The Pacific Index

Pacific holds conduct hearings to personalize student sanctions

Hannah Kendall

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Pacific University does not always have clear, set-in-stone consequences for when a student is found in violation of a policy. Many students want to know exactly what will happen if they are documented for alcohol or noise violations, yet there is no definite answer. This is because the Conduct Board looks at each student’s involvement in the situation and decides what sanction will be most impactful. While students with alcohol violations commonly have to give community service or take an alcohol course, it is simply not the same for everybody.

Assistant Director of Residence Life Megan Rice emphasizes that sanctions are not always black and white because student’s situations are not always black and white. She does not believe the process would be fair if it was. Rather, sanctions are educational and when possible, the Conduct Board works to tailor sanctions for each student.

When students are documented by their Resident Assistant (RA) or Campus Public Safety (CPS), they have the chance to attend a conduct hearing. While a conduct hearing is not mandatory, it gives students a voice. Being invited to a hearing does not immediately mean a student is in violation. It gives them the opportunity to explain their involvement in the situation. If a student attends their conduct hearing, the Board makes a decision of responsibility after hearing from the student. Sanctions are assigned only if a student is found in violation of one or more policies.

“It’s an integral part of our process to hear from students,” Rice said. “It’s really hard to set a sanction that is meaningful and impactful when we haven’t heard from the student.”

If a student decides not to show up to the hearing, a decision is made in their absence, and the individual is required to fulfill the sanctions.

The Conduct Board wants to help students reflect on how their decisions impact their larger goals in the world. Students understanding the consequences of their decisions at Pacific will allow them to realize there are consequences in society as well.

“If we don’t address scenarios then we’re actually impacting more people. It’s about helping people understand how their choices affect the larger community,” Rice said.

If a student has questions about any part of the conduct process, they can contact the Office of Student Conduct at [email protected] or 503-352-2181.

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Pacific holds conduct hearings to personalize student sanctions