UT's New Code Of Conduct Passes, But Not With Flying Colors From State Lawmakers

Aug 16, 2017

The University of Tennessee Knoxville did not get the quick stamp of approval it was looking for on its new student code of conduct.

After months of revision and comment periods, UT's new policy needed a committee of state lawmakers to sign off Wednesday to be effective by the time the semester begins next week. Lawmakers did — but not without some contention and caveats. 

The relationship between the legislature and the state's flagship university has been difficult for a while, and this committee meeting was no exception. It took nearly two hours and included testimony from five critics of the new code. 

They took issue with details like its elimination of a Greek Judicial Board. Right now, that board hears cases involving fraternities or sororities, and it's made up of students involved with Greek life, which one of the critics says is necessary to understand those cases. The university, meanwhile, says all cases should be treated like any others.

Rep. Martin Daniel, R-Knoxville, also had a long list of complaints about the new code, including that it was too long to be easily understandable. 

In the end, lawmakers did pass the new code of conduct but are requiring UT officials to come back in the spring and report on the outcome.