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Campus announces new student conduct policy

By Public Affairs

After more than a year of review and study, campus officials announced today (Monday, Jan.30) that a new Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct has been approved and will go into effect starting Feb. 1. The code lays out expectations of behavior for students and student organizations at the university. The new code is designed to be more student-friendly and bring more consistency to the process.

The revision was spurred, in part, by concerns about the code raised during 2009-10 campus protest activities. The changes were recommended by a 19-member task force of faculty, staff and students and was co-chaired by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande and physics professor Bob Jacobsen.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer reviewed and accepted all of the committees recommendationslast summer, and the final document was recently approved by the UC Office of the President. The new code is available online.

Under the new code, there are now clear timelines to ensure prompt resolution of cases. For example, a student charged with violating the code will be notified of the allegation within seven business days after the campuss Center for Student Conduct receives a complaint. The student, then, can seek resolution without a hearing or proceed with a hearing. If the student chooses a hearing, it will be scheduled within a fixed time frame (either 15 or 25 days).

Further, a new position of independent hearing officer was created to ensure the new code will be followed. Lee Maranto, who was hired as the new hearing officer, reports directly to the vice chancellor for student affairs and is responsible for overseeing the hearing process. This includes presiding over all student conduct hearings, ruling on procedural and evidentiary questions, training hearing panel members and developing procedures for the exchange of information. This new position addresses the need identified by the task force for a neutral person to oversee the hearing process. Students may now seek a ruling from the independent hearing officer if they believe the processes outlined in the new code are not being followed.

The Berkeley Campus Code of Student conduct explains expectations as well as consequences for violating the code. These may range from academic dishonesty to assault to disturbing the peace. Cases are investigated and may be resolved informally or through a formal administrative hearing process. Sanctions may range from community service to, in the case of more serious violations, suspension or dismissal from the university.