Principles of Community

At San Diego State University, we are a community of diverse individuals who have and represent many perspectives, beliefs and identities. This diversity lends our community strength, and we commit to creating and sustaining an inclusive and intellectually vibrant environment that benefits all members of our university. 

SDSU’s Principles of Community is an aspirational statement that is intended to evolve over time. The statement reflects the ideals we are encouraged to uphold in our interactions with one another. 

Principles of Community

Hepner Hall flyover
SDSU Principles of Community

San Diego State University, a multi-campus, Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) located on the lands of the Kumeyaay Nations and part of the US-Mexico transborder region, is committed to advancing access, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in everything we do. Our community of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and family honors the inherent value of all individuals. We strive to foster a scholarly environment that supports and is enriched by our intersectionality, diverse traditions, cultures, languages, perspectives, and experiences. 

The SDSU Principles of Community is an aspirational statement that embodies this commitment, and reflects the ideals we seek to uphold. 

  • We promote a culture of inclusion in which all are valued and treated with respect, dignity, and fairness so that they may thrive.
  • We acknowledge that imbalances of power, accessibility, equity, and privilege persist in higher education and in society and are committed to addressing and dismantling these imbalances.
  • We affirm that freedom of expression and academic freedom are integral to the mission of the university and to its students, faculty, and staff.
  • We respect the right of every individual to think, speak, and discuss any idea in the spirit of advancing knowledge. We further affirm our commitment to conduct that respects dignity and decency towards all.
  • We condemn racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and other forms of discrimination across all our campus communities and extend the critical notion of inclusivity towards all cultures and identities.
  • We honor shared governance among students, faculty, staff and administration as a foundational element to our university -- a forum where justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion allow us to meet challenges with innovative solutions, educate and learn with curiosity and compassion, promote respectful dialogue, and make meaningful discoveries.
  • We value our differences, and take pride in the impact of our educational, research, and scholarly mission.
  • We appreciate the service of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni to our campus, region, state, country, and global community.
  • We embrace a culture of excellence and promote the success, growth, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and the broader community. 

We recognize our individual responsibilities to the university community and the principles that advance it in everything we do. We will each commit to positive actions that affirm learning and growth for all members of the community.

SDSU’s Principles of Community statement was developed out of the university’s strategic planning process and through a collaborative process involving students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and also SDSU parents and families. Its intent is to serve as an affirmation of the unique value each member of the SDSU community holds, and as a guide for our personal and collective behavior. The principles of community are not official SDSU policy; nor do they replace existing policies, procedures or codes of conduct. 

To request 18x24 or 8.5x11 print files for the English, Spanish or Chinese versions, please email [email protected].


The statement was developed out of the university’s strategic planning process and through the collaboration of community members that include students, faculty and staff. Through that period of assessment and exploration, a number of individuals involved in the strategic plan’s development identified a need to have guiding language around ways we could improve our everyday interactions in ways that encouraged positive engagement and mutual respect for one another. Our Principles of Community serves as that guiding statement. 

At SDSU, we are a community that benefits tremendously from the diversity of our racial, ethnic, gender, class backgrounds, national origins, faith backgrounds, political beliefs, abilities and sexual orientations. Our diversity is our power, and we are each enriched when we are able to interact, debate, and learn from those whose backgrounds and experiences are different from our own. The intention is for the Principles of Community statement to serve as a guide post for our behaviors as we acknowledge and respect our differences and diversity. To be clear, the statement is not university policy, but is designed to serve as an aspirational statement. 

Organizations who maintain similar Principles of Community statements adopt them in various ways. The statement may guide how we choose to have conversations and interactions with one another. At SDSU, we affirm that no one should harm or denigrate another person on the basis of their identity, to include their race, sex, sexual orientation, national origin and other identities. We do not condone any form of verbal or written harassment and abuse or threats, intimidation or violence against any person. 

To request 18x24 or 8.5x11 print files for the English, Spanish or Chinese versions, please email [email protected].