Learn about Western’s newly revised Student Code
By Sherry Mallory,
Associate Dean of Students
Western’s newly revised Student Rights and Responsibilities Code, which went into effect Jan. 9, more clearly spells out Western’s expectations that students maintain an environment conducive to academic success and the safety of others on campus.
Approved by the Board of Trustees on Dec. 9, 2011, the code also ensures Western is in compliance with federal law, particularly two recent directives on bullying/harassment and sexual violence by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
As a parent or family member, what do you need to know about the code? Here are a few common questions (and answers) from the Dean of Students Office.
Why does Western have a student code?
First and foremost, Western is an academic community. The code seeks to maintain an environment conducive to the academic success, safety, and well-being of all members of that community. As noted in the code’s introduction, “…acceptance of admission to the university carries with it an obligation to fulfill certain responsibilities and expectations.” These include assuming responsibility for one’s own actions, being truthful, respecting the rights of others, and agreeing to abide by all university policies as well as all applicable laws and regulations.
Read Western's Student Rights and Responsibilities Code at the Dean of Students' website.
Some violations of Western’s code mirror criminal violations of law, like underage drinking, theft and trespassing. Others – such as sexual misconduct and providing false information – use similar terminology, but are defined differently on campus. The rest tie in with Western’s expectation that students act in a manner consistent with high standards of scholarship and behavior, as is the norm at college campuses across the country.
What’s different in the revised code?
The revised code clarifies that students are responsible for their conduct from the time they’ve confirmed their enrollment at Western through the awarding of their degree. It also shifts from using the terms “judicial” and “discipline” to “conduct,” and notes that the conduct process is designed to be a learning process that promotes students’ understanding of their responsibilities as a member of Western’s community.
Three new violations – “conduct that threatens health or safety,” “fire safety and false alarms,” and “trespassing” – were added to bring our code more in line with others across the state and nation. A full summary of changes is available on the DOS Office website: http://www.wwu.edu/dos/conduct/the_code.shtml
How is the code different from the Residential Community Handbook?
All Western students are expected to comply with the code. Students who live in campus residence halls and apartments have additional policies and procedures they’re expected to comply with – e.g., candles and incense, prohibited items, projectiles, and smoking – which reflect the unique requirements of the residential environment. These are outlined in the Residential Community Handbook. University Residences and the Dean of Students Office work together to closely align the two sets of policies/procedures. The Residential Community Handbook is available online at http://housing.wwu.edu/RCH
For additional questions about the code, please contact Sherry Mallory, Associate Dean of Students at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-650-2484.