Bucknell has made significant changes to its Student Handbook and Student Code of Conduct beginning with the fall 2014 semester. Please become familiar with these changes so that you can be sure to comply with them and use them as a guide as you become the best version of yourself at Bucknell.
What are the biggest changes in the Code of Conduct?
- The pledge of student responsibility has been condensed for ease in understanding. It is now the Community Responsibility Statement and will be featured prominently across campus.
- The Code of Conduct is written in an affirmative tone. We have outlined the conduct we expect from you as a member of our campus community.
- The process for adjudication has changed. If you accept responsibility for violating the Code of Conduct, you will have the opportunity to address the violation without a hearing in a process called "pre-hearing resolution."
- Many sanctions have a greater educational focus and are determined by the conduct administrator or hearing board based on the specific details of the incident. When appropriate, students can also be given warnings that although they will be in the student's file, are not part of a student's official conduct record.
The code looks different, is anything missing? Was anything added?
- Though the code appears to be much shorter, it includes all the necessary information. We reorganized the code into categories of expected conduct, removed redundant content and eliminated specific examples. You will see one addition in the new code: academic integrity. Although academic integrity was covered in academic policies, in the course catalog, on the website and on many course syllabi, it was not in the Student Code of Conduct. In the spirit of integrating academic and student life, it is now in there. The process for adjudicating academic honesty has not changed.
To whom does the new code apply?
- Starting fall 2014, the new Code of Conduct and related policies apply to all student members of the Bucknell Community.
Why is Bucknell no longer using the alcohol point system?
- Students often found the alcohol point system to be overly punitive, including because one bad choice involving alcohol could negatively impact a student's entire career at Bucknell. The new system focuses on restoration by allowing for short-term sanctions with a focus of changing behavior.
Since the alcohol point system is no longer in place, what happens to the points I have already accumulated?
- Students who have sanctions, including points, through the old conduct system will maintain their current student conduct record. However, they will not earn future points and any future sanctions would not be based on points previously earned. If future prohibited conduct occurs, the past incidents, not the point total, will be taken into consideration according to this new system.
- Students who have points will still be eligible to have their points removed by September 15 of their senior year.
- Direct any questions related to this transition away from the point system to Assistant Dean of Students Chip Marrara.
Who will be administering the Student Code of Conduct and conduct process?
- Assistant Dean of Students Chip Marrara is the Student Conduct Administrator and has direct responsibility for administering the Student Code of Conduct. He and six members of our Residential Education Office (Assistant Directors and Community Directors) will handle all cases for which pre-hearing resolution is an option, including when the student accepts responsibility for engaging in prohibited conduct.
- Administrative Hearing Officer will hear all cases involving alcohol and other drugs that are not subject to pre-hearing resolution.
- All other cases will be heard by a Community Conduct Board hearing panel.
Why so many conduct officers?
- By having more trained conduct officers on staff, Bucknell can provide more individualized attention to students efficiently and effectively implementing the Code and assisting students to make necessary changes.
Why are drinking games prohibited in the new code?
- Drinking games typically involve the rapid consumption of alcohol, which has been shown to have significant negative consequences, including heavy intoxication and alcohol poisoning.
Fines were often a common sanction for many different violations. Is that still the case?
- While fines are still an available sanction, they will now be more directly linked to the specific prohibited conduct, such as in the form of restitution for property that has been damaged or destructed, or the cost of an online tutorial that has been required as part of a sanction. Fines for the sake of fining are not necessarily effective in changing behavior. By the way, the most effective sanction in changing behavior in positive ways is "parental/guardian notification." We will continue that practice.
The drug policy seems very different, why is that?
- Although we have a separate alcohol policy, the sanctions for prohibited conduct related to alcohol and other drugs are much more similar than they were in the previous code. Our goal is to provide assessment, education and intervention. We have not changed how seriously we take drug-related violations. Suspension and expulsion continues to be a possible sanction for serious drug related conduct violations.
What process did you use in writing and revising the Student Handbook and the Student Code of Conduct?
- Dean of Students Susan Lantz coordinated the effort through a yearlong, collaborative process that included student input. The fall semester was spent assessing the current Handbook and Code of Conduct, researching best practices at other colleges and universities, reading literature regarding effective sanctions and listening to student thoughts regarding Bucknell policy. The writing occurred in the spring, with several versions shared with faculty, staff and students. The Committee on Campus and Student Life (CCSL), a committee consisting of six students, six faculty members and two administrators, reviewed drafts in April, providing great direction for edits and changes.
- It is important to note that several students assisted in conducting thorough research including investigating Code of Conduct policies, websites, conduct processes and staffing models at multiple universities. Student handbooks of over 20 different institutions were specifically reviewed for their best practices in several areas.