Allegheny Student Government voted down an amended version of the student code of conduct on Dec. 1, 2015 citing the codes lack of enforcement of the statement of community and ambiguities in disciplinary sanctions as the primary reasons for the rejection.
Interim Dean of Students Jacquie Kondrot and Director of Student Conduct and Development Joe Hall were at the meeting to present the amended policy and heard student concerns regarding the proposed policy.
Connor Racine, ’16, spoke directly to Kondrot, saying the campus community had little faith in the enforcement of the statement of community.
“At the moment the sentiment is that the conduct policy is not holding students accountable for violating that policy,” said Racine.
Racine said that, at present, violations of the statement of community, which can include racist, sexist or homophobic comments, are not grounds for disciplinary sanctions. He said these incidents are used as “teaching moments” instead.
In response, Kondrot said time was needed to implement a sanctioning policy for the statement of community.
“The question is where do you put the teeth and how do you do it,” Kondrot said.
Racine replied that the college has had plenty of time to discuss and address the issue.
“We do a lot of stating our commitment to these things but not a lot of doing something about them,” Racine said.
Other members of ASG voiced concerns about the section of the policy dealing with disciplinary sanctions, saying the language was too vague on what constituted a policy violation. Kondrot said the issue of how specific to be on what actions could result in sanctions was discussed while the policy was being written.
“These are meant to give people a general idea of what an appropriate sanction would be,” Kondrot said.
The amended policy also included a section the right of the college to revoke or reject a degree or diploma. Hall explained that an example in which this policy would be implemented would be if it was learned a senior had plagiarized their senior comprehensive project.
“If an accusation was made there still would be a process,” Hall said.