Possible new board would raise students’ awareness of campus issues

ASPSU is looking to implement a Standards and Ethics Advisory Board to help get to the root of crimes committed on campus at Portland State.

ASPSU is looking to implement a Standards and Ethics Advisory Board to help get to the root of crimes committed on campus at Portland State.

The board would look at the environmental side of the issue, rather than the individual side, and make recommendations to the university if necessary. Possible environmental solutions might include additional campus lighting and increased phone accessibility.

“The idea originated with me, and [ASPSU Administrative Director] Ed [Hallman] added to it and filled it out,” said ASPSU President Jonathan Sanford. “It is already a Senate resolution.”

The proposed board would stem off of the current process, where criminal issues are sent to Campus Public Safety and possibly the Dean of Students Office, as well as the Student Code of Conduct Committee (SCCC) that may administer sanctions, Hallman said.

“We are trying to be proactive,” Hallman said.

The plan would place a confidentiality filter between the SCCC and a future ethics board as a mode of protection for an individual, he said.

Its function would not include administering sanctions to individuals, according to Hallman. Rather, he said a list of recommended solutions would be compiled and made available to the public, increasing awareness as well as providing a feedback channel to the administration.

Proposed board plans also include liaisons from all university committees that already deal with related issues—such as campus safety, the Student Code of Conduct and Residence Life—along with the ASPSU president and representatives of the Student Senate, Judicial Board and various administrative offices, Hallman said.

The Campus Public Safety Office Web site reports a combined total of 71 crimes on campus and in residence halls in 2008, excluding drug, liquor and weapon violations. According to the Web site, the crimes include burglary, aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft, arson, bias crimes, forcible sex offenses and forcible rape.

Hallman said that ASPSU wants to be able to guarantee that its members set the highest standards, and if they are having trouble, other campus groups may be as well. He said there was a shift when ASPSU saw a systemic lack of a means to address issues on campus.

“ASPSU’s mission statement reads, ‘fostering a…safe campus,'” Hallman said. “Jon [Sanford] and I saw a lack of a holistic approach to addressing problems on campus. I really think it [the Standards and Ethics Advisory Board] is possible.”

Although Hallman hopes to bring a Standards and Ethics Advisory Board meeting to order by spring term 2010, he said he still needs to speak in more detail about the board with Michele Toppe, interim dean of students and Natalee Webb, interim assistant dean of students.