Code of Conduct gets Senate's OK
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Code of Conduct gets Senate's OK
By Wes Brown
Recommendations by the ad hoc Senate committee to review the draft Code of Student Conduct were voted on at last Friday's Senate meeting, and while 9 out of the 10 ad hoc committee's suggestions passed, one proposed change failed to get the support of the majority.
Of the original nine recommendations, committee chair Chris Sinal said section 'H', clauses referring to the use of legal counsel and an appeals process, was split up and passed separately. Only section 'B', a clause that would have excluded 'student groups' under the code, was not approved by the Senate, he added.
"Senate felt the university's legal interests were very important and some of the points raised weighed heavily on the minds of senators," he said.
Still, Sinal, who is also the University Students' Council VP-student affairs, said he was pleased the majority of the committee's recommendations were passed. "Senate seemed very receptive and there was good debate on the floor, and that's exactly what this committee was put in place for."
Roma Harris, Western's Vice Provost and Registrar, said she, VP-administration Peter Mercer and other senators shared concerns that the scope of the code would be too narrow if recommendation 'b' had passed, since it would remove existing general wording about 'student groups' being subject to the code's rules concerning off campus behaviour.
"Not to include points like this defeats the purpose of the interests a code like this is trying to establish," she said. "We understand why some students are wary of including those concerns, but we will continue to suggest these issues so that this code will be treated with respect."
University Students' Council president Dave Braun, said he had mixed feelings at the end of Friday's meeting because while some of the committee's USC-supported proposals were adopted, a crucial one was not. "Unfortunately, students still have certain issues that stop [the USC] from supporting the current code," he said.
He added the removal of the term 'student groups' from section 'B' of the code would make sense because it is not sufficient or necessary to draw a connection between the student and the university.
"There's still a month and a half until it goes to [the Board of Governors] and the USC will be making a presentation to [the BOG's Campus and Community Affairs Committee] before then," Braun said.
Neil Kapoor, chair of the Student Caucus on Governance, also said it was disappointing the code would still regulate the off campus conduct of student groups. "It just doesn't make sense in a student code of conduct to group everyone together," he said.
Kapoor said he hoped the BOG would respect Senate's recommendations during their consideration of the code.
Harris said the members of CCAC now have a chance to review the code both in its original form and with the recommendations Senate passed on Friday.
Sinal said he felt the work the committee did will act as a sober second thought as the code continues on to both the CCAC and BOG.