The University of Idaho Student Code of Conduct is due for an update, having only received minor revisions since the ‘60s.
Dean of Students Bruce Pitman said the code was written when student rights were the dominant issue and needs an update to keep pace with issues today.
“The atmosphere has changed in 50 years,” Pitman said. “There are many court decisions that have defined what a university is responsible for when it comes to addressing campus safety issues, and student mental health issues. Our code is pretty out of date, it doesn’t address in some ways a heightened sense of concern for campus safety issues that have become a focal point of an awful lot of our work since Virginia Tech and a number of other tragedies in the last few years.”
Pitman said he and ASUI President Hannah Davis have been talking throughout the update process because he wants to make sure student leaders have a part in any changes. He said several staff members are working on an executive summary that will present the proposed changes and explain what the changes do and how they differ from current practice.
“I think it is important that our faculty leadership and student leadership get to look at an early draft to give feedback before a final proposal is submitted to faculty senate for review and approval,” Pitman said.
Pitman said there is a working draft and concepts for the changes but they are waiting until the summary is complete. When completed, the summary will be sent to faculty senate and ASUI for discussion. Feedback will be considered and changes could be made to the document before it is proposed formally to faculty senate.
“I think the executive summary will be done relatively soon and the discussion with faculty and student leaders will be done this semester,” Pitman said. “But I doubt it will be formally presented to the faculty senate before next year.”
Pitman said it is a very long process. If the proposal is approved by faculty senate, it must be approved by a general vote of the faculty and then forwarded to the president before it will be implemented.
Andrew Deskins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org