Thursday, December 1, 2011

Behind the Scenes of the Student Conduct Board Reflection

The Student Conduct Board Brown Bag on November 29th was more informative than emotional; it was nonetheless very useful. It became clear in the beginning of the panel discussion, that hardly anyone in the audience knew what the Conduct Board did let alone what their responsibility was on campus. People only seemed to understand that one was in “trouble” if they had to meet with the board. To help the audience understand more of what the board did, faculty, staff, and students on the board talked about what they did and what happens when the board meets to discuss disciplinary violations. They discussed how the room was configured, what types of questions they ask the violator, and how they decide on sanctions. It seemed that the case they get most often pertains to plagiarism, but they also talked about how the setup would be different if it was a sexual misconduct case. Overall, the audience walked away with a greater understanding and appreciation of how disciplinary cases are handled in the Colgate community.

During the second half of the discussion while talking about sexual misconduct, Dean Taylor mentioned the TIP form. Every year, colleges and universities have to report how many cases of sexual misconduct occur on campus to government officials. Colgate derives its numbers from the TIP forms. However, almost no one in the audience had ever heard of this form, so this is my attempt to get that information out there.

After Dean Taylor hears about sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, bias-related conduct, possible or planned crimes, law/policy violations, and/or other crime information, she is required to fill out a TIP form online or call campus safety and inform them of the incident. It is as anonymous as you want it to be and it doesn’t necessarily mean you are pressing charges. However, Dean Taylor isn’t the only one required to fill this out, EVERYONE should do it. All you have to do is identify the TIP as either sexual misconduct, harassment, theft lead, weapon violation, etc. and also provide details/description of the situation or incident. Optional information includes name, phone, email, and other helpful information. This is simply a way for Colgate to track what is actually happening on campus and possibly address repeated offenses. Thus, I encourage everyone to take a look at the form and get the word out to others about this option. Here is the link to the form. 

-Michelle Van Veen

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