Wednesday, November 26, 2003

UC's student code of conduct appears headed for tightening

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

University of Cincinnati may change the code that governs student conduct as early as spring - including provisions to punish those who participate in off-campus celebratory rioting.

UC's Board of Trustees Tuesday restructured a review committee that recommends changes to the student code of conduct, which addresses everything from issues of plagiarism to theft.

The committee - composed of students, administrators and faculty - will meet next month to debate how students could be sanctioned for riotous behavior just beyond the campus perimeter.

Any potential changes to UC's student code of conduct will be part of a comprehensive strategy by the university - involving law enforcement, landlords and other community members - to stymie events such as the Cinco de Mayo block parties that have for the past two years erupted into riots with residents setting cars on fire and throwing beer bottles in the street on Stratford Avenue.

In the wake of rioting after high-profile sporting events, other large public institutions, including Ohio State University, have implemented changes in their student codes of conduct.

"We need to do a greater level of enforcement. It signals to the larger community that the university is serious about this particular kind of behavior,'' said UC's Mitchel Livingston, vice president for student affairs.

Ron Ricks, UC's student government president, said his peers are concerned about the university exerting jurisdiction beyond campus borders. Livingston said a provision governing off-campus behavior would be specific and not extend beyond a small area just outside the university walls.

"I would rather our university be the first to take it on with a reasonable penalty attached to it," Ricks, a senior from Toledo, said. "That's satisfactory to me. I would support that."


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