Cracking the code: comprehending the DGS code of conduct

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The DGS Code of Conduct is a set of rules and guidelines that DGS athletes and students must follow in order to participate in sports and activities. The DGS staff created these guidelines in order to keep students and athletes at DGS healthy and safe.
However, some have raised concerns that most DGS students don’t fully understand the proper rules and guidelines of the athletic code of conduct like they should. Other concerns are that students don’t understand the levels of punishment or consequences of breaking the rules.

To help students become more aware of what the code of conduct is and how it’s enforced here at DGS within different sports and activities, the Blueprint staff took a closer look into how the code is enforce, how coaches feel about the code, how students understand the code and what it means to everyone involved in the DGS community.

DGS staff addresses stereotypes that surround code of conduct:

Diana Benoist, the Student Assistance Coordinator, and Randall Konstans, the Athletic Director, interact with players and students who break the code and, therefore, have a solid understanding of the code.

Because the code does not state who is in charge of enforcing it, people often question who is responsible for enforcing the athletic and activities code. Whenever a report comes in from the police, from a coach or an anonymous source, Athletic Director Konstans investigates accordingly.

As the Student Assistance Coordinator, Benoist works with students who seek to reduce their suspension following their first violation of the code. She also plays a small role in determining whether or not a student is punished for their breaking of the code.

“Mr. Konstans makes the decision, I know that he often consults with other administration, I know he informs them, for sure, but consults them if there’s any discussion needed,” Benoist said.

Although there is a belief that coaches avoid reporting their team’s code violations in order to keep their players on the field, Konstans claimed that coaches play no role involved in determining an athlete’s punishment.

“Those same things [misconceptions] I think are floating around out there about coaches. That they won’t sit the really good athletes, or the perception that, ‘Well coach found out about it and then he or she said that he or she just took care of it on their own.’ [That] Doesn’t happen. Better not happen,” Konstans said.

Because social media posts can be vague or blurry, it can be difficult to completely prove a student’s violation of the athletic or activities code. It can be challenging for the DGS administration to investigate and punish all students who violate the code.

“If a student admits to doing something, sure, it’s an athletic code violation. But if a student denies it and there’s no hard evidence that that’s what’s happening, then he [Konstans] is not going to consequence that student,” Benoist said.

Coaches acknowledge continuity in enforcement of code:

While coaches do not play a role in punishing athletes who break the code, they still have an understanding of the athletic code.

Girls varsity soccer coach Christopher Hernandez and varsity football coach Mark Molinari have both had different experiences with the athletic code throughout their years as coaches at DGS. Regardless of their experiences, however, both coaches agreed that the code has legitimate benefits for both student-athletes and the DGS community as a whole.

“[The athletic code] gives the rules, the procedure, the expectations about being an athlete and what that title means for a student,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez also commented that the code provides one set of guidelines that are followed by anyone who is involved in a sport or club at DGS.

“[The] code gives everybody a foundation to look at if there are situations where punishment is necessary,” Hernandez said. Molinari explained his opinion regarding the athletic department’s enforcement of the code.

“I’ve seen it [the code] enforced here many times. I think it’s a good rule for players, for student-athletes, that they need to commit to a healthy lifestyle,” Molinari said.

Hernandez held a similar opinion, noting that the athletic and activities code was important to maintaining the same levels of discipline amongst all sports and activities at DGS.

“[The code] is a great foundation knowing that there could be potential gray areas – well gray areas are in all parts of life – but having that set code is nice because you can refer [to it to] parents, you can reference it to educators, the athletes themselves, the coaches themselves,” Hernandez said.

According to the coaches, the code is constructed in a way that makes it easier for DGS administration to decide what to do in the case of any code violation.
When asked if improvements could be made to the code, both coaches gave different answers. Hernandez did not want to give his opinion on it, while Molinari mentioned another trait of the code.

“I like the way that we have an athletic code that the coach is kind of removed from it, it goes right to the administration, and I really don’t have a say in whether somebody is guilty or innocent or what their punishment is going to be,” Molinari said.

Following code of conduct teaches DGS student-athletes valuable life lessons:

Students are exposed to the code of conduct in many different ways throughout their high school career, but their understanding of the guidelines varies based on their sports, coaches and activities.

Senior soccer player Vivian Pierropoulos explains what she knows about the code of conduct.

“I think it consists of being drug and alcohol free, maintaining a passing GPA … I think that’s it. That’s all I actually know,” Pierropoulos said.

Students such as Pierropoulos know the code better than other students because their coaches take steps to inform them. Pierropoulos explains what the varsity girls soccer coach Christopher Hernandez does to ensure that his athletes understand the repercussions that come with violating the code of conduct.

“Hernandez does read the code with us but [he] just goes through and makes sure [that] everybody is internalizing and listening and realizing that there are consequences for not following the code,” Pierropoulos said.

While knowledge of the code may vary for each athlete, senior dancer Vanessa Camp is reminded not to break the code by her coach, Dawn Jovic, and her presence on social media.

“I think [my coach] is stricter than some. She definitely takes it very seriously. I think that is a good thing. Both of my coaches [Jovic and Ellena Chaplin] have social media …No one is saying that you have to follow your coaches or that they have to follow you, but I think it is a good thing because it makes me all the more mindful of what I am posting,” Camp said.

While the knowledge of the athletic code ranges among athletes, it is ultimately up to the sport and athlete to inform themselves.

DGS student-athletes offer ways to improve knowledge of code of conduct:

Although every athlete is supposed to know the athletic code, this is not always a reality, according to some DGS athletes. The athletic code can be found on when students sign up for a sport or activity, in the student handbook and in the healthy lifestyles presentation all athletes are required to watch upon their registration for a sport or activity. However, some athletes are concerned that despite all of this, they still don’t know the code.

Senior track runner Nicole Muccianti explains that she feels coaches should talk about the code more often.

“Because I don’t know everything that’s in it, I would say no [coaches do not do a good job of enforcing it], because I should know everything that’s in it, that they tell us,” Muccianti said.

Every athlete has to watch a healthy lifestyles presentation detailing the code and other information, such as concussion safety. However, some students express concern that simply proving that you watched the video is not enough.

Senior soccer player Vivian Pierropoulos describes what might be more effective than simply watching the video.

“I think that [signing the code in front of your parents and coaches] would be more effective. It kind of makes it more real, rather than pressing a button and saying ‘I agree,’” Pierropoulos said.

Junior runner Riya Bhasin believes that the code is enforced well at DGS, but thinks that the school should take more steps to ensure that all athletes are knowledgable on the code.

“I feel like… it can be ignored with a lack of awareness. It’s only promoted in the conducts and the papers when you have to sign up for a sport, it’s not actually promoted in a significant way during the school year, except for maybe red ribbon week,” Bhasin said.


At DGS, the code of conduct is a set of standards that DGS athletes and club participants must agree to.

Although many DGS students skim the code on the school’s 8to18 website upon registration for an activity, the hope of the Blueprint staff is that DGS students will now know the basics of the code.

Whether you only participate in one club or you have participated in multiple clubs and sports, you agree to adhere to the standards the code sets. If you fail to meet the standards, you are subject to any repercussions that the code sets forth.

Senior Fillie Vanessa Camp has an open mind when it comes to whether athletes and students in clubs decide to adhere to the code.

“I would say abide by [the code] or don’t abide by it, but be prepared to suffer the consequences … If that is fine with you and you don’t take this sport seriously, I would say it’s up to you [and] what your priorities are,” Camp said.


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