Council February 21: Charter Challenged
Although it was not a formal agenda item, the Proposed Charter for
the Student Judicial System (Almanac February 13) dominated the February
21 Council meeting. After the issue took up most of the clarification
period following the standing reports, the Undergraduate Assembly's
Lance Rogers requested and was granted two 20-minute extensions of
discussion. The extensions supplanted two scheduled agenda items--one on
representation in Council requested by the United Minorities Council,
and the other on a draft policy on the privacy of electronic
information, developed by the Committee on Communications.
Issues in the Charter
Advised in advance of objections to the proposal he released for
information before taking it to the Undergraduate Schools for approval,
Provost Stanley Chodorow devoted his opening report to a comparison,
indicating areas where the new charter increases student involvement and
decreases administrative roles. He gave some history of the Buckley
Amendment on privacy of student academic records, and its federal
interpretations, as the source of the confidentiality provisions that
have become one of the major points of controversy in the new Charter
proposal--one of four points raised in UA's proposed amendment to the
Charter last fall, which UA redistributed last week:
- The Disciplinary Hearing and the Disciplinary Appellate Officer
shall be appointed by the Faculty Senate.
- The student respondent's advisor shall have the right to speak,
question, and call witnesses as well as be chosen at the respondent's
- In cases not involving alleged violations of the "Acquaintance
Rape and Sexual Violence Policy," hearings shall be open to the public
if the student respondent requessts, in writing prior to the hearing
date, that the procedure be open to the public.
- The provost may only modify the sanction ruled by the hearing panel
if such a modification lessens the sanction.
Dr. Chodorow said Wednesday that the charter's present language, which
has provosts "impose" the sanctions recommended to them, should not be
interpreted as allowing provosts to "set" those sanctions. This
provision reflects that only an officer of the University, and not a
committee, has the standing to "impose" the sanctions, he said. He
offered to clarify the language before the document goes to the schools.
In debate on the latest confidentiality provisions, which make
hearings confidential unless all concerned sign waivers, Dr. Anthony
Tomazinis and Dr. Larry Gross were among those questioning the degree of
confidentiality required under Buckley.
As the second extension ended, a UA motion sought to have the
Provost return the Charter to SEC rather than forward it to the Schools.
Moderator Will Harris ruled that the reduced "working quorum" could not
take action on that motion but could vote on a motion to schedule the
Charter for discussion at a future meeting; this motion passed.
February 27, 1996
Volume 42 Number 22
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