Petition Closed

Change Student Handbook Policies

This petition had 1,080 supporters


On behalf of the student population of Ramapo College, the Student Government Association along with other student groups are enacting this petition to show our disagreement with recent policy changes of the RCNJ student handbook as follows:

*Please note: the text in bold are the sections that we have discrepancies over. The text below highlighted sections beginning with a “*” will be our suggested change.

Sanctions for Hosting a Gathering with Alcohol[1]

1st violation – not less than a $500 fine, attendance at Checkpoint, Suspension of Residence Privileges for a minimum of one semester, possible Suspension of Activities Privileges, and possible Parental Notification.


2nd violation – not less than a $1,000 fine, Suspension of Activities Privileges, permanent Suspension of Residence Privileges, possible suspension from the College, and possible Parental Notification.

*Parents should not be notified if the student receiving the violation is 18+ due to the fact that once 18, said person is considered an adult and should face said consequences on their own without parental notification. Parents should be notified if wished upon by the student himself/herself. Immediate Resident Suspension on a first offense is a very extreme measure that should be revisited by the College administration as well as the $500+ and $1000+ fines. Legislation has been written with suggestions to find a medium between the outrageous fines listed above. These regulations should be more specific based off of certain circumstances that could put student organizations at risk of being manipulated by other student groups or misconceptions. Investigations should go beyond “observation”.

 

Below are some conditions, not an exhaustive list, the college regards as an inappropriate large gathering and may lead to the termination of the gathering:

 

·      Underage consumption/possession of alcohol is taking place.

·      Underage students are present.

·      Inappropriate alcohol (kegs and beer balls) is present.

·      Number of persons present exceeds occupancy limits.

·      Charging for entry to the gathering is taking place or has taken place.

·      A noise violation (after first warning) is taking place or has taken place.

·      Disorderly/inappropriate behavior of persons is taking place in and/or outside of apartment/suite/room.

·      Alcohol is transported/possessed/consumed within Pine, Linden, Bischoff, Mackin Halls, the Overlook, College Park Apartments (CPA), or any designated “No Alcohol” living areas.

·      Evidence to suggest excessive drinking or drinking game(s).

·      Any law is being violated.

 

The host(s) may be Interim Suspended if any of the above conditions exist or if it is deemed necessary by the responding college official.

*As mentioned above, immediate suspension is too extreme and will defer students from living on campus if faced with these regulations.

 

Distribution and/or the sale of alcohol to underage persons will be viewed as an aggravating factor in sanctioning.  Other factors to be considered in deciding sanctions shall include past disciplinary record of the student, the nature of the offense, and severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it as perceived by the victim and/or appropriate College officials.


GOOD SAMARITAN POLICY

Objective:   To save lives and acknowledge that student health and welfare are essential.

 

Philosophy Statement:  The College takes pride in the partnership that exists between students and the officials who respond to emergency situations.  The health and safety of students as it relates to critical incidents regarding alcohol and other drug use, misuse, and abuse are of paramount concern; especially when the individual is in need of timely medical assistance.  Students must never hesitate to contact authorities when they suspect they themselves, another student, or a non-student is in need of urgent medical care stemming from their use of alcohol or other drugs because they are concerned that the incident may lead to disciplinary actions for themselves or others.  In case of emergency please call the Department of Public Safety, 201.684.6666, contact your Resident Assistant, or dial 911 from your cellphone.

 

Examples of critical incidents:

A student is apprehensive to call for help because s/he has consumed enough alcohol (or other drugs) to be considered to be in an intoxicated state in violation of laws and/or college policies;
A student is reluctant to call for help for another student who is unconscious, unresponsive, or violently vomiting due to alcohol or other drug use;
A student is hosting a social gathering where alcohol or other drugs are available.  An attendee at the gathering is intoxicated and in need of medical attention;
A student is attending a social gathering where alcohol or other drugs are available. A person is intoxicated and in need of medical attention;
An intoxicated student has been “put to bed” by a peer fearing that calling for help will involve disciplinary actions and/or parental notification.
 

Protocol:

The Good Samaritan Policy applies to students who seek medical attention for themselves or students seeking help for another intoxicated individual.  Medical attention includes an assessment by first-responders.
Other violations of the Code of Conduct documented, including but not limited to: the threat of harm to self/others, damage to College property, violations of the College Hazing Policy or sexual victimization may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for review and possible disciplinary action or referrals to the Center for Health and Counseling Services.  In other words, other Code of Conduct violations associated with the incident may NOT be granted amnesty.


Information concerning those who receive medical attention and/or are transported to the hospital will be recorded by the responding College officials.  In other words, there will never be an incident that transpires “off the record.”


The Good Samaritan Policy exists so that students will do the right thing and seek medical attention for themselves or others without the fear of disciplinary outcomes.  The incident does not become recorded on the student’s official disciplinary record in the Office of Student Conduct.  A record will exist in the Office of Student Conduct that the incident transpired, but is not normally reportable to outside employers, agencies, or noted on a transcript.  The record exists to track the student’s behavior should there be another incident of a similar nature.   Please note that some background checks for local, State, and/or Federal levels of employment require the full disclosure and release of all student records.


College officials will use the protocols in place for communicating with a student’s emergency contacts should a student be hospitalized or if it is deemed by officials to be a dangerous or potentially dangerous condition or circumstance.   In other words, the student’s emergency contact person will most likely be called.


The student may be issued an Interim Suspension from the College at the time of the incident and be required to appear before the Dean of Students (or designee) before s/he is reinstated as a student at the College.   Interim Suspensions, in and of themselves, are not part of a student’s disciplinary record.


The College reserves the right to review each occurrence and make determinations on a case by case basis.


*Regardless of other violations, students protecting others should be rewarded. If a student calls to protect another from possible harm/death due to alcohol or other drugs, there should be no question as to if they will be fined or not. The Good Samaritan Policy should be applicable to all cases in which a student is saved by another. If the student who calls to protect another is subject to other fines not attached to protecting another student (i.e. hosting a party, being in presence of alcohol and being underage, etc.), the student can be sanctioned for those actions and ONLY those actions. Students sent to the hospital should not be immediately suspended, but should be treated by Medical Professionals and be able to return to campus upon their release. Only then can a judicial hearing occur. Students are often concerned about using the Good Samaritan Policy because the circumstances are not clear, and from what is listed in this section of the student handbook, it is much easier to get in trouble than to receive amnesty. In making this policy guaranteed, students will feel safer using it, and in turn, will save many more student lives, thus lowering liability for the college itself and administration.

 

Full Amnesty:  Violations of the Code of Conduct that fall under this policy will not be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for formal action.  The student(s) involved will be asked to meet with the Director of Student Conduct (or designee) to discuss the incident and the Code of Conduct.  The Director (or designee) may make recommendations to the student(s) that include education and/or intervention through the Center for Health and Counseling Services.   In cases where the student is hospitalized, an alcohol and other drug assessment with the Center for Health and Counseling Services will be strongly encouraged and the student may expect a counselor to follow up with her/him depending on the results of the assessment.

 

Provisions:  This policy is in place to provide help and support for the health of our College students in isolated situations.  It does not excuse or protect those who repeatedly violate College policy.  In most cases, the Good Samaritan Policy will be applied once - either to the intoxicated student, those that have served alcohol or other drugs, or those attending social gatherings.  In other words, repeat offenders may have their cases referred to the Office of Student Conduct for a formal disciplinary review.

 

Whether or not a case qualifies for amnesty is the decision of the Director of Student Conduct (or designee).  Responding officials will use standard protocols for documenting information and collecting identification.  All students are expected to comply and provide identification.  Students should not assume that the Good Samaritan Policy applies to them at the time of the incident.

*As mentioned in the previous editorial comment, amnesty should be guaranteed for a student trying to protect another. Students should not be punished for doing what is right.


SOCIAL GATHERING POLICY
A noise violation during quiet hours occurs when noise can be clearly heard outside a suite or apartment.  No gathering of individuals in an outside area can create a noise disturbance.

 

A host is defined as any assigned resident of the room/suite/apartment where a gathering is taking place.  For purposes of this policy, all residents on the roster who are present during the time of the incident will be regarded as the host and subjected to disciplinary action.

 

Any non-student guest involved in a violation will be removed and may be denied future visitation privileges.  A host is also held responsible for the actions of their guest(s), including any/all damages caused by a guest.

 

Termination of the gathering, dispersal of guests, and removal of unregistered guests will take place if any one of the following conditions exists:

 

·      Number of persons present exceeds occupancy limits.

·      Charging for entry to the gathering is taking place or has taken place.

·      A noise violation (after first warning) is taking place or has taken place.

·      Disorderly/inappropriate behavior of persons is taking place in and/or outside of apartment/suite/room.

·      Any law is being violated.

 

The host(s) may be Interim Suspended if any of the above conditions exist or if it is deemed necessary by the responding college official.

*Students should have a right to a Judicial Hearing before being suspended indefinitely. The school does not provide the students with enough rights to plead their cases before receiving punishment. As quoted in the United States Constitution, “innocent until proven guilty”.

 

Recommended Sanctions for Social Gathering Violations

1st violation – not less than a $150 fine, Residence Probation, possible Suspension of Activities Privileges, and possible Suspension of Residence Privileges.

 

2nd violation – not less than a $300 fine, Disciplinary Probation, Suspension of Activities Privileges, and Suspension of Residence Privileges.

*The Student Government Association and other student groups have incorporated suggestions regarding these fines in another written legislation. We ask that administrators revisit these fines and see if they are really feasible and would still make housing attractive.


ORGANIZATION OR TEAM AFFILIATED EVENT POLICY[1]

A “premise” of an organization or team will be defined as a living unit where one or more members of the organization or team dwell.

 

An organization/team-affiliated event is defined as any situation sponsored or endorsed by the organization/team, or any event an observer would associate with the organization/team or any event or situation that occurs on the organization/team’s premises (see definition of premise above).

*Further investigations should ensue beyond an “observer”. Theis leaves too many opportunities for manipulation between student groups as well as misinformed students.


The Code of Conduct permits the College to issue an Interim Suspension to a student group when the reported activities violate any of the conditions in the Interim Suspension Policy (see Section M of the Code of Conduct).

*How long would the suspension last? Would it be based off of specific circumstances? The language used in this policy is too vague to interpretation. Guidelines should be clear and concise for student groups to follow to avoid being suspended.

In signing this petition, you are in support of the grievances against the above bolded policies. Any concerns regarding these matters, can be taken to the Student Government Association via email (sga@ramapo.edu) or to the SGA office (SC223; next to J.Lee's).

 



Today: Lauren is counting on you

Lauren Fuhring needs your help with “Ramapo College of New Jersey Administration: Change Student Handbook Policies”. Join Lauren and 1,079 supporters today.