By Gabriela Godlewski (CE ‘19)
A Joint Student Council committee is currently rewriting The Cooper Union Code of Conduct to keep the administration and student body up to date with the ethics and conduct expected of Cooper students. The committee members—Octavia Parker (Arch ‘20), Marianna Tymocz (ChE ‘18), Clara Zinky (Art ‘17), and Anton Luz (CE ‘18)—have been meeting weekly with Dean Christopher Chamberlin to ensure that the new code will be written to express the best interest of students and faculty. They are in the process of presenting the current, and hopefully final, draft to the JSC for ratification.
The most recent edition of the Code of Conduct was enacted in the summer of 2012 and a lot has changed in Cooper since then. According to Luz, “the Code of Conduct was outdated in terms of how Cooper would respond to cyberbullying and gender-based discrimination, amongst other issues.” Indeed, the most recent revision of the code places a heavier emphasis on rules regarding how Cooper students are expected to behave themselves, whether it be in person, over the phone, or online on social media platforms. Part Two, Category A: Standards of Conduct for Students, of the document has been rewritten to explicitly make “Bullying and Intimidation in All Forms”—physical, verbal, or sexual—a violation of the code.
Another significant change requires the Dean to be present at all student hearings regarding any violations of the Code of Conduct in order to make the process more professional for staff and students. Some changes recategorized certain student offenses to better fit their severity, and others simply clarified the wording of the document.
“We are hoping to enact the updated Code of Conduct as soon as possible,” says Luz. Although the rewritten Code of Conduct has yet to be completed, let alone enacted, the committee behind the rewritten code is making good progress. When the new code is ratified and published, it will be widely distributed to the student body so that the students of The Cooper Union are kept up to date with the activities of the administration and JSC. ◊