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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Thirteen Dirty Dont’s

Have you ever read the conduct code?

It’s 34 pages long, in small print. Barely anyone reads the whole thing, and it lists the terms and conditions by which Stony Brook University students can remain students. It’s the University Student Conduct Code. It’s definitely worth a second glance.

The code, which students are all responsible for reading and understanding, like terms of agreement, is electronically signed when students pay their tuition each semester via SOLAR. But among the more than 30 pages of rules and regulations are certain significant sections that are most always overlooked.

In the Student Conduct Code are rules that, if broken, result in immediate suspension or expulsion from the university pending a board hearing. A new adjustment to the code this semester means a tightening of the campus residence policies that could result in students losing their housing.

The 13 acts that result in immediate suspension or expulsion from the university are called the ‘Dirty 13’ by some Resident Hall Directors and include serious crimes like rape, physical assault, discriminatory acts and brandishing a weapon.

The rest of the 13 are offenses that to a student might not seem to warrant expulsion, but the university takes very seriously. Students can be suspended or expelled pending a trial for committing such acts as setting off ‘false fire alarms’hellip;unauthorized use of a master or control key’hellip;unauthorized use of computing and network facilities,’ and ‘compromising community security, e.g., propping open outside doors’ according to the University Student Conduct Code.

Campus residents are used to the health and safety inspections a few times a year, making sure to clean up their rooms to avoid getting written up. Stray cables that can pose as fire hazards, or having alcohol in a substance-free building are some of the many violations of the terms and agreements for residential living, resulting in a write-up.

Before the Fall 2009 semester, the conduct code for campus housing stated that ‘three written warnings’hellip;indicating that a resident has been found responsible for an infraction of a university regulation accumulated within any three consecutive semesters, will result in a one year suspension from the residence halls.’

Three write-ups over three consecutive semesters resulted in expulsion from campus housing, but write-ups over semester-long gaps were not penalized as severely.

As of Fall 2009, the conduct code concerning write-ups was amended so that three write-ups ‘whether or not there were interruptions in residency will result in a one year suspension from the residence halls or apartments.’ The ‘three strikes, you’re out’ rule now applies to the entire time a student lives in campus housing.

Karen Graziano, a history major and campus resident of Sanger College in Tabler Quad, feels that the adjusted policy is unwarranted, ‘considering that some of the violations are things like having Christmas lights in your room, something that we’ve been allowed to have in our rooms in previous years, I’d say that its pretty bogus.’

‘It’s one thing if someone disrupts everyone in the middle of the night.’ Graziano, who has never been written up, said. ‘They deserve a warning no doubt. But for a tapestry’hellip;well that’s just plain silly.’

When asked about the sudden change in the code, Joseph E. Vece, of Residential Programs explained, ‘This is not a new policy’hellip;the University conduct code was amended.’

Vece pointed out that campus residences have attempted to make the amended policies clear to students by ‘new student orientation, building meetings with the Residence Hall Directors and floor meetings with the Residence Assistants.’ These strategies ‘have all proven to be successful measures in getting information to our student body,’ according to Vece.

A former RA from Kelly Quad who does not wish to be named recalls, ‘its how the RHD and Quad directors run their buildings and quads,’ that determines if residents get written up or not. ‘People have different leadership styles.’ but for campus residents, ‘It’s pretty hard to get kicked out.’

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