Student leaders weigh in on code change proposal

By March 5, 2009

University of Wisconsin System student leaders voiced concern at a public forum Wednesday about the UW System Board of Regent’s proposal to amend chapters 17 and 18 of the conduct of code regarding nonacademic misconduct.

"It definitely needed to be updated," University Affairs Director for the United Council Michael Moscicke said. "The two chapters don’t mention any technology at all, and they definitely need to update, but there are also some things we just object to."

Moscicke said the council, which represents all 26 UW System campuses, has four main objections to the board’s proposal to alter the rules dealing with students and off-campus crimes.

The United Council hopes to address vague language in the document, remove municipal violations and ensure students have the right to an appeal. The council said it also hopes to grant students the right to legal representation and a lawyer.

Moscicke added the committee has been working closely with the Associated Students of Madison, who also have their qualms with the proposed changes to the document.

"The legislation the council passed recognized a plethora of problems as well as a couple of good points," ASM member Kevin Ott said.

Ott said ASM agrees with the points made by the United Council and hopes the Board of Regents takes them into serious consideration.

ASM also called for the regents to include criteria for the qualifications and requirements for the investigating officers when a student is accused of a crime. The committee also wants to see the board clarify the term "pattern of behavior," one of the board’s requirements for a student to be accused of an off-campus crime.

"I think it’s important for ASM to take a stance because this is something that has potential to affect students widely," Ott said. "There are some provisions in the document that are worrying, and I think it’s important for them to take a stance and be able to tell the regents and the administration what is the position that students want to take on this issue."

The final document will be discussed in the Board of Regents meeting today. The final proposal will be completed and voted upon by the state Legislature in May.

Both student committees are encouraging students to send in remarks and suggestions to admincodecomment@uwsa.edu. Comments will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on March 13.

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Schools: University of Wisconsin – Madison Cases: University of Wisconsin: Students’ Due Process Rights