In the last week, Albion’s campus has seen an uptick of COVID-19 cases. These new positive cases caused a campus-wide cancellation of events and non-academic athletic and co-curricular in-person activities
An email sent by the Office of the President on Oct. 1 informed the Albion community that student compliance to the Together Safely protocols is decreasing. The uptick in cases were results of travel outside the bubble without permission and of visiting other residential buildings.
The email also stated that administration will be activating off-campus alerts and follow-ups with students who violate the public health protocols. Intentional and persistent violations will be sent to the judiciary board, where students will undergo the student conduct process. More severe violation cases may result in suspension or expulsion.
Albion’s student conduct process gives students the right to address grievances that emerge from the actions of any student that violates Albion’s policies and expectations. The college’s student conduct process has been designed for all members of Albion’s community and is used to find a resolution in student incidents.
Campus Safety has been involved in finding and reporting violations to the college’s policy. This is sometimes the first step of the student conduct process. Campus safety officers have been taking student ID numbers when they find any unapproved social gatherings, off-campus visitors or students moving between residence halls.
“Campus Safety officers complete reports on those incidents, and those reports are reviewed to determine if there is information to support that a student may have violated college policy,” said Kenneth Synder, the director of Campus Safety, via email.
Campus Safety has conducted follow-ups with students who violate the protocols. These follow-ups ask for more information about the incident to complete a full incident report.
“If there are [violations], then it gets entered into the judicial system so a hearing can be scheduled for the student with a Student Development staff member. It is during a hearing that a sanction is determined if the person is found responsible for violating the policy,” said Snyder.
There are three different conduct processes: the Administrative Hearing, the Relationship Violence and Sexual Assault Hearing and the College Student Conduct Board Hearing.
Students who violate the Together Safely protocols are sent to the College Student Conduct Board Hearing, which deals with academic honesty and other serious cases. The hearing will proceed as it normally would with the vice president of Student Development and dean of students having the authority to administer the student conduct process.
Students will then be determined to be responsible or not responsible. The not responsible determination means that the evidence or arguments presented were not convincing enough to find the student responsible for violating policies.
However, responsible determinations will be sanctioned. Sanctions are consequence determinations that range from no further action being necessary to the extreme case of expulsion.
A full explanation of the 2020-21 student conduct process is available to all students in the student handbook, but the policy relative to breaking COVID-19 regulations, since breaking those policies threatens the well-being of students, is as follows:
In an extraordinary case involving serious misconduct by a student or group that poses a threat to the wellbeing, safety, or property of any person, or the property or orderly functioning of the College (e.g., living, learning, or working environment), or when a serious crime has been committed, the president of the College or the president’s designee may summarily suspend or temporarily suspend the offender.