Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

Code of Student Conduct. Your Student Life for the week of 10/06/19 (Grad/Prof)

  • Kelly Smith, JD Kelly Smith, JD

Every few years, the Ohio State Board of Trustees updates the Code of Student Conduct. They made some changes over the past few months, and, since you as a graduate/professional student are expected to know and abide by the Code, I thought you’d be interested in this.

One of the biggest changes involves what is commonly being called an “amnesty clause.” Basically, it protects students who might hesitate to ask for help because they are afraid of being caught for minor policy violations.

For example, if your friend needs emergency medical help due to drug use, you shouldn’t be afraid to all 9-1-1 just because you yourself might be violating the Code. The first priority should be getting help for someone who needs it. It’s designed for our students who have really done the right thing and have taken care of one another.

Anthony Long is a student who helped develop this policy. He’s now chair of the Council on Student Affairs, but his story begins as first-year student. He saw a fellow Siebert Hall resident needed medical attention for alcohol consumption, but his friends weren’t willing to call for help because they were afraid of getting into trouble. He couldn’t understand why help wasn’t their first priority, and helped come up with this policy as a result of what he saw that night.

A similar Good Samaritan policy has been in place for campus residence halls, but putting it in the Code of Student Conduct expands the coverage to all students. The policy even applies if you call for help for yourself.

Keep in mind that the Student Conduct process is meant to be educational. Hearing officers will determine if amnesty should be granted, and the guiding principle is the importance of taking care of one’s self and community.

We also increased the number of student representatives on the University Conduct Board. The revised Code doubles the number of graduate and professional students while adding three more undergraduate students to the board. While most students are appointed at the start of fall semester, students may apply to serve on the University Conduct Board throughout the year by completing the application found at

You can read the entire Code of Student Conduct, including all recent changes, online.

The theme of all the changes, in fact, the underlying principle of the Code, is that we are a Buckeye community. We must do our best for ourselves and those around us.


Kelly Smith, JD

Director, Student Conduct
Office of Student Life 














Dave Isaacs