USG to discuss Student conduct code

By Gus Bode

The president of Undergraduate Student Government said he believes students should have the right to decide if they want to risk intervening in a fight.

Akeem Mustapha, referencing the nine SIUC freshmen suspended in part because they did not break up or report a fight this month, said the Student Conduct Code would likely be a major platform for discussion at the next USG meeting.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Health Center Auditorium.

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Mustapha said several students have come to the USG office to express their concerns of the issue of the nine Chicago-area students who were removed from campus.

Student Judicial Affairs charged the nine with several Student Conduct Violations, including disorderly conduct and not intervening in the Oct. 6 attack. The students were also accused of physical abuse, and they have all denied laying a hand on the sophomore victim. All of the students have been suspended from campus for one to three years.

Mustapha said he and USG Vice President Paul Ogwal recently spoke about the issue with Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Larry Dietz. He said the situation should be one that is done fairly and efficiently.

“This should be handled with care so as not to tarnish the image of this institution,” Mustapha said. “There has to be a situation where they will take care of such people as opposed to those involved after thorough investigation.”

He also said the students who are not found guilty as being a part of the assault should have had protection against being thrown out immediately. He said students should have the right to decide whether to intervene in a fight.

“It’s funny when altercations like this happen, and people are just rounded up,” Mustapha said.

Demetrous White, a senator representing the College of Liberal Arts, said he held a meeting with his constituents to talk about the Student Conduct Code. He said students were not well informed about the code.

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“I think that it’s something that we need to look at,” White said. “A lot of students don’t know what it is.”

There may also be discussion on USG’s recent demands to receive a portion of the revenue that GPSC has accumulated the past few years.

“You feel you are entitled to a piece of the pie, and you have to go out there and speak for it,” Mustapha said.

He said USG could use the funds to support more Registered Student Organizations as well as save money for the next year.

“USG, like GPSC, is also an organization that needs funding,” Mustapha said. “We don’t want an institution where RSOs would come to ask for funding and we can’t give it to them.”

Wayne Utterback can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 268 or [email protected].

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