Work Group Revises Student Conduct Code

Revisions to the Student Code of Conduct will extend the appealing process with the addition of a council of provosts if approved and enacted by Jan. 2012.

The new code is the result of a work group created by Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Penny Rue in May 2009. After two years of research, the group released a 15-page draft and is now soliciting student and faculty feedback before reevaluating the draft in Fall 2011 and putting the changes into place. The group hopes to implement the new policy by Jan. 2012.

“The code was shortened from about 30 pages to 15 pages. I think that says a lot,” work group member and AVP of Student Advocacy Arohi Sharma said. “Because it was too long, students weren’t reading it. [Some felt] it was too verbose.”

The code — which was last revised Aug. 29, 2008 — covers student discipline-related issues such as suspension, expulsion and the appeals process. Prominent changes to the code include a new introduction that cites the “Principles of Community,” and an altered appeals process.

“The draft code reads that appeals will be heard by a council of provosts,” Career Services Center Director Andrew Ceperley said. “So if the students find themselves moving to the point of an appeal, that appeal will be heard not just by their own [college] provost, but by the six-person Council of Provosts.”

Two major points of clarification have been made due to feedback from administrators in the code, including the application of the revised code to the entire student community at UCSD — undergraduate, graduate and professional school students included.

“The code has a different tone, is less legalistic in language and walks through things more clearly,” Co-Chair and Director of Parent and Family Relations Cara Appel-Silbaugh said.

Although the work group ultimately chose to remove the legal language from the code, not all members agreed with this decision.

“The student legal services section has been taken out of the code,” Sharma said. “They tried to remove as much legal language from the code as possible but I feel that it is a disservice to students.”

Additionally, the Student Regulations and Revisions Committee — which consists of students, faculty and staff — reviews the code on a need-be basis.

“They would, in the past, review the code as issues came up when a policy question was needed and make suggestions for revision,” Appel-Silbaugh said. “[The work group was formed] because Vice Chancellor Rue felt that from student feedback that a real look and consideration was needed.”

The work group consists of 24 members who represent students and faculty, with members from A.S. Council, the Graduate Student Association and the Council of Provosts.

“Some people [on the work group] that Vice Chancellor Rue thought would be appropriate and contribute to the dialogue [were selected],” Appel-Silbaugh said. “And some students were identified by their dean of students or their college council.”

The group held an open forum on May 17 and has another planned for May 23. In addition to two open forums, it uses emails from students and anonymous feedback via its website to evaluate the revised draft. The draft is available online at http://blink.ucsd.edu/sponsor/student-affairs/scc-rw/index.html.

“The feedback has been largely positive,” Ceperley said. “We’re going to continue this process in the fall term, after a quiet summer, and [there will be] more communication at that time to remind people about the draft [and to get] more feedback.”

Additional reporting by Regina Ip.

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