Commitment to Peace and Justice

Some define peace as the absence of conflict and oppression. However, for many Quakers, peace is not an instance but an existence. Peace involves action that works toward harmony, well-being, wholeness, prosperity, health, happiness, fulfillment, security, tranquility, and safety for everyone.

The Quaker peace testimony holds that all forms of violence are an injustice that harms all parties involved, and violence does not provide a path to true, just, and lasting peace. The peace testimony acknowledges that violence exists not only in personal interactions but also in the oppression and harm caused by unjust, unequal, and inequitable institutional and social structures. Here, peace is a direct product of justice, which seeks what is right, equitable, and honorable, and peace cannot exist without justice, as without justice, peace is impossible.

Many thoughtful and moral people disagree with the strong Quaker pacifism that deplores all forms of violence. Still, the Quaker peace testimony challenges Earlhamites to not only deplore violence and injustice but to take action in seeking to resolve, repair, restore, reconcile, reconstruct, relieve, mediate, and heal the harm that has been done.

Practicing peace means taking action towards the pursuit of justice and the common good, undertaken by all and for all. As a community, we aspire to work actively for the building of the institution of peace through an equitable and non-violent resolution of conflict, the removal of causes of violence and injustice, the relief of suffering, the equitable sharing of resources, and the addressing of the roots of conflict and violence in our own behavior. We recognize and accept conflict as a necessary part of life with others, and work from conflict towards more just, non-violent, and sustainable communities.

Students recognize that respecting the dignity of every person is essential for creating and sustaining a flourishing college community. They understand and appreciate how their decisions and actions impact others and are just and equitable in their treatment of all community members. They act to discourage violence and challenge those whose actions may be harmful to and/or diminish the worth of others. Conduct that violates this value includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Harm to Persons. Intentionally or recklessly causing physical harm or endangering the health or safety of any person;
  2. Threatening Behaviors:
    1. Threat. Written or verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health or safety of any person or damage to any property.
    2. Intimidation. Implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm in another;
  3. Hazing. An act that endangers a student’s mental or physical health or safety, or that destroys or removes public or private property for initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. Participation or cooperation by the person(s) being hazed does not excuse the violation. Failing to intervene to prevent and/or failing to discourage and/or failing to report those acts may also violate this policy. Additionally, hazing is a violation of Indiana state law (See Indiana Code35-42- 2-2 Criminal recklessness; element of hazing);
  4. Bystanding.
    1. The Quaker principle of Integrity aims for us to hold each other mutually responsible for living according to our principles and policies. Bystanding is being present but not participating in a situation or event; standing by as a spectator. Depending on the severity of the act, this could result in a learning-based intervention. If students see something wrong, they should step up and say something, particularly in a potentially harmful or severe situation.
    2. Complicity with or failure of any student to appropriately address known or obvious
    3. severe violations of the Commitment to Community or law;
    4. Complicity with or failure of any organized group to appropriately address known or obvious severe violations of the Commitment to Community or law by its members.
  5. Abuse of Conduct Process. Abuse, interference with, or failure to comply with College conduct and academic integrity hearings includes but is not limited to:
    1. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information;
    2. Concealing, destroying, or failing to provide information during an investigation of an alleged policy violation;
    3. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the campus conduct process;
    4. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a campus conduct body before, during, and/or following a campus conduct proceeding;
    5. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the campus conduct process;
    6. Influencing, or attempting to influence, another person to commit an abuse of the campus conduct process.
  6. Health and Safety. Creation of health and/or safety hazards (dangerous pranks, hanging out of or climbing from/on/in windows, balconies, roofs, trees, etc.)
  7. Bullying and Cyberbullying. Bullying and cyberbullying are repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors that intimidate or intentionally harm or control another person physically or emotionally. The College includes the sharing or posting of intimate or graphic images of romantic and/or sexual partners without the express permission of that individual to be a violation of this standard, if not otherwise covered by the College’s Sexual Harassment Policy.
  8. Stalking. Consistent with Indiana law, stalking is defined as a knowing or an intentional course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another person that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened;
  9. Sexual Harassment. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is federal law that prohibits discrimination, harassment, and violence on the basis of sex in federally-funded educational programs and activities. Earlham College prohibits sex- and gender-based harassment and discrimination including, quid pro quo sexual harassment, hostile work environment, sexual exploitation, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. To ensure a safe and inclusive campus environment in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, Earlham has developed internal policies and procedures that provide a prompt, fair, and impartial process for those involved in allegations of sexual harassment and/or retaliation for the assertion of rights. A copy of our Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedures can be found at:;