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Dakota Wesleyan University
Community Code

The Dakota Wesleyan University Community Code contains information regarding activities, services, regulations and policies that are important to Dakota Wesleyan University students. The student handbook is not intended to cover every situation that could occur at Dakota Wesleyan University. Anything that is not covered will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Additional information is provided in the Dakota Wesleyan University Catalog.

Policies contained within this book are reviewed each year at the conclusion of the academic year. Dakota Wesleyan University reserves the right to change policies, fees, schedules and other regulations affecting students when necessary. For more information, call student life at 605-995-2960 or e-mail trhargens@dwu.edu.

DWU provides an environment that supports the teaching/learning mission of the university. Living and learning on our campus is designed to provide a combination of support and independence and a general education that helps to develop an understanding and appreciation of life in a democratic society. Campus living also promotes student development in cooperation, leadership and other personal attributes.

Why are you a DWU student?
You will have your own answer to this question. Whether you hope to receive a stimulating academic challenge, find a career, meet new friends or enjoy the campus environment, it is important that you identity your goals and expectations in order to receive full benefit of your Wesleyan experience.

There are reasons for attending college that may not be clear to you until years after your graduation. Taking tests, meeting deadlines, solving roommate conflicts and making personal decisions are all routine aspects of student life. Your experience in each of these activities contributes to your overall ability to meet the progressive responsibilities and challenges of life beyond the campus. The sense of confidence that you build through your experiences may be nearly as significant to you in the future as your major and degree.

Building a Record
Students often view their college years as a temporary “time out” from the “real world.” In some ways a college community is a protected environment where there are many more support structures than are available outside the campus. However, the wise student will realize that they’re building a reputation by their actions and achievements that will follow them the rest of their lives. Your record as a student will serve you best if it demonstrates qualities such as scholarship, responsibility, cooperation and leadership. Future employers will be impressed if your resume reflects an active campus life that includes positive attitudes and achievements. Most important of all, the record you build in college has a strong influence on the way you perceive your own abilities and self-respect.

Every community must have rules to protect the rights of its members and to facilitate the goals of the society. Dakota Wesleyan University is a distinct community where our focus is on education and we seek to increase development and integration of the intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical aspects of life. As an educational community, we respect and encourage the development of individual virtues such as integrity, rationality, compassion, humility, self-discipline and personal responsibility. We place special emphasis upon certain community ideals such as tolerance, civility and respect for others. Such a community must depend on respect for certain principles and patterns of behavior by its members in order to function effectively. Students who join our community make an implicit commitment to live by these standards, whatever the difference in their backgrounds.

DWU is neither rigidly legalistic (having a rule to cover everything with prescribed penalty for each infraction), nor liberally individualistic (having each person determine what is right for him-herself). The community code is a document that articulates principles and guidelines for living, learning, growing, and participating at Dakota Wesleyan University. This code provides a set of minimal expectations that enable all faculty, staff, students and visitors to come together in a civic manner, but the aim of the code is to move beyond a mere listing of rules. This code also presents a set of principles that are intended to empower both individuals and the community to grow intellectually, socially and spiritually. Thus the code is both an educational and administrative document and, as such, DWU reserves the right to review and/or modify any information contained herein as it deems necessary and appropriate.

The overall philosophy of the governing structure of Dakota Wesleyan University is the premise that an academic community must have an atmosphere that is conducive with the educational and social missions of the University. It is the responsibility of all members of the Wesleyan community to meet the university’s expectations for appropriate behavior and compliance with campus rules. As a student, it is important that you are aware of the standards of conduct that have been adopted by DWU. Each student will, therefore, be expected to:

  • show respect and sensitivity for the needs of others;
  • actively participate in program development;
  • support open communication which enhances the living/learning atmosphere;
  • provide positive empathy and support for the enforcement of DWU rules and regulations;
  • help to sustain community pride and develop a sense of respect for the physical facilities;
  • observe all local, state, and federal laws;
  • respect the property of other individuals, organizations, and the university;
  • uphold honesty in academic work and official college records; cheating, plagiarism and giving false information to the university are unacceptable;
  • meet all financial obligations.

As a student at Dakota Wesleyan University, you have the responsibility to be adequately acquainted with the university catalog, student handbook, and other official publications of the institution. You also have the responsibility of understanding that conduct and actions are measured on an adult level and that each student is responsible for the consequences of his/her behavior. The legal relationship between a student and Dakota Wesleyan University is one of contract and many of the dictates of due process do not “legally” apply. However, this contract does not mean that the student surrenders all rights when enrolled.

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Mitchell, SD 57301
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Last updated: 1/11/10