Campus News

UK expands Code of Student Conduct, empowers students to know their rights

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Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

In this edition of "Behind the Blue,"  Libby Hogan, director of Student Conduct, and Trisha Clement-Montgomery, dean of students, discuss recent changes to the Code of Student Conduct.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2023) With a new semester underway, the University of Kentucky is empowering the campus community to learn more about their rights and responsibilities. 

We are encouraging students, faculty and staff to take a moment and review the recently updated Code of Student Conduct, which outlines the expectations and standards that uphold our community — both on and off campus. 

“By familiarizing yourself with the code, you embolden yourself to make informed decisions and contribute positively to the UK community,” Libby Hogan, director of Student Conduct, said. “It's an invaluable resource that not only outlines student rights but also emphasizes the importance of accountability and respect.” 

Every five years, the university conducts a standard review of this code as required by Administrative Regulation 4:10. A committee — comprised of the Office for Student Success, legal counsel and student and faculty representatives — convened last June for this purpose.   

Approved by the UK Board of Trustees, the updates include: 

  • Expansion of the amnesty policy. The policy prioritizes the health and safety of UK students by granting amnesty to students and student organizations who seek emergency assistance for themselves or someone experiencing a drug or alcohol-related emergency.
    • Expanding the policy encourages students to seek help without fear of conduct violations for themselves, the student(s) experiencing the behavior and/or their organization.  
    • In an emergency, every second matters. Expanding the amnesty policy, to apply more broadly, reduces those barriers and empowers students to take lifesaving measures.
  • Timeline changes to assure Code alignment with the Campus Due Process Protection Act. Students will receive a written notice 10 business days prior to a formal hearing — compared to at least three days previously. This gives students an opportunity to understand the violation of the code they have been charged with, read any supporting documents and secure legal representation, if needed. 
  • Updating cross examination procedures. Attorneys licensed to practice in Kentucky can now participate in cross-examination.   
  • Establishing a default appeal process for interim suspensions. This applies any time a student is interim suspended, unless the student expressly waives that right, and includes convening an appeals panel within three days of an interim suspension.  
  • Updating definitions to clarify meaning. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the code clarifies the definition of “UK activity” to include virtual activities (on or off UK property) that is aided, approved, sponsored or supervised by the university or a student organization.  

“The Code of Student Conduct is in place to not only protect students but also benefit them and the UK community,” Mia Todd, student conduct peer advisor, said. "Every university student, faculty and staff member should be aware of the revisions to students’ rights."

The Office of Student Conduct is responsible for ensuring students alleged of policy violations are afforded a fair process — in which they can share their side and are made aware of decisions regarding their disciplinary standard. 

The code, along with these updates, is an important tool in protecting student rights, including due process, and affirming student responsibilities. It upholds the standards of conduct and institutional values expected of UK students and promotes a safe, healthy and inclusive community.   

“Remember, the Code of Student Conduct serves as a guide to help students navigate their journey — ensuring actions align with the values and principles of the university,” Hogan said. “We want to encourage students to embrace this opportunity to understand their rights, fulfill their responsibilities and contribute to a thriving community.” 

Students and community members can share concerns related to Code of Student Conduct violations here

Whether you have questions, seek guidance or need to navigate a specific situation, you can reach the Office of Student Conduct at 859-257-3755 or

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At the University of Kentucky, students are at the center of all that we do. From the moment you become a Wildcat through graduation and beyond, the Office for Student Success is committed to supporting you. Comprised of five areas and 25 units, together, they have one vision — to help students live a life of meaning. Student Success works through an equitable, holistic and inclusive lens to design and deliver unparalleled services and support a diverse community of learners in achieving their wildest ambitions. In the Office for Student Success this is what we do — this is who we are. You can explore resources available to you here. If you have additional questions, you can reach a Student Success team member by calling the helpline 859-218-YouK (9685).