Feb 042013


By Katherine Ayers

Monday, February 4, 2013

East Carolina University has modified the consequences for violations of the student conduct code with new probation guidelines issued Friday.

According to Maggie Olszweska, director of ECU’s Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, students who receive probation under the new rules are not eligible to represent the university by playing on sports teams, serving in a leadership capacity in a student organization or using university money to fund their travel to an academic conference or an athletics competition.

Students also are responsible for informing the groups that will be affected by their violations of their ineligibility to participate.

“This kind of probation will help students understand that when you violate the standards of our community, there are community consequences,” Olszweska said. “The ultimate utopian goal is that we will have less incidences because students will think twice about what they’re doing.”

In the past, warnings were the first step in the disciplinary process and were used for small infractions like a noise violation or an unescorted guest in the dormitories, Olszweska said.

After a warning, students were given probation in six-month increments. As long as a student did not have another code violation during a probationary period, there were no other consequences.

Now probation is issued in increments of either one or four months, depending on the severity of the infraction, and warnings will be used more often, Olszweska said.

A student charged with simple alcohol possession — a level-one offense — would have received six months probation before the code modification. Now that student might get a warning. For a level-two alcohol offense, the student would have received 12 months probation. Now students will receive one month of probation and be restricted from representing the university.

A level-three infraction, like driving drunk, could have resulted in 12-months’ probation; now the student will get four months of restrictions.

“When we talk about levels, we look at frequency and severity,” Olszweska said. “If someone was driving drunk they wouldn’t get a level one. Because of the severity, they would automatically go to level three.

“But if someone got caught three times for a level-one offense, (the consequences) would go up in severity,” she said.

Other aspects of student punishment have not changed, Olszweska said.

“The primary mission of our system is to educate,” she said. “Every time we sanction someone, there will either be a warning or probation assigned and some sort of educational component.”

These components could include writing a paper, attending a workshop or participating in community service.

“We’re trying to connect what they did with what they need to learn,” Olszweska said.

Students still have the right to appeal their sanctions to a review committee that includes a faculty member, staff member and three students.

That committee decides if the student’s appeal should be heard by the conduct board.

The board ultimately decides if students are responsible for the violation they are accused of and, if they are, what the sanctions should be.

Contact Katherine Ayers at kayers@reflector.com and 252-329-9567. Follow her on Twitter @KatieAyersGDR.

via The Daily Reflector.


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