The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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Senators vote down proposed Code of Conduct revision

Senators voted Tuesday afternoon against a Code of Conduct revision proposal that would make student organizations responsible for the acts of individual members.

The proposal, submitted by Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Lori White, was first submitted last fall, but has been revised three times. It is based on a similar code of conduct rule at the University of Southern California.

In that proposal, any recognized student organization might be held responsible for the acts of individual members if:

• Members do not indicate their disapproval or imply approval by not objecting when a member breaks university standards or state law.

• A member’s acts stem from or are associated with the environment created by or the activities of the organization.

• The acts are done by guests or people “authorized or permitted to represent themselves as connected with the organization.”

• Prospective members are given a “subordinate status” or put on a “probationary period” before given full membership and hazing occurs.

The proposal states that cases relating to hazing, vandalism, theft, alcohol, drugs, assault, dishonesty and misappropriation of organization or university funds may be relevant to the rule, and organizations should take “reasonable steps” to prevent infractions.

White’s proposal also says the responsibility of organizations may be lessened in cases if members “take reasonable steps to prevent infractions of university regulations by their fellow members,” but that the steps will vary according to each case.

Under the proposal, an organization would most likely be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for serious offenses and continued violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

The suggested change received a negative recommendation from the Code of Conduct revision committee, which was then brought before the Senate. The committee is made up of a representative from RLSH, a representative from the Greek community, Executive Director of the Office of the Executive Director for Student Development and Programs Jennifer “JJ” Jones, the Student Body President and Secretary, two senators, the Senate student concerns chair and organization chair.

According to Student Body Secretary Erika Briceno, the committee felt that the wording wasn’t right. She said the committee felt that while White’s intentions were good, they were worried that White’s successors might exploit the wording to do something beside what White had in mind.

While Briceno had hoped that senators would table the proposal so that the wording might be changed, there were no complaints against it filed and Senate voted to approve the committee’s negative recommendation.

Briceno said White has the option to overturn the Senate’s decision, but it would most likely be brought up again during next year’s code revision proposals.

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