What Are the Principles of Community?

Three students

"We recognize that each of us has an obligation to the UC Davis community of which we have chosen to be a part. We will strive to build and maintain a culture and climate based on mutual respect and caring." -- Principles of Community

History | Integration into University Life | Choices in Applying the Principles of Community


UC Davis is a diverse community composed of individuals having many perspectives and abilities, of many faiths, cultures, ethnicities, races and orientations. We come from a multitude of backgrounds and experiences, with distinct needs and goals. We recognize that to create an inclusive and intellectually vibrant community, we must understand and value both our individual differences and our common ground. The UC Davis Principles of Community embody this commitment and the ideals to which we aspire.

A wide spectrum of campus constituents worked together over 18 months to write the Principles of Community. Contributors included:

  • Associated Students of UC Davis (ASUCD)
  • Academic Senate
  • Academic Senate Committee on Affirmative Action
  • Academic Senate EOP/SAA Committee
  • Academic Staff Organization
  • Staff Assembly of UC Davis
  • Staff Assembly of the UC Davis Medical Center

At the time, there was a national interest in developing community values statements. Departments and colleges at other universities wrote similar statements, but UC Davis was the first to implement a campuswide policy. The authors intended to make a strong statement about UC Davis' community values. They incorporated regard for freedom of expression, mutual respect and equal treatment in the document.

Initially, ASUCD and Student Housing each adopted a version of the Principles specific to their departments. Shortly thereafter, the Academic Senate unanimously approved the Principles. Institutionally, the chancellor, ASUCD president, and the chairs of the Academic Senate, UCD Staff Assembly, Graduate Student Association, UCDMC Staff Assembly and the Academic Staff Organization first signed the Principles of Community in April 1990. These and other campus entities reaffirmed the Principles in 1996 and 2001, 2008 and 2010. The Principles were revised and once again reaffirmed in 2015. 

Integration into University Life

The Principles are publicized broadly in a variety of contexts including the UC Davis General Catalog, student organization registration materials, student and staff employee training and conflict resolution responses. They are also integrated into campus programs such as Summer Advising, the Campus Community Book Project, Student Housing and the Fall Convocation.

The Principles serve as a broad and inclusive statement of expected behavior. Further, they reinforce the university setting as an open and fair marketplace of ideas. The Principles are not law or policy but a basis to form a shared vision of our campus community.

Choices in Applying the Principles of Community

The UC Davis Principles of Community set forth ideals and expectations for campus interactions. Members of our community are expected to treat each other with respect and dignity, to refrain from displays of inappropriate anger or intimidating conduct, to shun epithets or abusive language, and to find effective means to disagree, to persuade and to inform through rational discussion. Although the Principles of Community are not enforced by punishment unless the act is a crime or breach of conduct standards, the Principles provide guidance for addressing the full range of behavior and interactions.