Statement on Academic Freedom and Comportment

We are concerned about rising tensions in our society. Therefore, we want to state that the EGS firmly upholds the value of academic freedom in study, research, and publication, both at the professorial and student levels and the importance of the comportment required for this commitment. This fundamental position implies, that the EGS will refrain from assuming formal stances of its own that might be identified with, or potentially in opposition to, those supported by individual members of the academic community. The EGS presumes that all members of its community will strive to preserve and support this rigorous commitment to academic freedom, showing tolerance and understanding.

In order to foster an atmosphere of trust and establish a feeling of security among the members of our community, we have taken it upon ourselves to make the quintessential principles of respectful, open, and responsible dialogue the bedrock of our words and deeds. To put it plainly, we will talk to each other, listen to each other, respect each other, and join together in the pursuit of ideas and solutions.

At the EGS, students will explore a wide variety of theoretical practices and practical works and will engage with texts and thinkers that involve many voices and points of view. All course participants (students and faculty alike) will consider the components of community focus and will work to honour a collaborative sense of the word “community.”

Course members will pursue their study through a global lens–with consideration given to topics that have the potential to be offensive to or in contradiction with one’s personal beliefs.

All course participants agree to demonstrate respect for one another. Even when members of the learning cohort disagree, they will conduct their discussions in a thoughtful and respectful manner, guided by the college’s core values.

We are committed EGS remaining a place where hatred, violence, and discrimination do not take hold and are actively countered. As members of the EGS Executive Committee, we would therefore like to emphasise the following:

• The EGS serves as a forum for the exchange of different viewpoints through objective and constructive discussion against the background of an open and democratic discursive space characterized by mutual respect.

• The same rules that apply to democratic funcioning in the public sphere also apply to conduct on our campus, and we will not condone any challenges to these rules.

• Actions that discriminate against individuals or groups will not be tolerated and will be sanctioned in accordance with EGS policy. If such actions violate the law, the EGS will take the appropriate action with local authorities. We wish to underscore that the EGS has a special relationship with the Saas Fee community (which has representation on our Board)
and expects all members of our institution to behave in a respectful manner. in this and in the other sites in which the EGS convenes

In line with our mission and student statement, we take our sense of responsibility for wider society very seriously.

“The European Graduate School seeks to build a world-wide intellectual community that is profoundly diverse, yet shares a common commitment to academic freedom, creative discovery, and the promotion of study that is socially meaningful and attentive to global needs and concerns.“

“In keeping with its cross-disciplinary purpose and its effort to orient its intellectual ambitions toward concrete worldly engagement, the EGS seeks to build a richly diverse and inclusive global community of scholars.

We would also like to refer you to our policies published on the website, which you have acknowledged by enrolling at EGS.

The Executive Committee, European Graduate School

June 2024