Schlissel approves seven amendments to Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities

Sunday, April 17, 2016 - 7:00pm

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel approved seven amendments to the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities Monday aimed at addressing awareness about the statement and transparency related to the amendment process.

The statement, originally created in 1996, details expectations for student conduct and outlines suggested sanctions and disciplinary measures for violations. The amendment process occurs every three years and is coordinated by the Office of Student Conflict Resolution.

This cycle’s amendments include increasing education and awareness among students about the statement, clarifying and increasing transparency related to the amendment process, addressing stalking and intimate partner violence and clarifying the scope of violations. An additional amendment will alter the amendment process so it must be completed by the end of winter semester.

Students were able to propose changes to the statement from April 2015 until the beginning of November for the consideration of the Student Relations Advisory Committee, the Office of the Vice President, General Counsel, the Civil Liberties Board and eventually Schlissel.

Central Student Government has been heavily involved in the process, discussing it since their first meeting and submitting seven amendments of their own.

CSG submitted two amendments that Schlissel rejected, aimed at implementing an honor code for students, adding provisions to address falsified information and changing the amendment process to increase student voice by allowing CSG to participate in the approval process for amendments.

Schlissel encouraged CSG to continue to develop the amendments that were not passed as they could be considered in future amendment years, according to a press release.

In a November meeting, CSG General Counsel Jacob Pearlman, a Public Policy junior, said adding CSG to the approval process would ensure students have a say in all amendments proposed to the process.

“Skipping student input here, I don’t like that,” Pearlman said. “An executive officer or the Faculty Senate could propose amendments to SRAC that CSG would never see … Giving CSG the power to recommend or not recommend all proposals and not simply their own.”

In a previous interview with the Daily, former CSG President Cooper Charlton said the amendment would have allowed CSG to review proposed amendments concurrently with SRAC.

"This doesn't eliminate any power from anyone. It just allows students to be more involved in the process," he said. "And they shot it down. We were very disappointed in this. The CSG team is very disappointed with SRAC this year. We believe they are very out of touch with students."

Speaking to the honor code, Charlton said the proposal did not pass due to its alteration by the SRAC and their refusal to work collaboratively with students.

"SRAC was an extremely intelligent and wise body; however, they were extremely out of touch with the students," he said. "Because of this they put us in a position where we were fighting them instead of working together on what was best for students. Because of this, the honor code that we brought into the process has essentially been disassembled and deconstructed into a shadow of what it once was."