Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 9-30-2016


In much the same way that colleges and universities have academic standards for the students who choose to attend, schools also establish behavioral standards for all students. These standards and expectations form the foundation of the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code serves to identify the set of behaviors that will contribute positively to creating a healthy academic environment, in which students are best positioned to succeed.

At Western Michigan University (WMU), the Student Code is joined by another document, the Community Living Expectations (CLE), for the purpose of achieving this goal. The CLE, published by the Residence Life office, builds off of the Student Code to address behavioral expectations specific to those students living or visiting in on-campus housing. The CLE serves as a complement to the Student Code by placing the policies of the Student Code in the Residence Life context.

As with any set of expectations and standards, awareness and comprehension are essential for the guides to be able to serve their purpose: to have students engaging in positive behaviors. Awareness is achieved by providing the Student Code electronically to all WMU students. Additionally, all students living on campus are provided with a CLE pamphlet summarizing all policies from the CLE and Student Code.

Regarding comprehension, a unique challenge is presented to the university, in the form of students who experience communication barriers which could inhibit them from fully understanding the purpose and nuance of the policies. One example of a student population who is affected by this set of circumstances is students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This raises the question of how colleges and universities accommodate students who face these communication barriers, to ensure that all students are given the opportunity to fully understand what is expected of them while attending that school.

One proposed solution is creating a supplement to the Student Code which would present the policies and expectations in a format which enables these students to more easily process the information contained within. The objective of the Affirmative Supplement to the Student Code is to meet this need.


Presented at the Teaching and Learning Bash 2016.