Informal Resolutions in the Office of Student Conduct

In the last year the Office of Student Conduct has embarked on a journey to assess their informal resolution meetings with students. For a bit of a process refresher, these meetings are one on one in person meetings with students to address violations of the Code of Student Conduct. Students are assigned Conduct Review Officers following a report about a policy violation taking place on or off campus. The Conduct Review Officer then reaches out to that student via email to ask them to meet with us. During the informal resolution meeting we get to know the student, understand their side of the story, and discuss the policy violation and how to move forward to address the behavior which may have taken place.

Our goal in Student Conduct is to be as educational as possible and treat each student with fairness and respect in these meetings. We decided that we needed to gather some information from students right after these meetings to see what they thought. Did they learn anything? Did they feel like their conduct review officer heard them? What will they take away from their meeting with us? Well the results for the Fall of 2018 are in and we should feel pretty good about ourselves! Thirty-five students who went through our informal resolution process in the Fall took the after meeting survey. Of those 35 students, 100% of them found their informal resolution meeting to be educational. 100% of students surveyed felt that the meeting helped them to clarify their values and future goals and 100% of students said that they “felt heard” by their Conduct Review Officer.

During the survey students were also asked what piece of advice they would give someone else going through the process. The majority of the responses told others that they should just “be honest”. A quote of advice that summed up a majority of the responses was “Be honest in the situation that took place, the office is here to help you so this problem doesn't occur again and to help you learn and grow.” Another shared “I would tell them not be nervous, take deep breaths, and it is not as horrible as what you may think.”

In case you were all wondering, we aren’t as bad as the dentist’s office in the Office of Student Conduct, we actually live out the values of Care. Engage. Transform.

P.S. The majority of students meet with Daniel Meadows and Heather Jo Mashburn, so these results are really a testament to the work they do to support students each day here at Appalachian. If they weren’t hearing the cases, the students would not be having the same experience.

James Lorello

Jan 23