Integrity Principle

The Integrity Principle is a paradigm for developing self-knowledge. The Standards of Integrity that follow from it describe the respective roles of freedom and regulation in the university community. Together they provide both general and specific expectations that govern the relationships between all members of the community.

The Integrity Principle is based on an understanding of and alignment with the core values of Puget Sound. Conducting one’s self in accordance with those core values requires knowledge of self, respect for others, and full engagement in the community. Knowledge of self is gained through testing, probing, and examining one’s identity, behavior, and abilities. Such examination leads to better understanding of one’s own integrity, values, and standards. Additionally, knowledge of self requires both individuals and groups to govern their acts by a commitment to mutual respect and active concern for the needs of others. As they attain greater knowledge and experience, Puget Sound students are constantly reaching for these aspirational ideals in an ever-changing world.

The need for exercising thoughtful and sound judgment is particularly important, as our society searches for ways to acknowledge the diversity of its members and their contributions. The Integrity Principle and Standards of Integrity require acceptance and respect of the abundance of ideas and systems of belief brought to the university by its members who emerge from differing identities. Yet, it also demands that students move beyond intellectual understanding and respect to a coherent appreciation of the intrinsic value of pluralism in the university community.

The university, as a community, is founded upon a fundamental agreement, a contract of standards between all of its individual members, in which each accords every other member of the university community respect as a colleague committed to the pursuit of knowledge and self-understanding. The university community espouses no single correct way to engage in intellectual inquiry, no set body of beliefs to which all must subscribe, while also rejecting the development of an environment which hinders in any way the right of all to pursue their educational goals.  The community standards to which we ascribe as members of the student body call upon us to promote academic freedom and free speech, and to do so in a manner that protects the rights and safety of all members of the campus community. Our commitment to the free exchange of ideas includes the right to assemble, protest, and demonstrate in accordance with university policies designed to respect the rights, promote the dignity, and protect the safety of campus members and guests. When students enroll in the university, they promise to subscribe to the Integrity Principle and pledge adherence to the Standards of Integrity. Adherence is necessary for any student to remain a member in good standing of the university community. Moreover, an understanding of the Integrity Principle will encourage students to move beyond simple compliance to the standards to develop sound personal judgment, ethical thinking, and habits that lead to ethical behavior, including a willingness to report violations, including one’s own. Violation of this agreement to the Student Integrity Code inhibits members of the community from fully enjoying the educational benefits offered by the university. As such, violations will be promptly and appropriately addressed, with a goal of accountability, self-reflection, and an understanding of consequences of actions and behavior.

At the annual Matriculation Ceremony, all entering students subscribe to the Integrity Principal by making this public promise:

I am a member of the community of the University of Puget Sound, which is dedicated to developing its members’ academic abilities and personal integrity. I accept the responsibilities of my membership in this community and acknowledge that the purpose of this community demands that I conduct myself in accordance with Puget Sound’s policies of academic and student integrity. As a student at the University of Puget Sound, I hereby pledge to conduct myself responsibly and honorably in my academic activities, to be fair minded and honest with all members of the Puget Sound community, and to respect their safety, rights, privileges, and property.

Whereas the Principle of Integrity serves as the paradigm for students to examine themselves, their values, and their relation to others, the Standards of Integrity provide more specific explication of how the principle is exercised. As such, the Standards of Integrity apply to all students and student groups, both on campus and off campus, who are engaged in activities sponsored by the university or by a university organization, or who represent the university in some recognized capacity.

When students enroll in the university and promise to subscribe to the Integrity Principle, they pledge themselves to the following principles:

  • Self-governance, guided by the Student Integrity Code and personal values
  • Honesty, including students reporting themselves when they have violated any provision of the principle and standards
  • Care and concern for the community in which they are a part

The practical aim of the Student Integrity Code is to create educational experiences from which students develop both skill and confidence in making personal decisions. Although all members of the university community are expected to abide by the Integrity Principle and its aforementioned principles, the Standards of Integrity provide an additional educational resource. They describe in more specific detail the expectations which all students of the Puget Sound community are required to meet.  (See Standards Section.)