Student Code of Conduct Adds Section on Vandalism and Destruction of Property
Mount St. Mary’s University updated its Student Code of Conduct for the 2023-2024 school year, adding a substantial section and refining others. Students and faculty have different evaluations of how the updates and additions to the Student Code of Conduct will affect the campus community.
The new section that was added is titled Vandalism and Destruction of Property, which was not its own section but a clause under the Disorderly Conduct section. The significant update was to the Pledge of Community Responsibility, as the new rules must be read to accept the pledge.
Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residents Life Rebecca Rudd explained that every year the university reviews the code of conduct and makes slight adjustments and edits to make the rules clearer to students.
The Code of Conduct is not meant as a list of punishments for students, but as a list to allow them to know how to be a better community member and make the university a home for all students.
Rudd said, “Having everyone agree to the Student Code of Conduct sets a foundation for what our community should look like.” She hopes that the updates will improve how students treat one another and make the Mount a place of support and a space students can call home.
Just like Rudd, students agree with the need for the Student Code of Conduct to emphasize treating each other well. First-year student, Bethany Schweers, stated, “Do whatever you want but keep it safe for everyone else and remember you’re in a school with so many other people and what you do affects everyone else.”
She added that the Mount may be a small university, but there is still an immense amount of people, and the actions of one individual affect others.
Other students are grateful that the section on Vandalism and Destruction was added. Emily Kiger (C’24) commented: “I’ve personally had dorm decorations broken and taken by other people, so I understand emphasizing that [the section on Vandalism and Destruction].”
Students in the past like Kiger have expressed the problem of having their belongings disrespected and stolen, so they are happy that this issue got addressed.
Other students are a bit less optimistic. They believe that some students, being younger, will not have respect for others or school property. Graduate student, Ruben Kiers, stated, “I don’t think anything will change. When people are drunk, they do stupid stuff, people who would vandalize before won’t stop.”
The updates may not change the behavior of a few but might make students think about others before they act.
Only time will tell if the updates make a change to student culture and the campus community.