Volume 95, Issue 1
Thursday, May 24, 2001
Code of Conduct now in place
After a long journey of drafting, revision and redrafting, a final version of the Student Code of Conduct was endorsed by Western administration as the formal legal document governing the behaviour and actions of its students.
The Student Code of Conduct was first proposed in emulation of other universities' similar codes. These codes are intended to set out the standards of conduct expected of students registered at these universities as well as the sanctions and disciplinary procedures dealing with any violations of such standards.
Prior to their ratification by Western's Board of Governors on May 3, provisions of the Code underwent a thorough consultation process carried out by an ad hoc senate committee.
Chris Sinal, chair of the Senate Committee on a Code of Student Conduct, expressed his satisfaction with the resulting draft adopted by BOG.
"I am pleased with the outcome of our efforts to consolidate feedback from the Western community concerning some controversial tenets of the code. Many of the Senate's recommendations initially outlined by the committee were incorporated into the final draft," he explained
Sinal added one of the significant changes made to the initial draft of the code was the amendment of a provision that might have incurred liability on leaders of student groups for actions by their group members on campus.
Mike Lawless, president of the University Students' Council, said he was disappointed with the Code.
"A number of the USC's recommendations were not endorsed, especially the ones concerning off-campus behaviour," he said. "At this stage of the process, the USC is primarily focused on searching for ways to raise awareness about the existence of the Code and to educate students about its role in regulating university life."
According to Lawless, one of the suggested ways to raise such awareness is enclosing information about the code in the registration packages sent out to prospective students. Lawless said orientation leaders and USC sophs will be informing incoming students about the code as well.
Roma Harris, Western's vice-provost, commended the code as satisfying the elements of transparency and fairness required for such a document. "The code sets out a clear understanding of the expectations we have of members of our student community," she said.
When asked about the direct impact the Code will have on students' everyday
life, Lawless, Sinal and Harris said life on campus will not witness any
significant changes as the code. For the most part, Harris said, the Code
merely formalizes some of the disciplinary procedures already in place.
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