Code of conduct revamp beneficial for students, WLU

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Wilfrid Laurier University’s student code of conduct is being updated, particularly the non-academic student misconduct policy. The policy focuses on unlawful use of alcohol, violence, theft, disruption of university activity and drug trafficking. The updated code aims to reflect current student challenges. Such challenges include misuse of technology, cyber bullying and other issues that would not have been included in previous updates to the code of conduct.

The general message of this update is that academics and non-academics are closely related and the code of conduct should take that connection into consideration.  The tone of this update is admirable, and students should welcome the university in supporting student growth and well-being.

There is nothing wrong or out of the ordinary with a post-secondary institution looking to uphold an image. Public image of a student body relate to academics and non-academics and having a code of conduct that reflects this reality is an honest attempt to uphold image and help students.

In addition to code revamps, the process by which the dean of students’ office deals with misconduct issues is changing as well, and like the overall revamp, students should benefit. Instead of going in front of peers in some instances, and interacting with other students who may play a role in their university career, students will be meeting with trained professionals. Through meeting a professional, the stress of facing a panel of your peers is removed and a more realistic chance for learning and development is provided.

The dean of students’ office in Waterloo and Brantford have made the revamp a priority but also the awareness surrounding the changes. Students should be aware that the code of conduct exists and pertains to non-academics. This fact is unknown among many students and providing students with this knowledge, especially those beginning their time at this institution, will benefit students and the university.

What falls under the student code of conduct and what off campus instances attract the attention of the dean of students’ office remains somewhat of a grey area. It is important that the discussion regarding how the university plans to regulate or monitor students’ off-campus activity continues between those carrying out university policy and the students it impacts.

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