KNOXVILLE– Students who attend Johnson University agree to live by standards outlined in the student handbook.
Most people are unaware of how the student handbook was developed, or who makes decisions pertaining to the policies listed in the handbook.
As the date for the release of the 2016 student handbook approaches, Vice President of Student Services, Dave Legg, explained the creation and revision of Johnson’s student handbook.
“The whole faculty used to meet to determine what policies would be in the handbook,” he said.
However, with the restructuring of the university three years ago, the process for handbook decisions is also shifting.
“The handbook didn’t have a way to be amended, so we have created a workaround for that with a faculty representative from each school, to discuss with the school faculty and then come and tell us what the sense of the faculty is. That’s been in process since November– I’m still waiting for one of the bigger schools to tell me who their representative is.”
The committee will not only receive input from their faculty, but also from students.
The Student Government Association is the main body of student representatives who ask for policies to be reviewed.
Senior David Haake, Director of Student Life and Advocacy Issues, said the SGA committee he leads helps give voice to the concerns of students.
“If there is a large consensus of students who desire something to be changed in the student handbook, we first discuss it as a committee and then speak to Dave Legg as to why the rule or regulation is in place,” Haake said. “If the issue is something that needs to be voted on, he will then pass it on to the newly formed faculty representative committee.”
This year, SGA has requested the dancing policy found under “General Conduct” be reviewed as well as the restriction on male bodily piercings. On the Florida campus, students have pushed for the removal of the R-rated movie ban.
Haake discussed ways the student body could get involved in this process by saying, “I think it would be very helpful if students would express their opinions more on things they would like changed… We love student input and feedback.”
Students interested in expressing their opinion to SGA can email Haake at Dave.Haake@johnsonu.edu for the remainder of this semester. For the 2016-2017 school year they can email Nick Raugust at Nick.Raugust@johnsonu.edu concerning advocacy issues.
The revised handbook is set to be released in July.