Student code could impugn your transcript
By Marshall Bellamy
This year’s review of the Code of Student Conduct has
raised several issues concerning certain sections of the document — some
of which students may not be aware of despite the potential
effect it may have on them.
One of the issues brought forth to the review committee was
the notation that would appear on student transcripts when
suspended or expelled, said University Students’ Council
President Paul Yeoman. “Our concern was what happens
to a student who applies to a professional or graduate school,” he
added. “That notation could blackball them.
“I brought it up in the code review — the committee
felt the notation would remain in the code,” he said.
“It’s extremely rare for a student to be suspended
or expelled for a breach of the code,” explained Western
registrar and vice-provost Roma Harris, adding that in order
to get a suspension, a student would have to commit a serious
She added that students can go through an appeals process
if they are suspended or expelled.
Yeoman said he also raised the issue of the difference between
students and students leaders addressed in the code. He explained
that a student leader can be reprimanded under the code for
an offense that occurred off-campus, while students would not
receive punishment for a similar offense off-campus.
“When is a student a student, as opposed to when a student
is a student leader?” he asked. “It’s more
of a reputation issue.”
“If a person is in a leadership role — they do have
an influence that’s different than other students,” Harris
said, citing the main issue is a student leader’s ability
to potentially influence other students to partake in illicit
activities, something that must be recognized in the code.
“We put an emphasis on informal resolutions,” Yeoman
said, explaining that the process of informal resolutions usually
involves warning or discussions without going through the code,
and that has been emphasized more since the review.
“If there is a dispute that arises — it can be
discussed and resolved before it goes through the code,” Harris
explained. “It’s very helpful.”
According to Harris, this process would help resolve misunderstandings
and allow problems to be resolved without going through the
formalities of the code. “We figured that people could
do it each individually, but they needed something to make
them do it.”
Elgin Austen, director of the Campus Community Police Service,
maintained that irrespectively, the code allows for a type
of control against improper student conduct.
“There’s accountability and consequences behind
what everyone does — that’s pretty much the bottom
line,” he said. “I think people have to know that.”