Volume 94, Issue 2

Friday, May 19, 2000


NEWS

New student code of conduct drafted

UWOFA talks could mean deal

Private universities plan announced

New buildings put under microscope

Mental giants make presence felt at fair

Petition tries to rub out massage parlours

Prelude to an election

Council passes new arena proposal

Ravers get cold shower

New student code of conduct drafted

By Mike Murphy
Gazette Staff

Western students got some retooled school rules last week, as administration released a new code of student conduct.

Brian Timney, associate dean of the faculty of social science and a co-author of the report, said the new code should address the weaknesses in Western's existing student conduct policies.

"What this code is designed to do is provide an overall regulatory system for [student] behaviour and to cover any areas where there's been nothing available in the past," Timney said. "There are lots of other codes floating around the university," he added. "But they either apply to specific areas or specific programs."

The committee began meeting in November of 1999, as a result of the university's handling of an orientation week prank, Timney explained. The current code is only a draft version and the committee is asking for community feedback, with a submission deadline of June 2.

Timney said another draft will appear in the fall, so returning students can evaluate the code and express concerns they may have. "We didn't want to see this come before the Senate and the Board over the summer when students couldn't make any comments."

Syd Usprich, a law professor who helped draft the code, said the new document provides a framework to accompany the specialized policies already in place. "There are situations when one might need a university response as opposed to a response from a specific group," he said.

Usprich also stressed the code establishes a formal appeal structure, so students who feel they've been unjustly punished can ask for their cases to be reviewed. No such structure was in place before this.

President of the Society of Graduate Students, Fern Gauthier, said he was disappointed to learn the code applies to graduate students as well as undergraduates.

"We're a different type of student," he said. "We've been through the undergraduate phase. Being more mature students, we don't have the hazing and the initiation rituals the undergrads have."

Gauthier said he plans to submit a request that grad students be exempted from the new code.

Dave Braun, University Students' Council president, said he had concerns about the new code. He did not wish to comment on specifics until more consultation has been carried out with USC members and other students.

"We have concerns and we wrote a letter to the committee to have an extension [of the submissions deadline]," said Braun.

Braun also said he was worried that when the next draft gets published in the fall, the time for making significant changes will have passed and thus the current round of revision will probably be the most important.


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