A code for all students


Pete Costanza

Los Medanos College’s Student Code of Conduct has fallen prey to a common failing in the modern world. Even though it is both relevant and important, it too often goes unread or unconsidered in the day-to-day affairs by the people it is meant to serve.
Certainly there are some students who have read at least part of it, but for each of these students there are probably 10 who do not even know about it. If students are aware of it and know where to find it — how many of these will read it out of idle curiosity? The estimate great or small is too few if it is less than every student. The document should be included as part of the orientation process or be included in the course schedule.
It is a lengthy document so perhaps a briefer format should be devised; one that highlights the key concepts, expectations and possible punishments for violating expectations of behavior. Similarly, the code should be available in Spanish and other languages that represent a significant portion of the student population.
Professors at LMC most likely do not wish to be disciplinarians, nor should they be. This is not grade school, and the bulk of students have outgrown the urge to be a tattletale. The one document that exists to help eliminate problems is the underutilized and under-publicized Student Code of Conduct. No professor hides a syllabus away or is completely passive about it being read.
Yet, each of them is in some way beholden to a code that is presently located only in the midst of an A-Z index online. It should not be allowed to be another compulsory “terms of service” agreement that a user can opt-out of reading. There are too many students at LMC who behave as if education was still a mandatory thing and not something they have to pay for the privilege of receiving.
If the Student Code of Conduct is meant to serve as a contract between the college and its students, it should be signed in some formalized fashion, as is every other contract.