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September 13, 1996 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

14 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 13, 1996

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Evidence for

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Life Under the Code


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Number of cases: 11.
Males charged: 11 '
Females charged: 0
Graduate students charged: 1
Undergraduates charged: 10
Admissions of responsibility: 3
Cases that went before student panels: 0
Assault charges: 4
Indecent exposure: 1.
ITD violations: 1
- Statistics are from closed cases publidly viewable
under the Code of Student Conduct.

University's Code of Student Conduct has a


- with clauses

to keep

you guessing

By Jeff Eldridge



R e p o r t e r

x orty years ago, Ann Arbor was a pretty dif-
ferent place.
Imagine a University where students are
strictly forbidden to drive cars.
Remember the wild fraternity party that
lasted into the distant hours of the morning?
Now picture what that party would be like
with faculty chaperones, and without alcohol.
Some opponents of thie Code of Student Conduct say they
believe the current Code is an infringement of personal rights
- however the University's regulations of etiquette and
behavior from the 1930s, '40s and '50s read more like a fun-
damentalist interpretation of "The Donna Reed Show" than
a guide for University governance.
"The old codes are clearly what we refer to as 'in loco
parentis,"'s said Resolution Coordinator Mary Lou
Antieau, who oversees the current Code. "The college
was assuming the parental role."
Behavior codes from earlier decades depict a place

Since the protests of the 1960s, the University has been
famous for student political activism. But there was once
a time when "speeches in support of particular candidates
of any political party" were not permitted.
Creative expression also came under administration
oversight - the dean of students had the right to review
the scripts of any public performances on campus.
And if you want to live in an off-campus apartment
with a couple friends, forget about it. Residence halls,
fraternities, sororities and rooming houses were the only
permissible living quarters for students at the University.
Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford
said legal decisions earlier this century prompted colleges
nationwide to adopt "in loco parentis" standards.
Hartford, who attended the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill in the 1960s, said the 1913 case
of Gott vs. Berea College required college administrators
of that era to guide the "moral welfare and training of the

Life Under the Statement
Number of students charged: 31
Males charged: 28
Females charged: 3
Graduate students charged: 2
Undergraduates charged: 29
Students acquitted or had charges dropped: 14.
Students sanctioned: 17
Assault and battery incidents: 7
Harassment incidents: 5
Occurances of theft: 7
Illegal entry: 6
Sexual assault: 1
All other infringements: 12
-Statistics from .Ianuary 1995-Janucay 1996

Code differs
from the courts
To be ruled guilty in a hearing under the Code of Student
Conduct, less evidence is required than in a court of crimi-
nal law.
In criminal cases, juries are required to convict a defen-
dant only if his or her guilt is proved beyond a reasonable
In civil cases, plaintiffs need only to convince a jury of a
51-percent likelihood of guilt.
When University students are brought into a hearing under
the Code of Student Conduct, the standard of proof falls
somewhere in between. Code panelists are asked to use the
measurement of "clear-and-convincing" evidence before rul-
ing an accused student responsible for an infringement.
Resolution Coordinator Mary Lou Antieau, who oversee
the Code, said the standard of "clear-and-convincing" pro,
has been easily grasped by panelists.
"We've very, very rarely had a problem," Antieau said.,
"My experience working with panelists ... is they want to
be clearly convinced."
Antieau said there is no mathematical formula or absolute
standard in deciding what evidence is clear and convincing.
She said it falls somewhere between beyond a reasonable
doubt and a preponderance of evidence.
Jack Bernard, an intern in the Office of Student Affairs
who worked on the panel that wrote the Code when he wa
a student, said the Code should not be viewed in the context
of courtroom standards.
"You shouldn't speak about it in a legal standard, because
it's not a legal process, it's an administrative process,"
Bernard said.
Bernard said the workgroup that wrote the Code wondered
how student panelists would approach the clear-and-con-
vincing standard and was
"concerned it would be
something haphazard."
In the end, the workgroup
decided "clear and convinc-
ing" was the best gauge of ,°" '
"Even though it would
have been a lot easier to go F;
with 'more likely than not
as a standard ... we wanted
to ensure that students
would get the best opportu-
nity to be heard," Bernard
At Michigan State JOSH WHIE/ai
University, a 51-percent
probability of guilt is necessary to find a student responsible
of an accusation.
"Clear and convincing is actually a higher standard of evi-
dence," said Marie Hansen, judicial adviser at Michigan
Hansen said about 2,000 cases a year run through
Michigan State's disciplinary system - far more than the
31 cases finalized in 1995 under the University of
Michigan's previous policy, the Statement of Student Rights
and Responsibilities.
Hansen said that although a 51-percent standard ofevi
dence is used at Michigan State, the proof of evidence is
sometimes raised in especially serious incidents. She said
individual panelists may feel more comfortable using a
clear-and-convincing standard, or even think in terms of
beyond a reasonable doubt.
Hansen said this flexibility in standards is encouraged.
The University of Virginia uses very high standards of
guilt in determining guilt or innocence, said Will Berry, a
Virginia senior who handles day-to-day operations of the
judicial process.
"Beyond a reasonable doubt - it definitely has to be
beyond a reasonable doubt," Berry said.
Berry said Virginia couples its regular judicial process
with a more rigid code of honor. The honor code deals with
academic issues and issues of theft, hands out severe sanc-
tions like expulsion, and is reliant upon vows of honesty
from witnesses and defendants.
Berry said the Virginia system has been successful
because of its independence.
"Student self-governance has been an institution for years
and years," Berry said. "We tend to have a lot of autono
Bernard said students opposed using an honor code at the
University of Michigan.
"There was a strong desire not to have an honor code,"
Bernard said.

Antieau said the clear-and-convincing standard has
prompted Code panelists to be thorough in their questioning.
Antieau said witnesses often face more detailed questions
than at criminal trials. She said if student panelists start to
consider evidence with excessively high standards, they will
be reminded of the clear-and-convincing guideline. -
"Occasionally you get a panelist who wants to be con
vinced by the almost criminal standard of beyond a reason-
able doubt," Antieau said.

where everything from the sere-
nading of sorority members to
political speeches was regulated
by the University administration.
It was a time when the dean of stu-
dents was matched by a dean of
women, and both sexes lived with
University-dictated policies guid-
ing their interaction.
Consider the following excerpt
from the 1953 edition of
"University Regulations concern-
ing Student Affairs Conduct and
"Men's officially organized
house groups will be authorized to
entertain women guests to hear
broadcasts of out-of-town
Michigan games between 2:30 p.m.
Saturday of the game."

"While in some
ways it sounds
warm and fuzzy and
protective, in other
ways it was very
hard. "
- Mary Lou Antieau
Resolution coordinator

"We had so many rules, espe-
cially for women, that current stu-
dents would rebel," Hartford said.
"'In loco parentis' was alive and
well then."
Former President James
Duderstadt said last May that the
concept of 'in loco parentis' is
"If you ask students if 'in loco
parentis' exists, they'll say, 'Hell
no,"' Duderstadt said.
Jennifer Fried, an LSA junior,
said the expectations from old
codes of behavior are excessively

and 5:30 p.m. on the

What many would today consider a mild form of
socialization also required permission from the dean of
students, and the presence of adult chaperones.
Male-female interactions were not the only social
activity addressed by the administration.
The 1953 University Regulations outlined the proper
methods for tapping new members of secret honorary
societies like Michiguama and the Vulcans. It required
notification to the Ann Arbor Police Department and the
filing of a statement of activities.
The role of nudity in campus rites was also addressed.
"In both tapping and initiation all participants shall be
adequately clothed from the viewpoint of decency and
health," reads the rule book.
Antieau, who was an undergraduate at the University
in the 1950s, said past behavior codes now seem nostal-
gic, but were oppressive in their application.
"While in some ways it sounds warm and fuzzy and
protective, in other ways it was very hard," Antieau said.
One of the most serious restraints was put on political

"I see no reason for any rules
that pertain to students at the
University outside of those which all citizens must obey,"
Fried said.
Fried, who said she had little concept of the way the cur-
rent Code operates, said the gender-related clauses of past
codes of behavior were sexist. She said any University
involvement in personal activities is unacceptable.
"The role of the University should be more in the intel-
lectual realm than moral," Fried said.
Hartford said the University's involvement in students'
personal lives began to fade in the 1960s. She said stu-
dents are now legally defined "as adult(s), with adult
standing in the community."
"We were perceived as children ... you are seen as
adults," Hartford said. "That is a big difference."
Antieau said the Code of Student Conduct operating at the
University today bears no resemblance to the strict etiquette
guidelines once sponsored by the administration.
She described the past behavioral rules as excessive
and harmful, and said the content of today's Code is
based on common-sense expectations held by society as
a whole.
- Daily Staff Reporter Jennfer Harvey
contributed to this report.

"In both tapping and
initiation, all
participants shall be
adequately clothed
from the standpoint of
decency and health."
University Regulations
concerning Student
Affairs and Discipline,

Code activists reflect on past, future

Anne Marie Ellison insists she is note
without a cause.
An LSA junior and chair of the Students'
Commission for the Michigan Student Ass
Ellison's name is indefinitely linked with ef
dismantle the Code of Student Conduct.
But since October 1995, the issue tha
sparked a demonstration in the lobby
Fleming Administration Building has all bul
from students' radar.
"The reason that you're not seeing such a
protests these days is because we've only 1
(code) since January," Ellison said. "I don
it's a dead issue."
Other veterans from the campaign agai
Code agreed.
"I can tell you that I know people who ca
sionately about this," said Benjamin Novic
graduated from the University last May.
Other longstanding opponents of the Co

a rebel tively if they had more student muscle. He said
administrators were not under any pressure to cut a
Rights deal because the student body did not voice their
embly, opinions loudly enough.
forts to "Unless students get up with picket signs and
knock down the door, nothing's going to happen,"
at once Wainess said.
of the Fiona Rose, Wainess' successor, said that all stu-
it faded dents should be conscious of Code-related issues.
"The Code isn't going to leap out and attack you
damant in the middle of Angell Hall," Rose said, "but it is
had this there lurking in the shadows."
't think She said the Code is not a dominant issue for the
current MSA administration.
nst the Resolution Coordinator Mary Lou Antieau, who
administers Code-related matters, said the Code's
ire pas- reality is not as menacing as its opponents once
k, who believed.
"There were horror stories created in the minds
)de had of some students that we'd be having kangaroo

Vince Keenan, a recent graduate and former
chair of the Students' Rights Commission, said the
political atmosphere at the University is moving to
the right.
"This university is taking a turn for the very, very
conservative in the way it works," Keenan said. "It
has a reputation for being a hotbed, but it's not."
Keenan was a leader in the effort to defeat the
Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities,
the predecessor to the Code of Student Conduct.
Novick said that even at its peak, Code-related
activism bore no resemblance to the activist heights
the University saw during the Vietnam War in the


"It's a faint echo at best
of things like that,"
Novick said.
While Code-hating stu-
dents storming the
Fleming Building may be

"I don't think
it'ws a dead lissue."

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