According to its mission statement, Marlboro College “promoted independence by requiring students to participate in the planning of their own programs of study and to act responsibly within a self-governing community.”

The college’s community assembly was modeled on the traditional New England Town Meeting. All students, faculty, and staff members could participate, each with an equal vote. The assembly governed community life and served as a forum for college-wide issues. Community discussions figured heavily into administrative decisions, and Town Meeting representatives served on a number of faculty and administrative committees, and represented the students at trustee meetings. Town Meeting distributed thousands of dollars to committee projects and student initiatives.

Elected Town Meeting officers included nine Selectpeople, who called meetings and functioned as community leaders.

The community abided by a Community Constitution and Bylaws, documents that can be found in the Marlboro College Handbook and specified much of Town Meeting’s authority and structure.