I was surprised and dismayed to read the front-page News article stating a new Fredonia State College policy mandates "tattling" and that students were "left in the dark" on policy revisions. It is correct that Fredonia State spent nearly a year reviewing and revising its student code of conduct. The resultant, thoughtful revisions were recommended unanimously by the Student Affairs Committee, which has six student members, by a near unanimous vote (18-1) of the University Senate, which has six student members, and unanimously by the College Council, which has one student member. No student members opposed the revisions.
The revisions were a non-issue until two weeks ago, three months after the policy was adopted. A student newspaper article contained quotes from the faculty member with the lone dissenting vote suggesting that the new policy encourages students to go around campus "snitching" on one another. This interpretation is incorrect. The provision was intended for major violations -- those in which a student's inaction could be harmful to others, such as hazing or selling drugs. The code is an opportunity for us to educate students about the consequence of both their actions and their inactions, for the protection of all students.
Fredonia State takes very seriously its obligation to assist students in their personal development by having a thoughtful student code of conduct, and over time will make further modifications to that code to ensure a safe environment for all students.
Dennis L. Hefner
President, Fredonia State College