Police board wants off campus code

Students should be punished for rowdy and violent behaviour off campus

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

A Police Service Board meeting last week resulted in a call for Western and Fanshawe College to apply their student codes of conduct off-campus.

The Board, which includes city council members and the mayor, reached its decision after rejecting a proposal by Ward Three councillor Bernie MacDonald.

“My first cry was to have a satellite police station and more police put around the Fanshawe College area,” MacDonald said. He reasoned the additional police presence would curtail some of the events that have taken place.

“There’s been three stabbings, beer bottles slashing people’s faces, one person has even set up a driving range net so that thrown beer bottles won’t break his siding.”

MacDonald also called for increased foot patrol in the area, claiming extra foot patrols are being used downtown for troubled areas.

“I don’t want to see a fatality by some young student over a party,” MacDonald said.

Instead of accepting MacDonald’s proposal, the Board chose to call on London’s postsecondary institutions to enforce student codes of conduct off-campus.

The move could see students face discipline for unruly off-campus behaviour including warnings, academic sanctions or expulsion.

City of London Controller Gord Hume, a member of the PSB, explained the decision.

“The reality is that we welcome students in this city. Ninety-nine per cent of [students] are terrific and they add to our community ... but there is a tiny, tiny percentage who seem to want to cause problems,” Hume said.

“I think it’s up to the institutions to curb their behaviour,” he added.

MacDonald disagreed: “[Off-campus student codes of conduct are a] good way to fluff things off, but how are you going to enforce it unless you’re expelling them ... A slap on the wrist is not going to do it and there has to be another way.

“All students are not bad ... they’re there to do a job. [Students] have to realize what they’re going to school for,” MacDonald explained.

The decision will have no effect on the USC, according to VP-university affairs David Simmonds.

“The USC is especially concerned with the police Chief [Murray Faulkner] and mayor [Anne Marie DiCicco-Best] following their comments to the London Free Press,” Simmonds explained.

“Western’s Code of Student Conduct has been applicable off-campus ... Our Code scope applies only when a student is acting as a designator of the university.”

The Code of Student Conduct applies to conduct on Western’s campus or that of its affiliated colleges or off-campus conduct where the individual is acting as a designated representative of the university or a student organization, or when their conduct might have an adverse effect on the reputation or functioning of the university.

The USC has since clarified its position on the subject to both the mayor and police Chief, Simmonds said.

Hume dismissed any controversy surrounding the decision.

“I think people both on and off campus understand this is an attempt to reach out to [students].”

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