Ethics policy remains unclear

By William Green

The recent massmail rebuttal of the Ethics Policy from President White failed to specify several important details. First of all, what exactly is the “workplace of the University?” I could infer from this to be only the classroom in which I teach, to anywhere on campus and anything in between. Without specificity in defining this term, I cannot wear a partisan button anywhere on campus without fear of punishment from the Office of the Executive Inspector General.

There are several other questions to be asked. University e-mail accounts are considered to be a state resource and their use in distributing any political propaganda is prohibited. Yet, every student on campus is afforded an e-mail account with no such restrictions. There should be a clearer policy on e-mail use instead of the underlying specter of punishment if I as a student/employee send a political e-mail to a friend or family member.

Furthermore, in the state ethics training we are required to complete every year, we have to answer “yes” to a question in which we agree to comply with all the state ethics rules or face disciplinary action up to termination of employment. I have a hard time with this since some of the rules and policies are a clear infringement on my basic civil liberties. In effect, answering yes to this question is tantamount to signing away my constitutional rights.

William Green

Graduate Student