Admission to the University of Connecticut means acceptance into a new and special kind of community – an academic community. With acceptance comes a responsibility to uphold and build upon the values and the traditions that have served to define and to strengthen this community over time. New students are welcomed as partners in a fellowship of learning and personal growth. Membership in the University of Connecticut academic community should be considered a privilege and an honor by those students who are invited to join.
The “spirit of inquiry” lies at the heart of our community. It is the realization that the act of learning is essential to personal growth. The desire to know and the willingness to explore require the strength to resist the false promises of shortcuts and substitutes in the process of learning. The spirit of inquiry is the passion and the patience to commit oneself to a continual journey toward understanding.
Incorporating the spirit of inquiry into one’s life as a student is not easy. It calls for curiosity, stamina, vulnerability, honesty, grace, courage, and integrity. A student needs to look beyond comfortable assumptions in search of new perspectives and seek the very information that might change his or her mind. To adopt the spirit of inquiry is to consciously decide to explore opportunities that may be hidden in contradictions. Facing the unfamiliar, making decisions on the value as well as on the meaning of new information, reflecting on the “how” and the “why” of personal choices, and accepting responsibility for one’s actions are all part of this process.
The spirit of inquiry can only flourish in an environment of mutual trust and respect, and that environment cannot be limited to the classroom or to the lab. Each member of the community must have the opportunity to participate fully in the process of learning and understanding if the community as a whole is to remain strong and vital. Therefore, all members must accept responsibility for creating an environment that promotes individual growth and builds community through the safe, respectful exchange of diverse thought, opinion, and feeling.
Unfortunately, a few students may abuse the freedom inherent in such an environment. Students who breach the trust that has been extended to them by the University community shall be held accountable for their actions. Responsibilities of Community Life: The Student Code describes the process for addressing such matters. It rests on the principles of individual development, community involvement, and fairness. Therefore, whenever appropriate, it encourages alternative methods of dispute resolution.