Julia Plottel ’17, a Collegian design editor, went to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) unsure of what to expect from her conduct hearing. On Sept. 6, she and her housemate threw a party at their North Campus Apartment, which was shut down for being over-capacity. “I like to think of it more as a conversation than a formal meeting,” Plottel said of the meeting with James Jackson, Director of the OSRR.
In past years, the OSRR worked with assistant directors from the Office of Housing and Residential Life (ResLife), to deal with violations to statutes in the Student Handbook. With the departure of Scott Gill-Jacobson, former assistant director for Housing and Residential Life two assistant directors of ResLife are now dedicated solely to housing-related responsibilities. The altered structure, Jackson said, is meant to ease the burden of working on conduct cases on a diminished ResLife staff. To make up the difference, the College is hoping to hire an additional administrator within the OSSR to handle conduct cases, so the burden will not rest solely on Jackson and Lacey Filkins, Assistant Director of New Student Programming. Jackson said the new administrator will ideally be hired this semester.
Student conduct reviews always took place under the jurisdiction of the OSRR, but staff from ResLife used to take part in the process of oversight and implementation. Now, those handling student conduct reviews will be mostly from the staff of Student Rights and Responsibilities, especially with the hiring of a new administrator within this department. Jackson said ResLife Associate Director Lisa Train also works on the conduct process during particularly busy weeks.
Jill Engel-Hellman, director of the office of housing and residential life, said creating a new position within the OSSR was the most feasible option for the College to fill the vacancy Gill-Jacobson created.
Sam Troper ’18 is eager to see if this change will affect the process, outcomes and sanctions associated with student conduct reviews.
“You [just] need to see how something like this is implemented,” Troper said.