By Paul A. Anthony, A&E Editor
Student officers who violate university policy may be forced to resign, according to a letter to student leaders last week.
The letter from Wayne Barnard, dean of Campus Life, said any officers, whether elected or selected, who were caught drinking, cheating, engaged in sexual immorality or violating Chapel guidelines would likely be forced to give up their posts as part of their discipline.
“It’s really not a new policy,” Barnard said, “but it hasn’t been well communicated; it hasn’t been specifically addressed.”
The letter mentioned elected officers, student chairs, committee members and residence assistants among those leaders, but it wasn’t specific.
“It’s not aimed at any individual person,” Barnard said. “It’s not aimed at any individual group.”
The letter comes two years after four officers of social club Tri Kappa Gamma resigned after being caught drinking off campus and soon after an incident among officers and potential officers in GATA.
“We’ve had several situations with officers and groups,” Barnard said. “That’s one of the reasons I decided to make these policies more public.”
Barnard said another reason for the letter was observation of campus trends-namely that more students have been dismissed for drinking offenses this semester than ever before.
“It had nothing to do with new the new officers elected,” he said. “It had everything to do with trends over time.”
But the letter was met with mixed reactions from the student leaders.
Delta Theta president Sara McCown said she didn’t have any problems with the letter.
“I felt it was stuff I already know,” she said. “It’s pretty much just common sense.”
McCown added that she thought the letter could have been more congratulatory, a sentiment echoed by Tamara Boyer, Sigma Theta Chi president and Welcome Week steering committee co-chair.
“I think it’s important info,” Boyer said, “but at the same time, he hasn’t addressed the student leaders in the past two months, and then here’s this letter.”
Barnard said he had received only one response challenging his letter.
“Just because you have a policy doesn’t mean everybody’s going to like it or abide by it,” he said. “My hunch is there will be a student leader who breaks a policy that we’ll hear about.”