Student Code of Conduct updated to emphasize sexual assault, arson

Central Michigan University's Board of Trustees approved changes to the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Disciplinary Procedures at Tuesday's regular meeting.

Changes include defining computer abuse, sexual assault and arson. Steven Johnson, vice president of Enrollment and Student Services, said the changes were made to make CMU safe and conducive to learning.

"They were all a result of regulatory changes, external changes highlighting particular incidences due to Title IX and the raising interest in preventing sexual assault on college campuses," Johnson told Central Michigan Life. "Particular regulations were put in place to make sure we raised a lot of consciousness about preventive efforts on college campuses as well."

One of the larger changes made to the Student Code of Conduct was emphasizing the definition of sexual assault. Johnson said the portion was originally in there, but the office decided to put it into its own subsection for clarity's sake.

"It was thought and recommended that we pull that type of language out to give it more emphasis and making sure the intention was where it needed to be for clarity," he said.

CMU's Student Code of Conduct currently labels sexual assault under "threat/endangerment/assault." The new subsection will still use the same language.

"Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, inflicting sexual contact upon another person or sexually penetrating any person without that person's consent," reads the updated language in the code. "Conduct will be considered without consent if no clear consent is given, or when the assaulted person is unconscious or otherwise without the physical or mental capacity to consent. Initiating sexual contact on someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be considered 'without consent.'"

Another change to the Student Code of Conduct is the addition of two subsections regarding fires and arson. This change comes after Mount Pleasant City Commissioners voted to put the 300-foot fire ordinance into law on Monday.

The new section about unauthorized fires reads: No student shall permit or allow to be permitted a fire with the intent to destroy property including their own and or rubbish.

It defines arson as "a person who uses, arranges, places, devises, or distributes an inflammable, combustible, or explosive material, liquid, or substance or any device in or near a building, structure, other real estate property, or personal property with the intent to commit arson or who aids, counsels, induces, persuades, or procures another to do so."

Tony Voisin, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, said the Student Code of Conduct is available online for all students, faculty and staff. He said the Office of Student Conduct also hands out hard copies of the code to all students that live in the residence halls on campus.

"It's accessible to (students) in multiple ways," Voisin said. "That’s not something we want to hide or not put out in front. It’s important to know what’s expected of them and what the community expects and what the ramifications are and it’s very important to us."



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