KnightNews.com has received several e-mails from parents and students concerned about proposed changes to UCF’s rules of conduct.
After getting the e-mails, KnightNews.com asked UCF for its stance on this situation, and Assistant Vice President for News and Information Grant Heston responded with a statement.
“As we do every year, UCF reviews the Golden Rule for potential clarifications and changes,” Heston said. ”This standard process is ongoing and nothing has been finalized at this time.”
The changes address how the university can discipline student organizations for conduct involving alumni members who are no longer UCF students.
Under the proposed rules, UCF can hold an entire registered student organization responsible when “[o]ne or more members, alumni, or guests allegedly violate an Organizational Rule of Conduct at an organization-sponsored, financed, or otherwise supported activity…”
Darlene Shipley, a parent of a student who was a member of Beta Theta Pi at the time it was found in violation of sexual misconduct, is one of the many people who brought this issue to the attention of KnightNews.com.
In the Beta case, there was controversy about how UCF held the entire group responsible for the alleged sexual misconduct which was reportedly committed by a non-student alumni member, and Shipley believes that’s what prompted this change.
“The new regulations are a direct result of the claims that Beta made throughout its hearing and continues to make in its court appeal: that UCF improperly charged Beta because it had no authority to do so under the Golden Rule, and that OSC committed many significant violations of the Golden Rule in the Beta case,” read a portion of the e-mail Shipley forwarded to KnightNews.com.
Another person who e-mailed KnightNews.com, using the alias “concerned parent,” said the Office of Student Condut is “backdooring” these new rules in without making students aware of the changes or chance to participate in public comment.
KnightNews.com did not receive any press release from either UCF or SGA announcing the proposed changes, however, on the Web site http://regulations.ucf.edu, a memo dated Sept. 16 said comments must be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, Sept. 30 regarding the proposed changes.
The literature KnightNews.com received opposing the changes argues that, under the new rules, “If a guest steals a wallet at a organization’s philanthropic event, the entire organization will be held responsible.”