This policy provides the principles and considerations that guide Wheaton College in determining when to issue a public statement from the college concerning events, activities or issues arising outside of the institution.

Public statements from Wheaton College on matters of broad public concern are issued only by the president and officers of the college and/or by the Board of Trustees. The decision to issue a public statement about an incident or issue of public concern outside the college is guided by whether the issue:

  1. Directly affects the college’s ability to fulfill its mission or the objectives of the institution’s strategic plan.

Our mission: Wheaton College provides a transformative liberal arts education, combining theory and practice, for intellectually curious students within a collaborative and vibrant extended community and network that values and strives to create an equitable and just world.

  1. Affects the ability of students, faculty, or staff members to carry out their roles as members of the Wheaton learning community.
  1. Raises substantive questions about the college’s ability to operate and/or uphold its commitments.

These principles establish a framework that affirms Wheaton’s primary commitment to its mission of providing a transformative liberal arts and sciences education in a learning environment in which all students feel welcome, supported, and secure.

While members of the extended Wheaton community may look to the college for statements in response to social and political matters of public concern, the college’s top priority is to take actions that provide support to the campus community and to foster opportunities for dialogue and learning for students, faculty, and staff. This approach stems from our core tenets of caring, supporting and educating. In all cases, we will ensure that we have taken the necessary time to assess the situation, understand the facts and possible community impact, and communicate salient information in the best interest of the Wheaton community.

Given the priority of addressing the needs of the campus community, the college’s response may include campus gatherings, special lectures and workshops, outreach and support to individuals and groups who may be uniquely impacted, expanded counseling services, increased campus security and other such measures to promote safety, security and well being. Such actions may be taken either with or without the issuance of a public statement on the matter.

Final 11/29/2023

Related Policies: Free Expression Policy (Nov 2022)