Central Student Government has commissioned a task force to establish a University-wide student honor code. The code would stand in addition to the pre-existing Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities — a set of standards to which students agree to adhere by upon accepting admission to the University.
Established by CSG President Bobby Dishell, a Public Policy senior, the task force is designed to create an honor code covering academic integrity, individual behavior and student rights.
“The aim of the task force, and eventually the honor code, will be to encourage and motivate students to hold ourselves to a higher standard,” Dishell wrote in a press release. “Currently there is not one place where students can turn to in order to know what our community stands for. It’s important that, as students at Michigan, we understand our roles as the leaders and best both on and off campus.”
In an interview with The Michigan Daily, CSG Vice President Emily Lustig, an LSA senior and chair of the taskforce, said the University lacks a clear, institution-wide honor code.
“Only certain colleges or schools within the University have honor codes and they are adhered to at different levels,” she said.
The Statement acknowledges this decentralization, noting that numerous entities have individual conduct policies and mechanisms for sanctioning for violations of standards. In addition, Lustig said, the Statement is sometimes too long to be comprehensive. Lustig said shortening the Statement to make it more “digestible” would allow students to “fully understand” their expectations as members of the University community.
While drafting the code, the task force plans to consult members of the student body — in part by holding at least one open forum — as well as University administrators. Lustig said the task force would like to speak to members of Greek life and large student organizations like the Black Student Union, as well as the deans of different colleges and eventually, University President Mark Schlissel.
CSG representative Steven Halperin, an LSA sophomore, will serve as the task force’s vice chair.
“I wanted to become involved in the task force because I wanted to be a voice for students,” Halperin said. “I feel that it gets a little complicated and students sometimes get a little confused about what is permissible and what is not.”
The task force is also comprised of students outside of CSG.
“We reached out to large organizations and different schools within the University and tried to get students that represent the entire University,” Lustig said.
Kyle Lady, a member of Rackham Student Government, will also serve on the team.
“I think there’s value in working on what’s out there and where shortcomings might be,” Lady said.
Violations of the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities have garnered significant attention this semester. In January, six University Greek chapters were suspended by their nationals for reportedly causing thousands of dollars worth of damage at two Michigan ski resorts. Sigma Alpha Mu, who attended a retreat weekend in Gaylord Mich. with Sigma Delta Tau, reportedly caused upwards of $100,000 in damage to several of the hotel’s rooms and common areas.
If found responsible by University disciplinary procedures, they could face sanctions based on violations of the Statement.