Residence Life makes alterations to residence conduct system

OISE Open House

The new conduct policy will minimize the involvment of Residence Facilitators in the disciplinary system

Queen's campus.
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Residence Life has modified their conduct policy and procedures to align with changes made to the Non-Academic Misconduct system last year, leaving Residence Facilitators with diminished authority.

Prior to the 2016 changes, Non-Academic Misconduct (NAM) cases were largely handled by fellow students through the AMS Judicial Affairs Office. NAM cases are now primarily handled at the university level through their NAM Intake Office.

The Board of Trustees also established a NAM Sub-Committee in May 2016 charged with the responsibility of “policy review and oversight of the University’s non-academic misconduct system,” according to the Board’s website. 

It was the NAM Sub-Committee that recommended changes be made to the residence conduct system. According to Bruce Griffiths, ResLife Executive Director of Housing and Ancillary Services, the sub-committee suggested the changes be made to “align the residence conduct system,” with the University’s revised NAM system.

According to the 2017-18 ResRules Handbook, violations are addressed as either level one, two or three in nature. A student receives one “point” against them for a level one infraction, two for a level two infraction and so on. 

Last year’s ResRules Handbook indicated residence infractions were handled by Residence Facilitators when the student in question has accumulated five or fewer points. If the student had six or more, the case was handed over to Residence Life Management, a body that consists of permanent Queen’s staff.

However, the recent amendments have left facilitators with less authority when handling these cases. Now, they will handle any first instances of level one or two infractions, or the first three occurrences of a level one violation. 

Once a resident has accumulated three points, or a second level two violation, the case will be handled by a Residence Life Coordinator (RLC), who is a member of Residence Life staff. 

After a student accumulates six or more points, the case will go to the Residence Life management staff. 

Essentially, this new conduct system means administrative intervention occurs much earlier in the conduct process than in previous years, thus mitigating the role of Residence Facilitators. 

Residence Society President Jake Roseman was contacted by The Journal multiple times to discuss these conduct system changes. No reply was received. 

According to Griffiths, the NAM Sub-Committee suggested earlier intervention by the University “to address issues of recidivism and, as conduct is often an early sign of students in distress, provide an opportunity for support to students in distress.” 

Griffiths went on to explain that the new conduct system will place less emphasis on punishments like bonds and fines, measures that he criticized for being “inherently punitive,” and inconsiderate of “a student’s personal or financial situation.” `

Instead, Griffiths says educational sanctions will be prioritized as the primary means of disciplinary action in order to “promote learning and demonstrate an understanding of community standards.” 

Griffiths expressed that the aim is to give students the opportunity to reflect on their infraction, as well as its impact on the residence community as a whole. 

These changes have been newly introduced this year. According to Griffiths, Residence Life will soon meet to discuss their reception, and “review the impact of the changes.” 

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