As a private university governed by the Mennonite Church, EMU seeks to provide an educational setting where faculty, administration, staff and student groups work together in the common purpose of creating and maintaining the highest possible standards of academic and community life. This task occurs in the context of a community which is characterized by Christian discipleship and responsibility for each other.
Prior to admission each prospective student is asked to study and respond to the Community Lifestyle Commitment adopted by the Board of Trustees in 1979 and revised in 2001. By enrolling, a student accepts membership in the university community and this statement serves as a pledge that the student is willing to practice the principles identified in the statement.
The specific standards of Eastern Mennonite University reflect two basic concerns: The university must of necessity encourage and reinforce behavior which is in harmony with the aims and purposes of the institution. At the same time, sufficient freedom of individual action must be permitted in order to enable the maximum personal development of each student.
We believe that personal maturity and growth are encouraged most when the entire university community shares in responsibility for one another. Matthew 18:12-17 outlines the principles of this approach to behavior and relationships. Thus, growth is not entirely an individual process but involves the entire Christian community as we seek to share our own concerns and at the same time respect the convictions of other Christians.
The standards of Eastern Mennonite University reflect underlying principles to which faculty, administration, staff and students commit themselves. These principles include the responsibility to love God and to seek after righteousness, to love others and practice justice, and to exercise stewardship and freedom responsibly.
The Student Handbook, updated and issued to each student and department annually, discusses how these principles are applied to the use of tobacco, alcoholic beverages, non-medical drugs, sexual misconduct, gambling, profane and abusive language, the use of weapons, dishonesty and other areas where standards of conduct apply.
When Confrontation is Necessary
Although university students are expected to struggle with personal values and lifestyle questions as a natural task of this age group, we assume that most students will be guided by self-discipline and that there is a sufficient degree of concern among peers to elicit confrontation motivated by love when self-discipline fails. Where self-discipline and/or confrontation by peers do not occur or is ineffective in changing behavior, other structures exist to work at the problem. The purpose of discipline at Eastern Mennonite University is to encourage growth, with all confrontation offering the counseling and support necessary to encourage this growth.
The procedures by which confrontation is enacted are outlined in the Student Handbook and may include private confrontation, a letter of warning, fines or sanctions, probation, and suspension or dismissal.
Procedures for arbitration and mediation are also outlined by the Student Life Office and published online in the Student Handbook at www.emu.edu/studentlife/studenthandbook.