Volume 94, Issue 70

Friday, January 26, 2001


Students have say on Code - UCC forum takes recommendations

Former PM visits Western

BOG finance report raises tuition equity issue

Finding home sweet home, hard very hard

2001 USC: A mediocre odyssey

Corroded Disorder

Students have say on Code - UCC forum takes recommendations

By Hisham Safieddine
Gazette Writer

The university's proposed Student Code of Conduct attracted concern from all corners of Western's campus at a forum held yesterday in the University Community Centre Atrium.

The forum was organized by the ad hoc committee created by Senate to review the code. Members of the committee, which consists of Senate members, students and faculty, listened to student opinions on the issue for two hours.

University Students' Council VP-student affairs, Chris Sinal, chair of the committee, said he invited students to voice their concerns about any section of the code and put forward proposals for consideration by the Senate.

He said the committee was only acting as a venue for students to comment on the code, and would not be able to answer questions about the code itself.

Jeff Clayman, USC legal affairs officer, said students should have access to legal counsel, at least during an appeal process, which is an option not presently available under the code.

He also said he disapproved of any provisions regulating the conduct student groups. "This is a code for student conduct and thus should be for individual students, not student groups," he said.

One group of students who expressed discontent was the Undergraduate Engineering Society. The president of UES, James Kay, said the code might have an adverse impact on students' lives.

"I can foresee serious sanctions being filed against student reps, especially during frosh week," he said. Kay added he would prefer to see faculty deans have a greater degree of involvement in implementing any disciplinary actions against students.

"Our dean and other faculty members are best informed of the nature of the student activities we hold, and hence they are best qualified for judging whether any code regulations have been breached," Kay said, adding he would continue to raise awareness about the shortcomings of the code in hopes of affecting its revision.

Another major concern discussed at the forum was the potential liability of students for their off-campus actions. Mike Gretes, a second-year biology and chemistry student, said he too disagreed with sections of the code pertaining to off-campus conduct.

He said the code might undermine a student's right to engage in events deemed by the adjudicating committee as interfering with the proper functioning of the university.

Sinal said he urged students to file written submissions of their recommendations by Feb. 9 for further consideration by the Senate. The ad hoc committee is schedule to report to Senate on Mar. 16.

According to Jim Etherington, chair of the Campus & Community Affairs Committee of the Board of Governors, no decision will be taken on the code by the committee until April 5.

Etherington added the CCAC will submit its report and recommendations to the Board on May 3. A draft version of the code can be viewed on the Internet at http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/board/code.html.

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