September 18, 2007

U.A. Discusses Code of Conduct

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The University Assembly’s Codes and Judicial Committee held a meeting yesterday to discuss its work on the Campus Code of Conduct.
The CJC’s main order of business was deciding how best to inform the Cornell community of an open forum it is holding Oct. 2 in the Memorial Room of The Straight. At the forum, all community members will be invited to share their comments and concerns regarding what CJC chair Kathleen Rourke calls the CJC’s “revised” Code of Conduct.
The CJC contains 12 voting members who represent undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff. According to Peggy Beach, supervisor of the office of assemblies and director of campus relations, the 12 members are responsible for reviewing and suggesting changes of the Code of Conduct to the U.A.
Rourke said the Code is “a living and breathing document that changes.”
According to Rourke, the Committee revised the Code in order to “address everyone’s major concerns” that came about in response to 2006’s Krouse Report, a re-writing of the Code by Barbara Krouse, a senior advisor to President Hunter R. Rawlings. Krouse’s changes were never implemented.
Following the negative reception of the Krouse Report, Prof. Kevin Clermont, law, who is also a CJC member, said that President David J. Skorton asked the U.A. to propose a revision of the Code. Clermont revised the Code over the summer with the help of many advisors including Charles Walcott Ph.D. ’59, dean of University faculty, Susan Murphy ’73, vice president for student and academic services and Mary Opperman, vice president of human resources.
At the beginning of the semester, the CJC reviewed and added to the changes.
Rourke said the re-write is “the best of both [the old Code of Conduct and the Krouse Report] and makes a new and improved Code of Conduct.”
Before submitting the revised Code to the UA, the CJC is looking to hear the reactions of members of the community in its open forum. Beach said she hopes more students will attend the open forum this year, because “it is a problem if people don’t feel that they’re being heard.”
The Committee plans to spread word of the forum with a mass email to the community which will outline the revisions the CJC has made, announce the open forum and provide links to the CJC website.
Rourke said that the CJC website will display the revised Code, as well as host an online forum in which members of the Cornell Community can post their thoughts about its revisions until October 15th.
The CJC will also advertise through various venues.
Clermont said that after the open forum, the CJC will use feedback from community members to improve the Code before submitting it to the U.A. The U.A., in turn will discuss the CJC report before presenting a final report to President Skorton by the end of the calendar year.