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Why Do We Need a Student Code Conduct

In medieval times, students were forbidden to “shout, hiss, make noise, throw stones in class or deputize one’s servant to do so.” Happily, NECC has been free of such conduct. But in the large and varied community of an academic campus, within the context of a larger society, the fulfillment of the College’s mission requires certain orderly conditions.

Northern Essex Community College defines its “primary mission” as serving its region by being a “caring, accessible and comprehensive center of educational excellence which offers high quality, affordable adult and post-secondary education through the Associate Degree level and beyond…” (NECC Mission Statement). To fulfill that mission, NECC must be a place that supports academic freedom; free inquiry and free expression in the pursuit of truth, the passing on of knowledge, and the development of critical judgment.

NECC is a community of learners. All members of this community deserve an environment that fosters maximum academic and personal growth. For that reason, Northern Essex’s policies unequivocally address all forms of ethnic, religious, cultural or racial intolerance on the part of students, faculty, staff and visitors. All members of NECC’s academic community are responsible for creating and respecting conditions in the classroom and on campus that must encourage teaching and learning in an atmosphere of academic freedom.

Among the elements of a good learning environment are:

  • safety
  • respect
  • orderliness and
  • freedom from all forms of harassment or abuse

Honesty is essential in the pursuit of truth, including the honest acknowledgment of those whose wisdom and information we use. A good learning environment provides opportunities both to practice good citizenship in the larger society and to practice dissent. These are the practices and qualities that a Student Code of Conduct should encourage.