Board of Regents Toughens Misconduct Policy

(ADELPHI, Md.) February 10, 2006 --- The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents voted unanimously today in favor of a stricter student misconduct policy (formerly referred to as the resolution on student riots). The new policy, which will take effect in April, means that students who engage in misconduct related to institution-sponsored events could be dismissed without being convicted of a crime in criminal court.

The revised policy defines event-related misconduct as rioting, assault, theft, vandalism, fire-setting or other behavior that harms individuals or property, or poses a threat to the campus community. Students accused of such misconduct, on or off-campus, will now be required to go through their institutions judicial process and be subject to dismissal.

"This is definitely a deterrent," said USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan. "It puts students at a greater risk of being dismissed if they engage in these activities."

"The former policy allowed for the dismissal of students only if they were convicted in criminal court," said assistant attorney general for educational affairs JoAnn Goedert.

"The new policy closes that loophole by not relying on a student's criminal conviction as the trigger."

"We need to tell students, ‘If you want to celebrate after a game, that's fine. But don't get destructive," said Nicholas Aragon, the chairman of the University System of Maryland Student Council. He and other student leaders worked on the new language for almost a year with academic officials, the chancellor, and board members.

Contact: Liz O'Neill
Phone: 301.445.2719