educational process. The Department of Residence supports each individual's right to hold, defend, and express his or her ideas and opinions. As in any community, there will be points of view expressed that you can support and those that you cannot support. Free and open dialogue with other persons in your community may change your point of view on some issues and serve to strengthen your belief in your original position on other issues. Either way, the interaction with other community members will strengthen your ability to recognize, understand, and appreciate individual differences.

While we have a commitment to not deter free speech, we must make a commitment to confront those individuals who use their free speech and/or expression as a platform for hatred, intimidation, and humiliation. We must as a community realize that harassment, intimidation, and humiliation exist. The Department of Residence has an expectation that as part of everyday life students and staff challenge the misunderstandings and misinterpretations that cause racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia. We must also challenge the expression of hatred and the actions that result from this demeaning behavior. It is our belief that one's actions demonstrate one's commitment to respecting the differences among individuals. We are individually and collectively responsible for our behavior and accountable for our actions. Each of us must take the initiative and responsibility for our own learning and awareness of the differences that exist in our community and avoid all actions that diminish others.

Bigotry and hatred will be given no home within our university housing community. There is no place in our community for verbal or written abuse, threats, intimidation, violence, or other forms of harassment against our members. Ignorance, false humor, anger, alcohol, and substance abuse will not be accepted as excuses, reasons, or rationale for such behavior. We strive to develop and support a learning environment free from all expressions of bigotry, so each of us can enjoy genuinely equal opportunities to live, work, and learn.

All of us who work and live in the Iowa State student housing community have chosen to be here. Each of us is responsible for his or her own behavior and accountable for his or her actions. Our actions demonstrate our commitment to respecting the rights of all members of our community. Thus, we must commit ourselves to these principles which are the basis for our purpose, value, and worth.