SCA Helps Students Facing Conduct Board

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Unknown to many, the Student Conduct Advisors (SCA) at St. Mary’s are student volunteers that assist any student that must make an appearance before the Conduct Board. The Conduct Board (C-Board), previously known as Judicial Board, makes decisions regarding student conduct when they fail to obey the Code of Conduct at college. These advisors work with students who must appear before C-board to present an articulate account of what occurred as well as an insightful and meaningful reflection on the events.

According to the Academic Catalog 2011-2012, “It is the philosophy of this College, as reflected in the [conduct] process, that any inappropriate behavior be redirected rather than punished.” The goal is to foster a stronger community of students that share values and communication.

The Student Conduct Advisors also “provide advice to both respondents and complainants for any charge and any case” said junior JohnHenry Hain. The process is not similar or comparable to a criminal trial. Advisors are not legal attorneys speaking for their client- the student speaks for themselves. The experience is not supposed to be harsh and demeaning, but educational.

According to Hain, Advisors do this as a volunteer service to aid the community. Anyone in good standing with the college, academically and behaviorally can join; the program is not solely designed for students thinking about law school. Even professors can join, though none have as of yet. First-year Cameron Kenyani stated that he enjoys being an advisor because “on a personal level, it makes me a far more responsible person. How can I be advising people who’ve been written up if I myself aren’t conforming to the code of conduct?”

Advisors are assigned a case by the Hain, Coordinator of the Student Conduct Advisors. The advisor assigned is given the respondent or complainants email, and then guides the student through the process. Another Advisor, Erica Haworth, said, “I want to see everyone get an equal chance of representation and aid so the actual experience of going through the Student Conduct Board is educational, and not just a stressful and resentful experience.”

The Advisors do not, as some may believe, allow a person to get away with a violation, rather they work to help students who take responsibility for their actions to get through the process and receive appropriate  sanctions. Students interested in becoming an advisor should email studentconductadvisors@smcm.edu for more information.

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