Student Rights

Barriers:

There are few issue areas that impact students in a more negative way than current student conduct procedures. While the Student Advocacy Office (SAO) succeeds in providing invaluable services to countless students each year, there is a lack of awareness amongst much of the student body about the services provided by the SAO. Furthermore, there is a perceived lack of respect from the administration about the role of the SAO on campus. It has consistently proved challenging to effect meaningful change in the Office of Student Conduct due to internal resistance from the Georgetown administration. Augmenting these issues is the lack of direct communication between the Residential Judicial Council and other student advocacy groups. Georgetown advocacy groups must work hand-in-hand with the administration if we are to break down these barriers.

Policies:

  • Establish a "Flawed Outcome" appeal route.
  • Advocate for a new appeal route that would allow for a second look at certain cases that have been heard by Residential Living community directors.
  • Allow advisors to speak in cases resolved via administrative action.
  • In more minor cases, such as alcohol or drug violations, students would benefit from having a speaking advisor to help them can catch any items they forget.
  • Institute a 48-hour email response deadline for the Office of Student Conduct.
  • Eliminate fines from the Sanctioning Guide and lower the minimum work sanction hour requirement.
  • Monetary fines disproportionately affect lower-income students -- by abolishing these fines, the Sanctioning Guide will apply to all students on a more level playing field.
  • Work with the Office of Student Conduct to create a Student Bill of Rights.
  • Institutionalize an SAO role in annual RA and NSO training.
  • RAs and OAs benefit from learning about the resources the SAO is able to provide to all students during their summer trainings.
  • Preserve the right to personal trash receptacles for students living in off-campus group homes.
  • Call for a reduction in expenditure on MPD reimbursables details from five to two.
  • Establish a “clear and convincing” evidentiary standard for off-campus conduct violations.
  • Eliminate Disciplinary Probation 1 as a first-time sanction for off-campus noise.
  • Work with other DC student governments to actively oppose City Council efforts to expand the jurisdiction of campus police departments in the District.

Bridges:

We will endeavor to better publicize all of the important work the SAO is already doing and will reimagine new ways to connect students with information about the SAO’s services, such as including a section on the SAO in the weekly GUSA email, encouraging the Office of Student Conduct to mention the SAO in its emails, and offering satellite office hours outside of the Monday-Friday, 1-5pm timeframe. In order to make meaningful changes on existing student policy, we will hold the Office of Student Conduct accountable and call for them to codify more equitable policies. Above all, we will ensure that the new SAO leadership continues to be involved in all conversations pertaining to student rights across campus, including in top-level campus planning conversations to advocate for off-campus rights.