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Community Living and Student Responsibility

Residential life at Smith is considered an important part of a student’s education. Smith is committed to a co-curricular environment that enhances and enriches the academic program: residential living is an integral part of that education. Students come from varied cultures, backgrounds, and social identities and the houses provide unique opportunities for them to learn about one another’s experiences. At its best, residential living fosters a sense of community and encourages a wide range of ideas. Each Smith student is challenged to balance the freedom of an individual with their own self-direction and respect for the rights of others. These expectations are not always reached, however, as interpersonal tensions, value conflicts and discomfort caused by close community living are not unusual. Learning to respond, to take responsibility for oneself, and to overcome adversity are important elements of personal growth and of the Smith education. Every member of the Smith community is entitled to be treated with respect and behaviors that show disrespect for individuals or groups will not be tolerated. The ability to deal with complex issues and to resolve conflict will serve each student well at Smith and in the wider world.

Students are responsible for reading all published information, and meeting all deadlines. This includes, but is not limited to, email messages, information in the catalogue, the handbook, the housing contract, eDigest and other posted notices. Failing to read available materials is not an excuse for missing deadlines or for being uninformed about policies and regulations.

The college reserves the right to move a student from one house to another, to remove them from campus housing or even to dismiss them from the college if it is found that they cannot function as a cooperative member of their house or of the college community.

Students who do not accept the responsibilities of community living and house membership may be referred to a variety of college proceedings. Depending on the nature of the behavior, referral may be made to local law-enforcement agencies, Campus Police, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, the College Conduct Board or to the dean of the college (or designate). For further information on these actions, see specific references in this section of the handbook.

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