LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees Friday planned to discuss changes being proposed in UK's code of student conduct as part of a comprehensive effort to continue investing in ‒ and improving ‒ the campus safety environment.
The board will formally consider the proposed changes during its June meeting.
These vital issues have been part of a comprehensive and exhaustive review by a safety task force, formed by UK President Eli Capilouto, and charged with making recommendations regarding student health and safety and strengthening neighborhood relationships.
The broad-based task force ‒ which included faculty, students and staff along with representatives from local government, neighborhoods and other institutions ‒ can be found at: http://www.uky.edu/PR/News/Health_and_Safety_Task_Force.html.
“Safety is integral to a productive campus where students, faculty and staff can live, learn, discover and serve together,” Capilouto said. “For more than a year, campus and community workgroup members have been tireless in their effort to produce a comprehensive document and set of principles and policies that will ensure our campus is a welcome and safe place to prosper.
"Their product is more than an alcohol policy or a collection of rules, it is another component in our multi-faceted approach to position UK as a thriving residential research university that supports its campus family and surrounding community.”
In recent years, for example, UK has invested some $5 million in additional safety efforts, including more safety officers and counselors, lighting, cameras and other technology.
In its work, the task force reviewed national best practices, such as the National Student Code of Conduct; researched other universities’ policies and procedures; and consulted with national leaders. It also consulted and briefed several campus and community groups, including the UK Alumni Association, the board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee, the Dean’s Council, Lexington Urban County Council, neighborhood associations, UK Student Government Association, and several other community and campus groups.
Key recommendations with respect to the university's Code of Student Conduct as well as incidents of sexual misconduct and UK's alcohol policy include:
· The code should reflect language similar to the National Student Code of Conduct.
o Extension of all code regulations to any on- or off-campus location, is effective immediately after a student registers for classes and extends to any location and any time frame, including periods when classes are not in session, until a registered student graduates or transfers.
o In its examination of new regulations and recommendations from the U.S. Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Education, the task force recommended adjusted policies and procedures regarding reporting, interim suspensions, formal hearing procedures, recommended sanctions based on specifics of the violations, and the appeals process.
o With an objective to promote legal and responsible behavior, the university will allow the legal consumption of alcohol at specific locations and at specific times.
o Alcohol is not allowed in residence halls under any circumstances
o Events where alcohol is served must:
§ Pre-register the event through the Office of Event Planning
§ Provide qualified security and verification of identification
§ In addition to compliance with other relevant regulations, Greek organizations must also co-sponsor all such events with alumni
“I have appreciated the opportunity to provide student feedback throughout the development of these important policies over the past year,” said outgoing Student Body President Jacob Ingram. “While these policies will continue to be refined to meet the changing needs of campus, I am confident this is a step forward in making our campus a safer, better place.”
“The Student Health and Safety Task Force worked diligently to create a comprehensive approach on the issues that our students currently face on and off campus,” said Robert Mock, chair of the task force and vice president for student affairs. “The proposed policies are designed to improve the safety of our students and the community.”