July 6, 2020

The 2019-2020 AIAS Ethics Committee has been crafting a Code of Ethics for the organization as a way of establishing a vision for the AIAS Community to aspire towards, while enforcing a standard of conduct amongst the membership. As a model of integrity and moral principle for the architecture student community, the AIAS looks to further enhance its mission, vision and values by linking them to an ethical standard for AIAS members to uphold. 

Why does the AIAS need a Code of Ethics? A Code of Ethics is a set of guiding principles that a group is expected to sustain. In deciding how to best serve the membership, the AIAS Board of Directors has decided to enact an aspirational Code of Ethics to lean into the organization’s well established values and vision. This is meant to serve as a general guideline for the ideals and moral standards the AIAS wishes to uphold.

As chapter leaders and members, the Code of Ethics can be used to support challenging situations you may come across during your time within the AIAS at the local or national level. We understand that difficult circumstances can arise and may require additional support from AIAS National. The Code of Ethics and complaint filing process are meant to support you in these times.

What is in the Code of Ethics? The Code is broken into two main segments: ethical standards and rules of conduct. The ethical standards are what the membership aspires to uphold. They embody the six values of the AIAS: impact, community, growth, passion, perspective and balance. The rules in the document, however, are enforceable and dictate areas wherein AIAS members must abide to meet the needs and agency of the organization. Through a 2 year process, the committee narrowed the list down to only 6 rules that were necessary to enforce.

What happens if the Code is violated? Violations to the rules do have repercussions and the AIAS has established a reporting process for members who do not abide by the rules within the Code of Ethics. Members are encouraged to file a complaint using a Complaint Form on the AIAS website. Enforcement of the Code of Ethics will be administered by a committee appointed by the AIAS President. The committee will review the complaint and determine the appropriate next actions.

What’s next? Drafted by the 2018-2019 Governance Committee and 2019-2020 Ethics Committee, the AIAS Code of Ethics must now be approved by both the Board of Directors and Council of Presidents. As AIAS members, you have the opportunity to voice your opinions on the document and its implications. The final draft of the document will be distributed to Chapter Presidents prior to Grassroots. At the Grassroots Council of Presidents Meeting, chapter delegates will have the opportunity to discuss and vote on the Code.

If you have any questions, please email Dominic Armendariz, 2019-2020 Ethics Committee Chair at dominicarmendariz@gmail.com.