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New conduct code may clarify UF's stance on drinking

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Posted: Thursday, August 7, 2008 12:00 am

UF officials proposed a rewrite of the Student Conduct Code this week in efforts to clarify UF's stance on drinking, drugs and the future of the Student Honor Court.

The new regulations spell out bans on students using "common source containers" such as kegs, mini kegs and beer balls, and they also prohibit activities such as drinking games, keg tipping and alcohol luges.

The new regulations, posted Monday, will need approval from the Board of Trustees, UF's highest governing body, in September.

The regulations will be discussed by the board's Educational Policy and Strategy Committee Wednesday.

Chris Loschiavo, director of Student Judicial Affairs, said these activities have always gone against UF's policy but were not always spelled out in the conduct code.

He said UF officials discourage drinking games because they could lead students to make decisions that would "short circuit" career goals, such as drunken driving and fights.

He said generally, UF will not go after students for having kegs off-campus unless the students were part of a UF group, sorority or fraternity, or if a serious incident occurred.

Although the revisions debuted about a week after UF earned the title of No. 1 party school in the nation, Lochaivo said the effort to revise the Student Conduct Code has been about two years in the making.

Amid the revisions is a call to take away the Student Honor Court's ability to hear academic dishonesty cases.

Under the current setup, students charged with academic dishonesty can have their case heard by the Student Conduct Committee, composed of students and faculty, or the court, which is a student-run trial hearing that is sponsored by Student Government.

Loschiavo said the court has heard 22 cases since 2000, but there are roughly 150 academic dishonesty cases per year.

He said he hopes the court will get back to its mission of proctoring exams and educating students about the conduct code.

Jason Zimmerman, chancellor of the honor court and a second-year law student, said the court only heard two cases last year.

Zimmerman said there is little surprise that the court could soon lose its ability to hear the cases after facing criticism from the Faculty Senate.

"As it stands, the honor court is not exactly upset that we're losing this," he said.

But Student Body President Kevin Reilly said he is against the honor court losing this ability, and he plans to speak on its behalf at the Board of Trustees meeting.

Welcome to the discussion.