A Letter to the Editor - 12/16/2013
I read with interest the Faculty Herald editorial (vol. 44, no. 2) about faculty safety. Allow me to provide a correction to the following statement from the editorial, “While the student Code of Conduct mentions the sanctions for student-on-student aggression, we on the FSSC have found nothing dedicated to protecting faculty.”
The Student Conduct Code does not limit what would be considered a violation of the Code to student-on-student aggression. Code violations #2 and #3 speak most specifically to a classroom disruption or an act of aggression by a student:
Violation 2 - Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other university activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or of other authorized non-university activities when the conduct occurs on university premises.
Violation 3 - Any act or threat of intimidation or physical violence toward another person including actual or threatened assault or battery.
The language of each violation is broad and would apply to student behaviors regardless of whether the subject of the aggression or disruption is a faculty or another student. In other words, if a student has disrupted a classroom, acted in an intimidating manner, threatened violence, or acted in a violent manner, the student can be charged with Code violations. I encourage all faculty to not hesitate when a concern about a student’s behavior arises. In a college community, it is our collective responsibility to hold students accountable.
Stephanie Ives, Ed.D.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Thanks to Associate Vice President Ives for pointing out my mistake; I apologize for not having been more careful in my reading of the Code. Instead, I should have focused on the concerns raised by the FSSC last year--that many faculty have had situations with disruptive students that have made them feel as if they were afforded little or no protection by university policy. For instance, a faculty member was told that she could not prevent a student who had been disruptive in a class the prior semester from enrolling in her class. (See the Herald article on this topic from last year.) We look forward to continuing our work with the administration to ensure that faculty feel -- and are--safe.
– The Editor