Student scrutinizes Office of Student Conduct

posted in: Opinion | 0

It has come to my attention that professionalism by the Office of Student Conduct (OSC) does not have structure, despite what they might say, and imposes penalties that are unjust.

I’d like to note that I am attacking the OSC explicitly and not any representatives of the office itself. I do this to make sure there is no bias in my argument.

When I first contacted the OSC with a complaint, the office was under the assumption that I did not do my research as to why I was complaining and emailed me back information that I already knew. The problem with solutions like this is that it inhibits progress to be made.

Yes, I admit that another solution was posed to resolve my situation. What the office failed to see was that I was not arguing to find a resolution for my situation, but rather fix the system so that it does not happen again.

This shows just how unprofessional the office is as it fails to make progress in its very own office.

Making someone happy does not mean progress is made.

I do believe progress is made in the OSC and I do not doubt that, but when the OSC does not know how to handle a critique from the very people that have a first-hand account of it’s actions, this is when problems will arise.

The OSC does not have structure with respect to how they penalize students. Despite what the OSC might believe, the system in which they carry out penalizing students is one of the most unstructured and dissatisfying systems I and my peers have ever seen. When I say dissatisfying, I am not referring to the penalties themselves being dissatisfying as I will talk about that subject in my next argument. It’s dissatisfying because there seems to be no standard to which the OSC penalizes students.

Every judge is different and has their own way of penalizing students. If all judges in the OSC adhered to the very “system” it says it does then the OSC would not be getting this critique, since it is, I argue that in some instances a person’s penalty to a misconduct might be different to someone else’s penalty to the same misconduct.

Penalizing somebody differently for the same misconduct is wrong. This is strong evidence as to why the OSC lacks structure in respect to how it penalizes students. The penalties that the office poses are unjust.

I will begin with the penalty that requires money from students. $50 is a lot for a student, especially if the $50 is used to pay for some statistical analysis test that’s supposed to dramatically change our lives somehow. Some would argue that students knowingly do wrong things and now they have to pay the price for it.

This argument is weak however as it does not recognize the financial difference between students and non-students. A lot of students do not have jobs as they focus on school, and if they do have jobs, it’s probably a job that does not pay well. We students in residence halls, pay roughly $10,000 to live at this institution; on top of the other $40,000 in tuition.

I am pretty sure the university can afford to penalize students without making them use money. The office can still have penalties, just not ones that require money from students, which in turn impedes them from doing social events because of finances or even something very simple like eating out. Penalties that require community service from students would be a great alternative. Plus, the Center for Civic Engagement will get a lot more visitors!

I understand that the OSC already has community service in place, but the OSC places these service hours on top of the $50+ penalty that was unjust in the first place. Peter Singer, a renowned philosopher and utilitarian, would not be happy if a student payed $50 to press some buttons on a computer to “help them” when the money can really be used to save lives in a third world country. Instead of the money going to some test, I believe it could be best used to go to an effective charity.

I certainly wouldn’t want to believe that the OSC values students hitting meaningless buttons on a computer screen to pay dues to a wrong action over a life of someone in need.

I’ll end with a quote by St. Thomas Aquinas that reads “ A law that is unjust, is no law at all.”


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