To ensure transparency, the internal policies of The Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) are shared below:
Preamble: In order for any group to call itself “Olive Tree Initiative” or be related to the Olive Tree Initiative brand, the following standards, ethics, and policies are required. Those principles will be acknowledged, agreed upon, and signed onto in writing by each participant.
1. Education, Not Political Advocacy.
The Olive Tree Initiative is an experiential learning organization and does not engage in political advocacy. The focus and scope of the initiative is on education. We encourage discourse and discussion in a respectful and positive manner. The Olive Tree Initiative embraces advocacy towards dialogue, bridge-building, and understanding.
The Olive Tree Initiative is non-partisan and apolitical. It does not issue any policy papers or statements in regards to current events or issues. Rather it encourages respectful and informed conversation and discourse about them. Members of the initiative may have partisan perspectives, while the initiative itself is non-partisan.
3. No Co-Sponsorship.
The Olive Tree Initiative does not co-sponsor, co-sign, or co-host any event with other student groups in order to remain true to its mandate of non-partisanship. Members are free to actively create support and identify with other campus groups, as well as participate in many other campus events.
4. No Political Activism.
The Olive Tree Initiative does not engage in political activism. OTI members might do so independently, but the organization is and will remain apolitical.
5. Commitment to Balance.
The Olive Tree Initiative is committed to providing balanced and varied points of view. The focus of programming and activities is to enhance education through knowledge acquisition, respectful discourse, and by challenging biases, assumptions, and stereotypes. Thus, OTI provides perspectives and counter-perspectives on issues relevant to the same event or program when possible and appropriate.
6. Commitment to Civility.
The Olive Tree Initiative is committed to respectful behavior, listening, and understanding. This includes respect for and between the participants for: all guests and presenters; irrespective of one’s religious, ethnic and personal background, or orientation.
7. Commitment to Honest and Authentic Discourse
The Olive Tree Initiative is committed to honesty and authenticity within the safest environment possible. Members learn to be open and vulnerable with each other in an atmosphere that values genuine differences in people’s perspectives and responses.