A new code of conduct has been developed by AUSA and the University. The code applies to all members of the University of Auckland community, and acts as a guideline for student and staff conduct.
Emma Rogers, Education Vice-President of the AUSA, describes the key points of the code as “acting with manaakitanga, fostering whanaungatanga, building kotahitanga and upholding kaitiakitanga,”. No code of conduct was in place prior to the creation of the new code.
The code sets out a number of standards for conduct and behaviour. Crucial points include treating others with respect, acknowledging rights to freedom of expression, defending academic freedom and promoting sustainability. Specifically, the code prohibits bullying, harassment and discrimination, and dictates that members of the university community must not “engage in purposefully offensive or personal attacks, whether physical or non-physical, on others or their property; behave aggressively, violently or in ways that make others feel unsafe or unwelcome; abuse the power we have over others by virtue of the position or status we hold in our University community”.
“This document codifies the behaviours we want to see on our campus and also ensures that behaviour that contravenes the code is punishable,” says Rogers. “In this way, it means bullying, harassment and discrimination are punishable and behaviours like this can have real consequences”. Students who act in a way that breaches the code of conduct may face formal disciplinary action depending on the severity of their behaviour.
According to Rogers, the code of conduct can also play a role in promoting student wellbeing. “[the code of conduct] means we will have a better environment to be in on-campus and always be encouraged to treat others with respect,” Rogers says.
The move brings the University of Auckland in line with every other major university in New Zealand. The University of Waikato, Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Otago and the University of Canterbury all enforce student codes of conduct. However, Auckland’s new code of conduct is distinct in the fact that it applies to all members of the university community, staff and students included.
The full code of conduct is accessible online through the University of Auckland website. The AUSA suggest students read and become acquainted with the code, as all students are expected to act in a way that adheres to it during their time studying at Auckland.