Revised Code of Conduct features students’ concerns, input

The revisions to the Student Code of Conduct went into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. (Kaylie McLaughlin | Collegian Media Group)

Revisions to the Kansas State Code of Conduct went into effect Jan. 1 after passing through the student senate at the final session of last semester.

Ashton Hess, senior in geography and history and Student Governing Association attorney general, said the revisions were prompted by a regularly-scheduled review of the code that happens every five years.

One faculty member, two advisers and 17 students made up the committee to examine the code and seek any necessary changes.

“We gathered a committee of a mix of students from across campus to make sure we had lots of perspectives,” Andy Thompson, director of the Office of Student Life and senior associate dean of students, said.

The committee held town halls and sent out a Qualtrics survey in the fall to hear from students about changes they liked to see in the code.

“We had a pretty large committee,” Hess said, “but it’s hard to represent the entire student body, so we wanted to create a survey that would be shared with all the students so everyone would have the opportunity to reply to it. We also did a lot of intentional outreach, having our committee members go and speak at club meetings and organizations.”

Hess said the committee heard back from about 10 percent of K-State students.

“Our main focus was just making sure we listened to students and heard what they wanted to get out of the policy,” Hess said.

Thompson said most of the revisions changed the wording on previous line items rather than making big content changes.

“A lot of the feedback we got back about the code was more clarifying, ‘What do some words mean? What do some of the processes mean?’” Thompson said.

Hess said much of the feedback received, however, related more to information on other policies covering things like threats, discrimination and harassment.

“We received some comments that might fit better in those other policies, so we made sure to forward that information to leaders of their respective groups because there’s a lot of work being made on a lot of K-State policies,” Hess said.

Part of the feedback — and confusion about jurisdiction — also led to website changes, Thompson said. The Student Code of Conduct and other policies are available online.

“The events of last summer, like Black at K-State and student-athletes wanting the university to be held accountable for discrimination, also increased interest from students and student groups in making some changes to the code and the policies,” Annaleigh Hobbs, junior in marketing and economics and deputy attorney general, said.

“The committee finished its revisions on an accelerated timeline just to show that K-State actively responds to student concerns on campus,” Hess said.

Hobbs said revision usually takes around two years to complete and the administration would have liked to finish these revisions even earlier than it did, but the committee wanted to have enough time to hear students’ concerns first.