Philosophical Rationale for Enforcement Policy
Within this paradigm, we hope that first-time violations and subsequent restorative-centered sanctions will produce student experiences that will give them a valuable developmental experience. Offering students a developmental opportunity to learn from their misjudgment is imperative to maintaining effective and ethical student affairs practice, and we hope that very few students will ignore this opportunity and continue to violate policy. If a student continues to put her or his peers at risk, however, we feel that such behavior warrants a tangible response that threatens the student's housing privileges.
At present, the majority of sanctions are focused on creating educational moments in the midst of a policy violation. Plans to train area coordinators and resident advisors in the philosophy and tangible skills of restorative justice, however, are likely to have greater efficacy in the residence halls and mods. Restorative justice practices have had overwhelming success in numerous colleges and universities across the country, and our hope is that bringing them to Hampshire College will yield a positive and developmental solution to a salient campus problem.
A. Infraction: Evidence of smoking indoors or covered smoke detector attributed to a particular student.
Evidence of smoking indoors includes: cigarette butts, smoke, ash, or other evidence in a student room or other area associated with a specific student; report from staff (i.e., resident advisors, area coordinators, housing ops, public safety, facilities)
- First Offense: Student is required to partake in a restorative community circle with entire hallway (facilitated by resident advisor and area coordinator), required to conduct 20 hours of community service, given random fire safety room inspection(s) by area coordinator or resident advisor, and assigned house probation.
- Second Offense: Student is assigned 20 hours of community service, relocated to new housing area, denied housing lottery privileges, given random fire safety room inspection(s) by area coordinator or resident advisor.
- Third Offense: Student is removed from campus housing
Rational: In maintaining good student affairs practice and offering students occasion to use misjudgments as an opportunity to advance their moral development, we believe that the first offense should have a restorative approach in the hopes that students will repair the harm they have done to their community through facing their peers and engaging in community service. In acknowledging the imminent danger of fire safety violations, however, we believe that subsequent violations should be met with sanctions that have a more tangible effect on a student's housing privileges.
B. Infraction: Evidence of smoking indoors not attributed to a particular student.
Evidence includes: cigarette butts, ash, or smoke in a hallway, mod, or lounge
- First Offense: Hallway or mod is issued a conduct warning by area coordinator
- Second Offense: Mandatory hallway or mod meeting with public safety or residence life staff member, intentionally focused on addressing restoration of community harm and understanding the impact of the smoking violation
- Third Offense: All members of the hallway or mod are assigned house probation, and hall (in the dorms) loses lounge privileges for the duration of the semester
Rationale: In residence halls and mods, the source of smoking is difficult to identify. We believe that by first issuing a community warning, we are holding the entire community accountable for their actions unless the person responsible is identified or accepts responsibility. A second offense would call for students to come together as a community and engage in a restorative meeting facilitated by a trained staff member in the hopes of further learning about the danger and impact of smoking. We believe that because of the threat of house probation, a third offense would be highly unlikely.
C. Infraction: Student complaint that someone is smoking indoors.
- First Offense: Student is required to meet with area coordinator to discuss the alleged violation and its impact on the student's community
- Second Offense: Fire safety room inspection(s) by area coordinator
Rationale: Given that a fellow student's complaint is technically hearsay, we believe that an alleged violator should meet with the area coordinator, who can confront the complaint and have a developmental conversation with the student about the dangers and impacts of smoking indoors, as well as offer the warning that a subsequent complaint will result in a random fire safety room inspection.
D. Infraction: Student defiantly identifies that they plan to ignore smoking policy and refuses to acknowledge the developmental process of learning about community impact.
- First Offense: Student is removed from campus housing
Rationale: We believe that if a student is going to advertise flagrantly that he or she will smoke indoors regardless of policy and potentially fatal harm, this student should not be allowed to live on campus and endanger the lives of other students and staff members. Our hope is that any student who alludes to this will understand the egregious nature of this choice upon critical engagement from their area coordinator, but if the attitude of defiance continues, we see no other immediate effective option.
E. Infraction: Smoking outside closer than 25 feet from the building
- First Offense: Verbal warning from any Hampshire College staff that sees the infraction
Rationale: While we believe that smoking 25 feet from the building is an extremely important safety regulation, we feel as though our main source of focus should be quelling the problem of smoking indoors. If we can get all of the Hampshire staff and faculty members to agree to confront casually students about smoking too close to buildings, we believe a commensurate culture will begin to form.
Education About Infractions and Sanctions
Given the prevalence of indoor smoking and the gravity of recommended sanctions, we feel strongly that students should have advance education about what sanctions can be expected from violating fire safety policies. We believe whatever changes are made between now and next semester should be clearly communicated to all current and incoming Hampshire students via email and that an explicit list of the smoking enforcement policy should go into the NSNS Student Handbook.
To further demonstrate Hampshire College's commitment to eliminating indoor smoking, a copy of the policy and enforcement should be mailed to students and families over the summer. In addition, we feel that sanctions for violations should be clearly posted on small neon posters beneath smoke detectors. Our hope in this education is that it will serve as a tangible deterrent and opportunity for students to avoid finding themselves in fire safety-related conduct situations.