Earlham College, founded by the Religious Society of Friends, believes ideals that guide us are best encountered in a community of openness and mutual respect. Educational communities exist as an opportunity to discover and test truth. Because each person brings different knowledge and perspectives, truth-seeking is best fostered within community. As a result, the individual at Earlham has a great many opportunities, rights, and responsibilities. As active, engaged members of this community, we come to know our interdependence and connectedness. As such, we strive to create, contribute and care for all in our community, intentionally listening for perspectives that may not be present or heard.

We aspire toward a commitment to celebrating each other, diversity, equitable opportunities, and resources.

Earlham strives toward a caring community that seeks its members’ intellectual, physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being. Discerning the needs of others is an important dimension of learning. As members of a community, we aspire to consider one another in all our choices – including the use of our words, actions, resources, and decision-making processes.

In consultation with one another, we have the potential to make better decisions than individuals alone or majorities, which may ignore minority views. Differences can be sources of growth and new insight. Quakers’ belief in “the inner spirit of truth” means that all people have the potential to discover truth. Accordingly, we consult broadly, value diverse opinions, and intentionally aim to include various voices in seeking consensus in decision-making.

In Earlham governance, committees charged with decision-making operate with consensus. Most student groups also use a consensus process. There are particular times and situations when an individual (i.e., the President, Cabinet member, or Trustee) is charged with making a decision. In either case, those responsible should invite input, consult broadly, and listen carefully, especially to those who deeply understand the situation or may be affected by the decision. Consensus-seeking assumes that all who participate are willing and open to finding a basis for right action, whether an affirmation, recommendation, or decision. Those participating are encouraged to commit to shared deliberation and insight rather than to their own opinions. At the same time, they should be mindful of voices and perspectives that may not have been evidenced during the process but are present within our community. Given the breadth of diversity within the Earlham community, we encourage the decision-making process to be as inclusive and equitable as possible.

Because our governance system designates various responsibilities to individuals, committees, small groups, and the community as a whole, consensus does not require that every person participates in every decision. Respect for Persons and Integrity ask that community members trust the process and the faithful participation of others, even when they have not directly participated. At the same time, these principles ask us to discern when to raise concerns and when not to. These practices, as a reflection of our principles, will strengthen our community and improve our learning and living from and with each other, where diversity, equity, and inclusion ground our daily engagements.

Quakers strive towards a community of caring that seeks its members’ intellectual, physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being. Therefore, an important dimension of learning to which 

Quakers aspire is discerning the needs of others. Earlham College students build and enhance their community by concern for human and global resources. As members of a community, we consider the well-being of others in all our choices. Conduct that violates this value includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Disruptive Behavior. Students at Earlham College have the right to express their views, feelings, and beliefs inside and outside the classroom and publicly support causes, including demonstrations and other means. These freedoms of expression extend so far as the conduct does not impinge on the rights of other community members or the orderly and/or essential operations of the College. Substantial disruption of college operations, including obstruction of teaching, research, administration, other college activities, and/or other authorized non-college activities which occur on campus. Causing, inciting, or participating in any disturbance that presents an unsafe situation to self or other members of the community, causes physical harm to others, or damage and/or destruction of property;
  2. Unauthorized Entry. Misuse of access privileges to college premises or unauthorized entry to or use of buildings, including trespassing, propping, or unauthorized use of alarmed doors for entry into or exit from a college building;
  3. Trademark. Unauthorized use (including misuse) of college or organizational names and images, including appropriating the College name for organizations or activities outside of the College recognition process;
  4. Damage and Destruction. Intentional, reckless, and/or unauthorized damage to or destruction of College property or the personal property of another;
  5. IT and Acceptable Use. Violating the College Acceptable Use and Computing Policy, found online at:;
  6. Gambling. Gambling as prohibited by the laws of the State of Indiana. Gambling may include raffles, lotteries, sports pools, and online betting activities. Recognized clubs and organizations must seek approval for fundraising through raffles or similar means from the Student Life Office.
  7. Weapons. Possession, use, or distribution of explosives (including fireworks and ammunition), guns (including air, BB, paintball, facsimile weapons, and pellet guns), or other weapons or dangerous objects such as arrows, axes, machetes, nun chucks, throwing stars, or knives with a blade longer than three inches, including the storage of any item that falls within the category of a weapon in a vehicle parked on college property;
  8. Smoke and Tobacco. Smoking and tobacco use in any area of campus is prohibited. The policy can be found at ;
  9. Fire Safety. Violation of local, state, federal, or campus fire policies, including but not limited to:
    1. Any unauthorized fires or bonfires outside of the College’s approved fire pit location and reservation process;
    2. Intentionally or recklessly causing a fire that damages College or personal property or which causes injury;
    3. Failure to evacuate a college-controlled building during a fire alarm;
    4. Improper use of college fire safety equipment; or
    5. Tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm or fire detection/control equipment while on college property. Such action may result in a local fine in addition to college sanctions;
    6. Storing grills of any kind within a college residence. Grills, whether personal or those belonging to the College, may not be stored on porches, balconies, or within 15 feet of a college-owned residence;
  10. Ineligible Association (Fronting – please note that if a group uses another group as a front to apply for funds, those funds form an ineligible association). Misuse, other than purposes of what was intended, of college property, funds, or other resources by individual students as an informal group, however affiliated, without having met eligibility requirements and having received recognition established by College policies and the designated branch(es) of Earlham Student Government. Associating with a student organization without having met eligibility requirements established by the College. Copyright, branding purposes – cannot use the Earlham College name, logo, etc. Usage of resources that violate Earlham policies;
  11. Animals. Apart from the policies for animals and pets outlined in Residence Life and Earlham Stables policies, animals are not permitted in college buildings, including residential facilities, unless approved as assistance animals for reasonable accommodation by the Office of Disability and Accessibility Services (ODAS). The process for request of an assistance animal in college housing (emotional support and service animals) is outlined in the Policies and Procedures for Accommodation of Students with Disabilities: Assistance Animals in College Housing. For any questions or support with a request, please email ODAS personnel at
  12. Wheeled Devices. Except for those approved for medical purposes, skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, bicycles, and similar wheeled devices are not allowed to be ridden inside college buildings, residence halls, or on tennis courts. Additionally, skateboards and other wheeled items may not be ridden on railings, curbs, benches, or any fixtures that these activities may damage. Individuals may be liable for damage to college property such actions caused.