Campus Code: Know Your Rights
By Lauren Beeman
At the start of the 2017-2018 school year, a revised copy of the Quincy University Student Handbook was released via email.
“It is your responsibility to be knowledgeable of all university policies and the conduct that is expected of you,” Assistant Director of Residence Life and Coordinator of New Student Programs Andrea Gruger said.
When Christine Tracy was named Dean of Students, one of her first projects was to rewrite the student handbook. Tracy invited students to participate in the creation and revision of campus policies.
Tracy wanted to enforce the regulations and rules outlined in the student handbook, and believed the only way to do that successfully was to update it to match the current campus climate.
“I think students should have a say in what the rules are, what the policies are, and what their experience on this campus looks like,” Tracy said.
While certain policies could be revised, government mandates and regulations were required to stay the same. These included policies regarding Title IX, FERPA, and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments .
Here are some excerpts from the handbook:
The Academic Honesty Policy in its entirety can be found in the university’s academic catalog. Students can also find a copy of the policy in the course syllabus distributed by their professors.
Academic Violations Include:
- Cheating by any means on exams, tests, or homework.
- Forging or fabricating official university documents including but not limiting to transcripts, grade reports, letters of authorization, etc.
- Plagiarism in any form.
- Students found in violation of academic policies may be punished based on severity of the case and the number of offenses.
- Possible punishments include failure of the particular assignment, course failure, or expulsion from the university.
ALCOHOL: THE BASICS:
According to the 2017 Campus Safety and Security Survey, there were 83 disciplinary actions taken in 2016 for alcohol abuse violations on and around Quincy’s campus.
According to the handbook:
- Any game intended to promote drinking is a university violation regardless of the presence of alcohol.
- Students, of legal-drinking age or otherwise, displaying drunken behavior are in violation of university policy.
- Kegs are prohibited unless supplied by Chartwells Dining Services for approved use at a campus event.
- Serving alcohol at a university-sponsored event must be approved and regulated by Dean of Students Christine Tracy.
- Non-alcoholic drinks must be served where alcoholic drinks are also served.
- Security plans must be provided when alcohol is present at an event.
- Alcohol consumption by underage students in any situation is against university policy.
- A dorm room is considered “wet” if all residents are 21-years-old.
- A dorm room is considered “dry” if any of the residents are under 21-years-old.
- Alcohol related containers like shot glasses, mugs, or bottles are prohibited in any dorm room regardless of the age of the residents.
- Both of age and underage students may display alcohol related signs in their dorm rooms.
Senior and Resident Director of the Student Living Center Darek Lambert explained the empty container rule addresses a maintenance issue.
“The empty containers are prohibited because of a hygiene issue. When you display an empty container there are still remnants of fruity drinks in the containers and that attracts bugs. It’s a hygiene issue more than anything else,” Lambert explained.
Lambert was one of six students who participated in the revision of the handbook last school year. He clarified that students are able to use clean, empty containers in a crafty or decorative way.
“For example there are a lot of people who take empty liquor bottles and turn them into soap dispensers or lamps…they make it into a decorative type of room display. That is fine. What is prohibited is people displaying empty bottles and containers on top of their shelves and cabinets,” Lambert said.
- Students found with alcohol in a room that is designated as “dry” are subject to disciplinary actions based on the number of offenses. Potential punishments include but are not limited to a reflective paper.
- Underage students, students drinking in a designated “dry” area, or of-age students who purchase alcohol for minors are subject to varying punishments based on the number of offenses.
- Punishments include but are not limited to: community service, a reflective paper, educational initiative, or suspension and removal from campus housing.
Illegal Drugs: THE BASICS:
According to the 2017 Campus Safety and Security Survey, there were 12 disciplinary actions taken in 2016 for drug abuse violations on and around Quincy’s campus.
According to the handbook:
- The university has the right to involve local authorities if a student is discovered using or selling drugs or drug paraphernalia.
- Students consuming or selling a prescribed substance without a doctor’s permission are also in violation of university policy.
- Quincy University does not allow the use or sale of medicinal marijuana on campus.
Junior Bridget Hunkins believes that regardless of personal opinion about the use or legalization of marijuana, the university’s drug policy serves its purpose.
- For a first violation, students are subject to punishments including but not limited to: community service, random room searches, educational initiative, a reflection paper, or deferred suspension.
- For a second violation, students are subject to punishments including but not limited to: community service, random room searches, removal from campus housing, and suspension.
TOBACCO: THE BASICS:
After conducting a campus-wide survey regarding current smoking policies, the Quincy University administration released an updated map indicating designated smoking areas through May 31, 2018
However, starting June 1, 2018, the use of tobacco on any QU owned property is prohibited, and designated smoking areas will be removed.
According to the handbook:
- Cigarette and e-cigarette use is prohibited in campus buildings.
- Students may smoke in the designated areas around campus.
- Chewing tobacco use is allowed in campus buildings.
- Students violating smoking rules and tobacco use restrictions are subject to a $100 fine.
RESIDENCE LIFE: THE BASICS:
According to the handbook:
- The use of firearms, tasers, airsoft guns, explosives, etc. is prohibited in residence halls and on campus.
- Appliances with an open flame, open heating coil, or an open heating element are prohibited in the dorms.
- No candles or incense.
- Covering up or tampering with a smoke detector is prohibited.
- Students bringing guests to campus must first seek approval from their roommates.
- Guests are allowed to stay a maximum of two nights per visit and six nights per month.
- Rooms in Garner, Helein, Padua, and Friars have a maximum occupancy of six people.
- Rooms in Willer and Woods have a maximum occupancy of 10 people.
- Rooms in the SLC and campus houses have a maximum occupancy of 15 people.
- Quincy University has the right to search a student’s living space if there is “reasonable cause to believe a policy violation has occurred.”
- The student does not have to be present for the search.
For a full list of room violation fees please refer to pages 27 and 28 of the student handbook.
- Students found in violation of Residence Life Policies are subject to disciplinary actions selected by the Community Standards Board along with the Dean of Students.
Newly appointed Director of Residence Life and Campus Programming Johann St. John believes there are still adjustments that need to be made to the handbook.
“The handbook plays a vital dual role. It is one to insure that the students are comfortable and feel secure and will have a positive learning environment. But at the same time the institution has to have policies that allow it to run and be effective on whatever standards it is they want to assume,” St. John said.
St. John plans to put together a committee of faculty and students to explore adding revisions to the handbook that will still have merit five years down the road.
“We need policies that can reach far and span far but also that can last, make sense, and are rational,” St. John said.
This article was helpful and much needed. Is the handbook also posted in a permanent location for students and others to consult it as needed? This will be an important issue for the HLC visiting team. I recently asked several members of the president’s cabinet, and they were not aware of the handbook’s online location.
Kudos to Dr. Tracy and her staff/student team for the revision!
The student handbook is on the website and is uploaded at the beginning of every school year. It is under student affairs. Revisions, if there are any during the year, are sent to students via email and added to the document online.