Consequences of student conduct at Central

Felicia Kopperdahl, Staff Reporter

A phrase that many heard growing up is “rules are meant to be broken.” However, the student codes of conduct are university rules that can determine the future of a student.

The student code of conduct is a set of rules that students are responsible for obeying, and the code which students agree to in order to become a student at Central. These rules pertain to students living on and off campus.

Richard DeShields, associate dean of student success, explains that these are ethical codes for which the university holds students responsible.

“We believe that students, for the most part, are very responsible,” DeShields said.

As part of Central’s enrollment, students agree to the student code of conduct.

The number one violation given to students are noise violations.

According to Ellensburg city code, unreasonable noise is unlawful between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. every day.

“We get a lot of noise off campus as well. It’s not just on-campus students,” DeShields said. “When [students] are off campus and have a party, most students will talk to their neighbors. They’ll establish that a party is going to be happening and ‘if there is a problem, please come and let me know and here’s my number.”

Sometimes, students are not able to manage their house, or too many people come and they lose control over what is going on. In the event that the police are called, they are likely to be cited for noise. It’s the same in the residence halls.

Chelsea Dowdell, senior mechanical engineering technology major, is a resident’s assistant (RA) in Barto Hall and said the students are usually considerate and understand their write-ups.

“Most of our students are super respectful when you are talking to them, because we don’t like to make it like they are in trouble. We’re just documenting what we see so it can be taken to the appropriate person,” Dowdell said.

DeShields said there are steps that are taken in order to get to the bottom of the issue.

A report needs to be made from a police report, a friend, Central faculty or students who can report concerns when they log into MyCWU, DeShields said.

The report, however, is not anonymous. It’s linked to the student’s Central email address.

A physical, formal letter is sent to the students involved in the report; this includes a scheduled meeting to discuss the allegations. An email of the letter is also sent to the students.

“That letter is somewhat intimidating, primarily because we are following all the administrative codes for the state of Washington,” DeShields said. “That letter is simply that we are having a formal meeting to discuss these allegations, and in many instances those allegations may be true, they may not be to the full effect and we don’t know all the circumstances.”

Most of the cases end up in a warning or probation of the student, stating that the student is aware of the policy and that the violation won’t happen again. If it does happen again, the punishment escalates.

The outcome of an alcohol violation would be an alcohol education class, an assessment and then possible suspension: it is the same with drugs and marijuana.

Certain violations can result in a fine— such as property damage, tampering with fire equipment and pets.

Some students have been written up for violations that they believe they were not accountable for and disagree with the way enforcement handles the code.

Stephanie Moan, junior business major, thinks the RAs take the rules too seriously.

“I had a boy in the girls bathroom because he said he was going to throw up, obviously because he was drunk. The RAs found him and brought him to my room and explained that I was breaking the rules and I got written up,” Moan said.

Moan said the RA wrote her up for withholding information because she didn’t admit to the RA that she was intoxicated.

Alcohol violations are one of the most common write ups given to students.

Halle Jourdan, junior social services major, said she has been written up for incidents in the past that she believes were not her fault.

“I threw my key card out the window to my friend so that she could get in the building as opposed to me going all the way down there,” Jourdan said. “They told me it was a hazard to throw things out the window, which I thought was weird, but it was one of their rules that I disobeyed.”

DeShields wants students to know that they are representatives of Central, and their degree, when they graduate.

“So, we really do believe inholding students to the standard of being a good CWU student,” DeShields said.