New Referral System being implemented at HC

Hastings College resident life has undergone a significant change to their referral system. Students will now receive referral notices via email and contest those fines at a single all-campus board called Residence Life Conduct Board (RLCB). In addition, the new system contains a separate sanctions component that is designed to help repair the community following a conduct code violation. Finally, the new system implements online submission of code of conduct violations, student concerns and Title IX violations with the option of being anonymous.

In past years, students who committed a code of conduct violation would receive a paper referral slip. The student would then contest their referral, if they wanted, to the hall council of each residence hall. Following that, fines would be given out based on the nature of the violation, as determined by the student handbook. Students would then be able to appeal if they wish to either Student Life or the Student Judiciary Council (SJC).

RLCB consists of seven students, one from each residence hall and two from the Bronco Village apartments. The RLCB will meet every two weeks on Thursday evenings. Because the members of RLCB were chosen two weeks ago, a large number of referrals were sent out on Sept. 22 to catch up all the ones given this semester. The first meeting was last night.

Students are not required to go to the RLCB meeting if they do not wish to contest the fine. If they would like to contest but are unable to make the meeting, students can submit their case in writing. After the RLCB meeting, if the student is found responsible, they will be required to meet with the resident director for a sanction. The sanction can come in the form of community service, a reflective essay or some service to restore the community in the area the violation was made.

If a person is found responsible of a code of conduct violation, they are able to appeal to either SJC, a student-led group, or to Student Life.

According to Chandra Essex, director of residence life, the RLCB is looking to focus more on reflective sanctions rather than monetary. The changes came about to encourage students to understand the ramifications of a code of conduct violation within their community.

“So it’s no longer just ‘Okay, you’re given a fine’ and move on. It’s more of a conversation with the student to help, again, learn through that process. So sanctions may be a fine, but it may also be reflective.” Essex said. “Looking at ‘How do we help students understand the community they are a part of when that referral happens and it’s a violation of campus policy? It’s an impact to that community. So how do we help the students repair that community? So just trying to make a cultural shift in the way we do conduct.”

In addition to the RLCB, a software system called “Advocate” was introduced. The system is used by the housing staff, campus safety and other faculty to help manage violations, student concerns and Title IX violations.

“It’s also something that we’re using to have an easy platform for students, faculty and staff to submit Title IX cases or violations that you can do anonymously. Any type of concern that you have for fellow students or any type of policy violations,” Essex said.

The form for the system can be found at three locations. First, students and faculty can go to hastings.edu/concerns, or can be found on the HC website under “Quicklinks” and then “Student Concerns Report.” Third, they can be found on the ourHC homepage under another student concerns report link. Title IX-specific violations can also be reported by going to the very bottom of the HC website under “Title IX/HC Cares” link.