U to consider changing student conduct code

A spokeswoman for the University said changes would extend the code to include riotous behavior.

The Minnesota Daily

University administrators will consider a change in the school’s student conduct code, expanding it to include off-campus behavior, spokeswoman Amy Phenix said.

No specific changes have been proposed yet, she said, but the school is exploring options for amending the code to include the type of riotous behavior and vandalism that took place near campus Saturday.

Phenix said it is too early to say for sure whether the amended policy would affect students involved in the riot, but said “it’s probably difficult to have a new policy be effective retroactively.”

Administrators are reviewing other universities’ policies for potential answers and gathering input from student leaders, Phenix said.

“People are just trying to gather information about what options are out there,” she said.

Tricia Larson, a child psychology senior, said the code should be broadened.

“I think the students should be representative of the University,” she said. “Anywhere you are, you’re representative.”

But Kim Luong, a sociology junior, said students should not have to comply with University policy when they are not on campus.

“Even if you’re a student and you’re off campus, you’re not a student then,” she said. If people break the law, the local authorities should handle the problem, she said.

“That’s the community’s responsibility, not the University’s.”

Minneapolis City Council member Paul Zerby, 2nd Ward, said it is difficult to get property damage violators prosecuted, and the University should punish students.

“I’ve been asking the University to do that for a long time,” he said. “The only way we are going to get a handle on the conduct is if the individuals are held responsible.”

University police received approximately a half dozen calls Tuesday from citizens identifying people in pictures of last weekend’s riot. The department posted seven photos on its Web site Monday night.

The department also received calls from people offering additional photos of rioters engaged in illegal activity, University Police Lt. Chuck Miner said. Some of the pictures already posted on the Web site were e-mailed from witnesses. One was sent to police by KSTP-TV.

Officers spent time Tuesday afternoon tracking down people named by callers. Miner said the investigation is progressing at a pace similar to last year’s.

Another student charged

Institute of Technology junior Travis Hinck became the third student charged in connection with the riot yesterday. Hennepin County prosecutors charged him with felony damage to property. On Monday, Minneapolis city attorneys charged two University students with misdemeanors.

Six others were released from jail Tuesday. Four cases were sent back to Minneapolis police for more evidence. Two cases were referred to the city attorney’s office, which prosecutes gross misdemeanors. Charges against the individuals involved in those two cases have not yet been filed.

Damage totals

The University still had no comprehensive damage estimate for its property as of late Tuesday afternoon.

Minneapolis police had no specifics either, but communications specialist Ron Reier said the total will be in excess of $100,000.

“It’s something that can’t be determined right now,” Reier said.

University officials said they will release their damage estimates today. The total costs are expected to exceed $100,000.