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By Wes Brown
The final revision for the University of Western Ontario Code of Student Conduct has been drafted and should be presented at the Nov. 17 Senate meeting.
Brain Timney, head chair of the advisory board on the code, said his main hope is that students find the code reasonable so there will not be a fight to get it passed at Senate.
"Our major point of departure between the [University Students' Council] and the board is formal proceedings of the disciplinary sanctions," he said. "The USC would have preferred a student court, much like a criminal one, that laid out every possible offence and its corresponding punishment."
Timney said sanctions for student misconduct include 13 degrees of severity, with penalties for the most serious offences being punishable by deregistration, suspension or expulsion.
"The main thrust is to punish those interfering in the ongoing academic opportunity to learn at this institution," he said, adding the code will affect all undergraduate and graduate students, affiliate colleges and masters of business and administration students.
Timney stated the destruction of another student's notes or computer disks as examples punishable offences, as well as instances involving representative bodies of the university.
"If an off campus event were officially sanctioned by the social science student council and a fight were to break out, then the board would try to apply the code to the situation," he said. "It's a grey area, but my feeling is that the university would apply this legislation."
Jeffrey Clayman, legal affairs officer for the USC, said there are a lot of outstanding issues. "This is in no way similar to codes at other universities and appears to place undue limitations upon the rights of all students."
Under the code, Clayman said students would be subject to simultaneous disciplinary proceedings under more than one university policy. He also said the code states an outright denial of legal counsel.
"Who is to advise a student to his or her rights?" he asked. "A student can be deregistered, suspended or expelled without having any legal consultation that's just not right."
Clayman the USC submitted a 20-page response to the original code 12 weeks ago. "It's understood we need a code, but we need to make sure it's done right."
USC president, Dave Braun, said the code is the biggest threat to student freedom the USC has ever seen. "This is one of the scariest documents I've ever seen. This is an issue that rivals Orientation."
Society of Graduate Students president, Fern Gauthier, said SOGS has already requested their removal from code. "We oppose our inclusion in this code and when it does go to Senate, I guess we'll have to fight for our position then."