Student Code of Conduct to be revised following Greek Culture change

Michelle Marchante/News Director

Besides promoting accountability and a transparent line of communication between Greeks and administrators, the Student Code of Conduct will also be updated to match the Greek culture shift, according to the University’s general counsel.

The code, unrevised since 2012,  will be presented to the Board of Trustees in the beginning of June 2018; if approved, it would take effect on June 18, the first day of summer B classes. The revised code’s draft, along with a comparison between the revised and old code can be found at conduct.fiu.edu.

Some of the changes found in the revised code include zero-tolerance, said Carlos Castillo, the University’s general counsel.

If a student is found responsible for a certain type of conduct, which includes but is not limited to sexual misconduct, hazing and arson, the student could face suspension or expulsion.

During the town hall, Castillo broke the changes down into nine categories.

Besides zero tolerance, the new Student Code of Conduct will have new language, which is still being reviewed, and may provide the President or Vice President for Student Affairs the power to modify the process if there is a security issue, if “special expertise” is needed to be fair, if a code is “insufficient” in protecting the university community or if a law was changed, according to Castillo.

The new code will also reflect changes done to Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act, which covers sexual misconduct, stalking, dating and domestic violence. Under the new code, all Title IX provisions will be found in the same section.

Some of the changes include an updated and clarified definition on consent and intimate partner relationships, according to Castillo, along with more examples for what is consensual, non-consensual and withdrawn consent.

Detailed descriptions of how investigations done under Title IX will also be in the code, as well as how “sole evidence” will be used by the committee of Student Conduct to determine if a student violated Title IX or VAWA. This way of investigative review will protect both parties from any “trauma” they may have retelling the story, Castillo said.

The last group of changes Castillo mentioned involved the rules for interim suspension. The new code removes the standard of “emergency” which involves a threat to student health, safety or wellness, before issuing suspension. It also provides more examples as to what hazing is, which includes forced activity such as violence, marching in formation and drugs.

“Tradition” marching, like what Sigma Lambda Beta Incorporated, one of the “Divine 9” Greek organizations on campus does, would not be included as hazing as it doesn’t hurt anyone physically or mentally.

The revised code also has new language to make clear that a student organization can be charged if a student or students act together to impede an investigation and that a student organization can be held responsible for the actions of its members.

The new Student Code of Conduct will be the new “framework” used for all students– Greek or non-Greek, according to Rosenberg. A public hearing is expected in the future so students can ask questions and provide comments on the new code.

“We have to change in order to get better results and this code being changed is part of that,” Rosenberg said.

Students interested in providing comments can email codecomments@fiu.edu. The deadline for comments is Friday, March 30, at 5 p.m.

 

Feature Image by Nicole Malanga/PantherNOW.

 

About the Author

Michelle Marchante
Michelle Marchante is the 2018-2019 Editor-in-Chief of PantherNOW. Majoring in broadcast journalism, she lives and breathes web, print, radio and TV news 24/7. You can connect with her on Twitter @TweetMichelleM

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