Code of Ethics

21.0 General61985-07-012015-02-032015-02-032016-02-29 ACUI shall maintain a code of ethics.

(Former policy statement that needs updated as procedure)

 The Association of College Unions International (ACUI) is an organization of institutions and individuals dedicated to providing an avenue for the advancement of the educational goals of member colleges and universities through their college union and student activities programs. The objectives of the college union/student activities programs are to provide campus community centers and/or to provide educational, cultural, recreational, and social programs which enhance the quality of life for members of the academic community. The Association is dedicated to assisting members to make significant contributions to the total campus environment for learning and to the development of persons within the academic community. One of the precepts of ACUI is to recognize and foster high standards of performance, service, and professionalism among its members.

This Code of Ethics and expectations of professional behavior extends to all Association members and volunteers and their interactions with one another at all Association functions, including regional and annual conferences, tournaments, meetings, workshops, and seminars, and all official business events and activities conducted by the Association.

Code of Ethics

A. The college union and student activities professional.

1. Mission of the institution.

  • Members are familiar with the general mission, ideals, and goals of the institution that employs them and imply an agreement with and loyalty to the institution by acceptance of employment.
  • Members actively support and contribute to their institution's mission, goals, and policy formation.
  • Members appraise appropriate officials of conditions or situations that have the potential of being disruptive or damaging to the institution's mission, personnel, and property.

2. Equal consideration, non-discrimination.

  • Members are committed to a fair and equitable administration of institutional policies with regard to students, employees, and other patrons/users of programs and facilities.
  • Members endorse policies that do not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or disability, and they work actively to eliminate discriminatory practices when encountered.

3. Accuracy of information.

  • Members ensure that all information conveyed to students, employers, employees, supervisors, colleagues, and the public is accurate, timely, objective, and in appropriate context.

4. Responsibility.

  • Members accept without hesitation responsibility for their own actions.

5. Management of institutional resources.

  • Members accept accountability for the proper application of institutional funds, human resources, equipment, and other resources over which they have authority or influence.

6. Legal authority and community standards.

  • Members respect and obey all lawful authority and seek to change laws and regulations that are unfair, inappropriate, or unnecessarily punitive. Members seek the advice of counsel as appropriate. Members do not engage in conduct that involves dishonesty, intentional deception, misrepresentation, or unlawful discrimination.
  • Members demonstrate concern for and sensitivity to the legal and social codes and standards of their communities. Members work to address and promote reasonable change within the parameters established by their institutions. Members recognize that the attainment of change may involve risk and that violations or challenges of accepted community and legal standards have the potential of involving their students, employees, and colleagues in damaging personal conflicts and/or drawing into question their own reputations, the integrity of the profession, and the reputation of the employing institution.
  • Members seek to stay abreast of changes and developments in the laws that affect college unions and student activities.
  • Members effectively share information about relevant civil and criminal law with colleagues, employees, students, and patrons.

7. Conflicts of interest.

  • Members acknowledge that their first obligation is to the employing institution and do not engage in private interests, obligations, and transactions that are in conflict of interest or that give the appearance of impropriety.
  • Members accurately identify those statements and actions that represent their own personal views and those that represent their employing institutions when important to do so.
  • Members decline inappropriate offers of personal gifts or gratuities from vendors or outside agencies seeking to establish or continue business relationships with the employing institution.

8. Contracting with outside agents.

  • Members clearly define the nature and extent of their authority in the matter of contracting for the employing institution with vendors and providers of programs and services.

9. Limitations of professional competencies.

  • Members accurately portray the nature and extent of their professional competencies when assisting students, employees, or others.

10. Research methods.

  • Members are aware of and take responsibility for all pertinent ethical principles and institutional requirements when planning any research activity dealing with human subjects. (Reference: Ethical Principles in the Conduct of Research with Human Participants. Washington, D.C.:  American Psychological Association, 1981)

11. Professional development.

  • Members recognize their obligation to enhance their personal and professional growth by participating in the meetings and affairs of ACUI and other professional organizations, by sharing ideas and information with colleagues, and by continuing to seek new knowledge and improve skills.
  • Members encourage and facilitate the professional growth of staff whom they supervise and contribute to the development and improvement of the profession.
  • Members stress ethical standards in the planning of and implementation of staff development programs.

12. Relationships with colleagues and students.

  • Members maintain high standards of personal conduct and function with integrity and discretion in their personal relationships with colleagues and students. Members should be aware of and comply with their institution's policy on professional conduct.

13. Students as individuals.

  • Members view the role of the college union as part of the educational process of the institution. Members recognize that they assume a variety of roles in their relationships with students—as administrators, teachers, employers, role models, advisers, friends, collaborators, mentors, and colleagues.
  • Members view each student as a unique individual with dignity and worth, and with the ability to be self-directed.
  • Members are concerned for the welfare of all students and work to provide an environment which encourages personal growth, effectiveness, creativity, and responsible citizenship.
  • Members respect the rights of students and promote responsible behavior.
  • Members respect the privacy of students and hold in confidence personal information obtained in the course of the staff/student relationship.

B. Employment, hiring practices, human resource management, and work environment.

1. Affirmative action.

  • Members adhere to the spirit and intent of equal opportunity and affirmative action laws in all employment practices.

2. Hiring practices.

  • Members publicly support fair employment practices by widely advertising staff vacancies, selection criteria and procedures, deadlines in keeping with established legal guidelines, and by providing clear and accurate descriptions of job responsibilities.

3. Employment contracts.

  • Members are committed to the ethics of employment contracts. Members begin the obligations of a new employment contract only after the terms of the contract with their former employer have been fulfilled.

4. Accurate portrayal of credentials.

  • Members accurately represent their professional credentials and competencies and correct any misrepresentations of their qualifications by others.

5. References.

  • Members provide accurate information concerning a candidate's relevant strengths and limitations when giving either an official recommendation or an informal evaluation. As appropriate, members should be aware of and comply with their institution's policy on references.

6. Evaluation of human resources.

  • Members participate in and assume responsibility for a regular and formal evaluation process of those under their supervision, communicate such evaluation in a timely fashion, and recommend appropriate actions to enhance professional development and improve job performance. Members seek regular evaluations of their own job performance and professional development from colleagues, supervisors, and clientele.

7. Confidentiality.

  • Members demonstrate respect for the confidential nature of educational and professional records. They disclose such information only in accordance with the law and with proper authorization. Furthermore, members consistently exercise careful and personal discrimination in all matters of a confidential nature beyond any requirements of the law.

8. Work environment.

  • Members are committed to maintaining a work environment free of unnecessary disruptions or personal or sexual harassment, and supportive of a diverse community.

C. Multiculturalism.

  • Members recognize the educational and cultural advantages of multiculturalism and encourage diversity in hiring practices, leadership opportunities, programs, and organizational memberships.
Updated March 30, 2015