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 house directors and interns 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., interns, house directors, housing ops, public safety, facilities)
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
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.
Rationale: Given that a fellow student’s complaint is technically hearsay, we believe that an alleged violator should meet with the house director, 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.
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 house director, 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
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.
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