Jing Jiang / Sun Senior Photographer

Joe Anderson, pictured here in an assembly meeting in 2019, hoped that the ability to make anonymous comments on the revised code of conduct would provide blunter remarks.

April 8, 2020

University Assembly Deliberates Code of Conduct Changes

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On Tuesday afternoon, the University Assembly discussed updates on proposed revisions to the campus code of conduct and interviewed a Judicial Codes Counselor candidate.

The Codes and Judicial committee, which oversees code updates, plans on summarizing part of the code to make it more reader-friendly before opening the potential changes to public comment.

Joe Anderson ’20, Student Assembly president, said public comments can also be anonymous, which would “provide an opportunity to get more blunt and honest comments on the code.”

The effort represents the culmination of a U.A. project that began in January 2019 intended to make the campus code of conduct more student-friendly.

“Among the Committee’s various goals is making the Code of Conduct easier to read and understand, updating its provisions concerning harassment and stalking, and codifying various Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures,” said Matthew Battaglia law, chair of the University Assembly, at the meeting that initially announced the project.

The U.A. decided to add a meeting on May 12 in order to give the committee more time to review those public comments, as the assembly was originally only supposed to meet twice before the end of the school year.

In addition to the changes to the code, Judicial Codes Counselor candidate Suzanna Swanson was interviewed by the assembly. The vote to confirm Swanson will be made in the next meeting on April 28.

The Judicial Codes Counselor “provides free assistance to any member of the Cornell community accused of violating the Campus Code of Conduct, the Code of Academic Integrity, or Cornell University Policy 6.4.,” according to its website.

Prof. Charles Van Loan, computer science, stressed the importance of the assembly’s meetings in a time of uncertainty.

“Shared governance is more important during a time of crisis… and it’s this idea that you need as many different constituencies and people looking at these huge problems and trying to figure it out,” Van Loan said.