July 22, 2024

UT Board of Trustees approve Student Code of Conduct Revisions

The revised Student Code of Conduct was approved Wednesday night by the Board of Trustees. It includes new medical amnesty policies as well as language changes around alcohol, weapons and indefinite suspension.

//Photo by Ryan McGill

The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved the 2017 Student Code of Conduct at their meeting on Wednesday, March 29.

The UTK Student Government Association tweeted a list of notable changes to the Code of Conduct that was passed by the Board of Trustees in 2015. Those changes include implementation of an individual Good Samaritan and Medical Amnesty policy, consolidation of some student conduct boards, the elimination of indefinite suspicion as a possible disciplinary sanction and the inclusion of a clause allowing a future change in alcohol policy.

The Good Samaritan Policy described in Section 11 of the Code states that when an individual student knows or should have known another individual student needs immediate medical attention, those individual students will be expected to report the incident and ask for assistance, as well as provide their names and contact information. Those students are also expected to remain with the impaired student and provide appropriate assistance “during and after the incident.”

An individual student who takes these steps will be referred to as a “Good Samaritan,” and the student in need of assistance is referred to as an “impaired individual student.”

Good Samaritans and individual impaired students will not receive formal University disciplinary action for misconduct discovered as a result of the report unless they have seriously violated the Code of Conduct in ways such as property destruction, theft, assault or if the incident is the student’s second incident of drug or alcohol related misconduct.

The Good Samaritans and individual impaired students may still be required to meet with a University official regarding the incident.

Section 11 also addresses medical amnesty for student organizations. The individual Good Samaritan policy does not apply to entire organizations, but adherence of lack thereof to the proper protocol described in the Good Samaritan policy will be considered when determining a consequence for the organization.

The Code adds language to the alcohol-related conduct clause in Section 4 and bans all alcohol-related activity on University property or at University affiliated events “unless expressly permitted by a University policy,” which leaves the possibility that UT could someday change from a dry to a wet campus open.

The revised Code added language to the weapons clause in the same section that would allow students to carry weapons if “federal or state law affirmatively gives a student a right, irrespective of the Code, to possess or carry a weapon.” This reflects the possibility that the Tennessee state legislature could pass a campus carry policy in the future.

A clause was also added to Section 10, the Honors Statement, on research misconduct, which will be “reported, assessed, inquired into, investigated, and resolved.”

Now that these proposed changes have cleared the Board of Trustees, they await state approval.

Featured Image by Ryan McGill

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo