Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sh** hits the fan: UW System moves to regulate off-campus behavior

It is all over the news this week:  UW system is trying to change campus rules to be able to punish students for off-campus behavior.  New rules have been distributed for comment that seem to radically change the nature of the relationship between students and the universities.  

You can read the Northwestern's editorial here.  There are news stories across the entire state

Looking at a few stories, it looks dangerously vague--students can be disciplined on campus for imparing the university's mission.  What in the world does that mean?   

The vagueness seems to suggest that an overzealous administrator could punish a student for stridently criticizing their institution.  It also makes me wonder about how the universities would be able to implement this code.  Are the university authorities now going to leave campus to police the neighborhoods?  Are we going to employ snitches to rat out students who behave badly off campus? 

It looks like a hornets nest to me. . . 



CJ said...

The revisions to the Student Nonacademic Disciplinary procedure and Codes of Conduct, Chapter 17 & 18 are basically reworded and reorganized for rule coherence. And a quick read shows that it is less wordy, less adversarial and defines procedures with more clarity. Not much else has changed.

Did you even read it?

Lake Winneblogo said...

Your right -- I hadn't looked. On top of the extension off-campus, they want to remove language that reminded the authorities that student protest and speech is protected by the U.S. Constitution. (see section 17.03b).

That really makes me feel better!

Anonymous said...

The A-T and campus newspapers have been throwing this same sh@% at the fan for months. I guess the NW and other papers have smellier sh@% to throw at their fans. Either that or their fans are industrial strength. In any event, welcome to the debate, Winneblogo. You made it before the last person in the state.
Glad you finally smelled it.

Anonymous said...

Well the whole point of posting the rule changes is to invite comment. So if you have objections to some of the changes, you do have the opportunity to raise those concerns and maybe bring about some changes.

Of course, that assumes that professors and students will take the time to read the proposed changes carefully and actively participate in the final review process.

My guess is that the vast majority will not bother to do so and just complain when the new rules come into effect.