Student Code of Conduct Changes – Community Feedback

Matt Clifford, Associate Dean of Students, Student Conduct, sent the following message to undergraduate students. Faculty and staff are also invited to participate and share feedback as outlined below. 

Dear Undergraduate Students,

Welcome back to the start of another academic year. As our continuing students know and new students will come to understand, the undergraduate Student Code of Conduct is a critical document within the student experience. More than just a list of rules, the Code of Conduct describes the values of the institution and the kind of students Wake Foresters aspire to be. At its core, the Code of Conduct outlines minimum expectations for students inside and outside the classroom, the procedures we follow when a student may be in violation, and the range of outcomes that can happen if a student is responsible for a violation.

This year, the Wake Forest community will have an important opportunity to contribute to and shape the Code of Conduct. In the spring of 2017, a broad-based committee of faculty, staff, and students suggested revisions to the Code. The committee was represented by the following individuals, with their affiliations at the time noted in parentheses:

  • Johnny Petersen (Student, Board of Investigators and Advisors)
  • Alex Fowler (Student, Board of Investigators and Advisors)
  • Suyash Keshari (Student, Student Government)
  • Doug Bland (Staff, Judicial Council)
  • Bill Wells (Staff, Judicial Council)
  • Paige Meltzer (Staff, Office of Diversity and Inclusion)
  • Jose Villalba (Faculty, Office of the Dean of the College)
  • Erica Still (Faculty, Honors and Ethics Council)
  • Tanya Jachimiak (Staff, Title IX Office)
  • Dina Marty (Staff, Legal Department)
  • Allie Clayton (Staff, Office of the Dean of Students)
  • Adam Goldstein (Staff, Office of the Dean of Students)

The committee, for whose work I am grateful, has reviewed and suggested revisions to the Student Code of Conduct with the goals of increasing clarity, instituting best practices, and supporting student safety. During the summer, the draft version was reviewed by legal experts with significant experience writing student codes of conduct at other institutions.

This fall, we will provide for a period of public review and comment on these suggested revisions. In short, we will be giving the Code to you for your thoughtful comments and suggestions. Providing feedback on the expectations that significantly shape the student experience is a critical aspect of community engagement, and I invite you to participate through the following ways:

Offer your feedback on the draft revisions

You can review the suggested revisions to the Code of Conduct and make comments on our website. Feedback will only be collected electronically through December 1, 2017.

When leaving a comment, please copy/paste the text you wish to comment upon and keep in mind the following questions:

  1. What objective is this policy/procedure trying to meet? How does it fail to do so?
  2. Can you suggest an alternative to the language proposed?
  3. How would the alternative language meet the same objective or be more effective? Please note: comments will be moderated for posting to the website.

Attend one of our Code of Conduct listening sessions

We will be hosting several sessions during the fall to discuss various sections of the Code of Conduct, the revisions recommended at this stage, and the rationale behind those suggestions. The schedule is as follows, with all sessions held in Pugh Auditorium unless otherwise noted:

  • September 12, 8 p.m. – Introduction to Code of Conduct
  • September 19, 5 p.m. – Alcohol Policy (Wingate Lower Auditorium)
  • September 26, 8 p.m. – Prohibited Behavior
  • October 3, 8 p.m. – Violations and Sanction Framework
  • October 10, 8 p.m. – Procedures
  • October 17, 8 p.m. – Other Policies and Organizational Misconduct

In the spring, the committee will review comments that have been submitted. In some cases, feedback or suggestions may not receive full consideration because they might shift our expectations away from core values and commitments. Feedback and suggestions that contribute positively to the clarity, consistency, and emphasis on safety will be considered for inclusion. After a final document has been created for approval, we plan to hold additional opportunities for students to learn about how we used your feedback.

Again, I hope you participate in this important process by offering your valuable feedback. You can start reading the suggested changes and leaving comments now on our website. If you have any questions about this process, please contact me at cliffomw@nullwfu.edu.

Matt Clifford, EdD
Associate Dean of Students, Student Conduct

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