Conduct Process

Student Conduct Process

DRBU has established a student conduct process to respond to rule violations. This process incorporates Restorative Practices, a philosophy and a set of practices that focuses on building trust in the community and repairing harm when a rule violation occurs. It involves a spectrum of informal to formal responses based on the nature of the violation:

  1. Affective Statements describe observed behavior, its impacts on others, and one’s feelings about the behavior.
  2. Affective Questions help the person who caused harm reflect on the situation by asking all or a subset of the Restorative Questions listed below.
  3. Small Impromptu Conferences are used to promptly process and resolve low-level incidents that involve more than one person. A staff member brings the parties together and asks the Restorative Questions. Each student involved in the incident has the chance to tell their side, explain how they were involved, and what needs to happen so they can move on.
  4. Responsive Circles are more formal than small impromptu conferences and would be used for incidents of a more serious or complex nature. A facilitator convenes a circle with all parties involved. The circle is a means for students to take responsibility for their actions, acknowledge how they may have impacted others (or have been impacted), and create a plan to restore the relationships that were harmed.
  5. Restorative Conferences are used for serious or repeated rule violations. They bring together a core of individuals who have been affected by the behavior to participate in a formal and highly-structured circle with the goal of developing understanding, creating accountability, and repairing harm with community support.

The following Restorative Questions are used throughout the restorative spectrum. They can be adapted to the needs of the situation.

Questions for Person Who Caused Harm

• What happened?

• What were you thinking about at the time?

• What have your thoughts been since?

• Who has been affected by what you did?

• In what way have they been affected?

• What do you think you need to do to make things right?

Questions for Person Harmed

• What did you think when you realized what had happened?

• What have your thoughts been since?

• How has this affected you and others?

• What has been the hardest thing for you?

• What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

Restorative Practices can only be used if the person violating the rule takes responsibility for their actions. If not, the university administration will investigate the matter, taking care to hear from all the main parties involved. The student conduct process uses a preponderance of evidence as the standard of proof. If it is determined that the violation occurred, the university may need to implement appropriate sanctions. Such sanctions may also become necessary if through the restorative process, the student is unwilling or unable to take the actions needed to repair the harm or prevent a recurrence of the harmful behavior.

Small impromptu conferences, responsive circles, and restorative conferences conducted by DRBU are not courts of law, but forums for education and harm restoration. Therefore, it is inappropriate to apply many of the rules of civil or criminal hearings. However, a resident in violation of not only the DRBU Code of Conduct, but of the law as well, will also be accountable to both legal authorities and DRBU. The student conduct process will normally proceed notwithstanding any civil or criminal hearing.

The Policy on Harassment and Grievance Procedure supersede the student conduct process.