We are pleased to announce that the NIRSA Board of Directors recently endorsed a significant overhaul to the NIRSA Member Code of Ethics. Initially adopted in 1984 for professionals and 1989 for students and revised last in 2001, the former code focused on the specifics of the job. Volunteers of the NIRSA Member Network were tasked with updating the member code of ethics to make them more relevant to the profession as a whole, and clearly articulate the ideal behaviors for the profession as aligned with NIRSA values.
After a year-long process which included review of NIRSA codes, scanning peer associations, and garnering feedback; the newly adopted code of ethics is centered on three guiding tenets:
- Respect & Fairness: Aspire to value others as well as yourself and demonstrate the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity at every opportunity.
- Integrity & Responsibility: Be honest in conducting business. Aspire for truth in the decisions that you make while taking ownership of their impacts on others.
- Development: Aspire to grow your abilities, understanding, and knowledge in order to inspire the development of yourself, the individuals you serve, and those you serve with.
In the new member code of ethics each tenet is further articulated via tangible actions. Additionally, there is now just one code of ethics for both students and professionals, providing a unified foundational statement that all members aspire to uphold these standards as campus recreation professionals.
Thanks to volunteer leaders
The NIRSA Code of Ethics Review Work Team has spearheaded these updates. The following individuals comprised the work team:
- Todd Bauch, Associate Director of Operations at Portland State University, Region 6 Representative, Work Team Chair
- Cody Mikl, Assistant Director for Facilities at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Region 5 Representative
- Cheyanne Clouse, Fitness Graduate Assistant at the University of Mississippi and NIRSA Student Leadership Team Representative
- Tom Kirch, Past President of NIRSA and Representative of the NIRSA Member Network
- Christine Haluzak, NIRSA Director of Membership
“A great deal of time and effort went into researching codes from other institutions and associations and I’m confident this revision represents a step forward in articulating what it means to associate with NIRSA,” says Cody Mikl, Assistant Director for Facilities at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
“This code reflects what we expect from each other in the arenas of respect, integrity, and responsibility,” says Todd Bauch, Associate Director of Operations at Portland State University and Work Team Chair. “The code of ethics needed to be modernized and this one is built to withstand a changing world,” he adds.
What does a new code of ethics mean for members?
Most NIRSA members already ascribe to a code of conduct through their department, institution, or company; the NIRSA code of ethics is intended to complement existing ethical codes and provide consistency for individual members regardless of career stage, institutional or organizational affiliation.
In making the choice to affiliate with NIRSA, individuals assume the responsibility to conduct themselves in accordance with the ideals and standards espoused by the Association. The NIRSA Board of Directors is proud of this new articulation of what we, as a profession, stand for. When members’ actions are aligned with these ethical principles, the profession and our values are strengthened – communities of higher learning are enriched.
Please take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with the new NIRSA code of ethics.
- For more information about NIRSA governing documents like the code of ethics or association bylaws, contact Christine Haluzak, Director of Membership and Leadership at NIRSA Headquarters.