By Konnor Newton, Student Journalist
It’s bound to happen to most students at least once in their four years of school. Whether it’s a wrong place at the wrong time scenario of a deliberate offense, residents at Husson University will likely have a disciplinary encounter with a residential advisor at some point. Which, according to RA Julia Steer, can be very stressful for said residents. Especially if they are not seen as troublemakers.
“For most people it’s a fear of the unknown type of deal, where they have no idea how the process works. Some people think their parents will be called, that they might be removed from housing. But yeah I’ve definitely seen some people lose their chill.”
The reality of the of the disciplinary process here at Husson is that it’s based around the idea the residence halls are not a separate entity from rest of the academic environments on campus. Because of that students are expected to learn how to cooperate, communicate and abide by the rules of a community they might not have hand picked for themselves. Residents are expected to learn from their interactions as well as the mistakes they make while living on campus. Husson University is a private institution, because of that the majority of their conduct intervention is handled internally.
This process starts with the front line, the RAs. Typically while on duty, they will be mindful of policy violations. Minor violations like excessive noise after quiet hours or having too many people in a room may be documented as informational reports in Husson’s Conduct Coordinator (CoCo); a site in which RAs communicate with the Residential Directors about the conduct of students on campus. Informational reports do not require a meeting with the RD, their only purpose is to keep a record of RA to resident interactions. However, if the RD notices a residents name appearing in multiple informational reports they are likely to schedule a meeting with that student.
The next level of reporting on the Conduct Coordinator, are incident reports. Reserved for more severe offences such as alcohol violations, vandalism, improper conduct with RAs or any incident which requires Husson Safety and Security involvement.
“The most common violation that I run into is underage drinking.” Says Steer “To an extent that comes with the turf of being a freshman in college. I understand that, but if you’re going to make the decision to drink underage you also need to accept the responsibility of owning up to that decision if you are caught.”
Steer explains that too often residents caught drinking attempt to have their name removed from the list of students involved. She went on to say, the great thing about CoCo is that it provides RAs the ability to explain to the RD exactly what happened. So if a resident truly was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or if they were extremely cooperative after they were caught the RA(s) involved could make note of that.
Within days of an incident students receive a letter requesting that they schedule a meeting the RD in order to allow them to explain their side of the story and to work out a plan to prevent future incidents. RD conduct meetings basically work on a strike basis. If a resident is involved in three of them they are then scheduled to meet with the Associate Dean of Students, Student Development to discuss how they can work to be a successful member of the community.