MSU leaders approve changes for new student code of conduct
BOZEMAN, Mont. - MSU University Council members voted unanimouslyto approve changes to the student code of conduct. MSU has been a nonsmoking campus for three years and now it's a written code. Another addition is a bystander code, requiring students to intervene or report any violation they witness. Under the current code, students have to report both felony and misdemeanor violations and arrests to the university. The new guidelines only require felony arrests be reported within 72 hours. MSU Dean of Students Matt Caires walked through the newest Student Code of Conduct, approved by the University Council on Wednesday. He said the changes were made to ensure students are taking charge of their safety on campus. "We think students have a responsibility to make campus safe and we put a provision in the conduct code that discusses that," said Caires. He explained that students had a lot of input on what was changed and added. "There are student fingerprints all over the new conduct code, and that's the way it should be," said Caires. Some students said guidelines, like being a bystander to a code violation or dangerous crime, were a popular subject on campus. "Now that it's a kind of required, it's a lot easier to go report something that you think is just suspicious or dangerous," said MSU senior Chris White. Others agreed. "I think it's really good to hear that people now have to report crimes when they witness them, because I feel like a lot of people are just like, 'Oh well, that doesn't have anything to do with me, I'll just walk away,' but really they could make a big difference," said MSU sophomore Allison Dorobis. Caires also spoke about an unwritten rule that students were not allowed to pull fire alarms, which is now an official code. Students riding their bikes through stops signs is now in the Code of Conduct. "What is on our minds is, of course, trying to create a campus environment that's safer, and we are interested in having students be responsible for that," Caires. He said, most importantly, the university wants its code to be transparent and consistent to help students who make bad choices learn from them in the future. University officials said they plan to finish out the school year with the current student code of conduct. The new guidelines will take full effect July 1.