Greek conduct cases heard by Greek adviser

by News Editor Ashley Remkus

Officials said they expect changes in the way student conduct cases are handled will make the educational experience more effective.

Cases involving minor offenses by Greek students or students attending Greek events are now heard by the Office of Student Engagement.

“The way our conduct system works is I serve as Chief Conduct officer,” said Director of Student Conduct Kim Greenway. “So, I get all the reports, and depending on what level the report is, what area it’s in and who I think can handle the case, I disperse them to other conduct officers. Those people know what affects those students and what the best sanctions are.”

Various campus entities, such as residence life, have conduct officers in place to hear cases that relating to their areas of expertise, Greenway said, so sending Greek-related cases to the Greek adviser or the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs follows suit.

“Our conduct system is educational,” she said. “What we’re trying to do is identify did a violation occur, if it did occur, how do we best educate the student to keep it from happening again.”

Greenway said the Greek community’s judicial board has historically handled Greek cases.

“We used to let all of our Greek cases go to the Greek board, but very honestly what I found was they were not being educational enough with each other,” she said. “They were being either too punitive or not educational enough. So some years ago I took that process back and said I was going to hear all the cases.”

The former assistant director of Student Engagement for Greek Affairs took those cases under his jurisdiction prior to leaving UNA for another position.

Greenway said she feels like people who are involved in the students’ communities have a better understanding than she does of what will educate those students and help them in the long run.

The discussion of sending Greek cases to the Greek adviser was based around three points, said Assistant Director of Student Engagement for Greek Affairs Julie Fletcher, who began hearing cases during the spring semester.

Fletcher said one benefit of having those cases come through her office is the ability to track whether specific organizations are having consistent problems.

The student conduct software program keeps track of all student names and Greek chapter names that are entered into the system and lists all offenses committed by those students.

“Since you can track it, you can see if there’s a bigger issue there,” she said. “You can see if a chapter is not doing what they should be doing — managing and policing their own events with their risk management team — whether that’s with their chapter members or their guests. They’re supposed to be covering that.”

She said because she serves as a liaison between the chapters and their various national organizations, she is up-to-date on national policies regarding the conduct of the groups.

“I have more well-rounded knowledge because of what my position is,” she said. “I have built relationships with chapter headquarters. Some of it is that I get the Greek life.”

She said hearing the cases would also be beneficial to her throughout her career in higher education.

“The discussion in having me do some judicial cases is for experience in the profession,” she said. “Judicial is a big component in higher education.”

Greenway said she performs training for campus conduct officers.

“They watch me do cases, and I watch them do cases,” she said. “All conduct officers are required to be Title IX certified as well.”

She said officers who hear cases that could result in a student’s suspension from the university also have the option to attend training with the Association for Student Conduct.

Junior Derek Davis and Freshman Jerico Garrett said they see good and bad things about the Greek adviser hearing Greek-related cases.

“I think the ability to track the cases will be beneficial to the overall Greek community,” Garrett said. “There is some possibility for bias. Those students might not get as much punishment.”

Greenway and Fletcher said there is no concern Fletcher would have any bias toward Greek students because of her affiliation with them and the Greek community in general.

“The software system keeps us all accountable,” Greenway said. “Every time anything is done in the system, I get a notification. I go in and review all the cases.”

Davis said having someone who is not affiliated with Greek organizations could offset concerns of bias.

“But, it depends on how closely the cases are monitored and how often,” he said. “I could see where (the students) might be able to get away with some things to make the groups look good.”