Congress Updates 11.7.17

by The Cowl Editor on November 9, 2017

Congress Updates

by Connor Nolan ‘19

Student Congress Publicity

In its weekly meeting this past week, Congress welcomed Mike Pierce, director of the office of community standards. Pierce did not have a direct presentation for the Congress, but instead came to field any and all questions regarding the work his office does.

One question arose regarding how long the process takes when a violation occurs off campus involving the Providence Police Department. Pierce responded that when an incident occurs off campus it takes the office some time to receive the report from the police department and sometimes can take longer than other offenses on campus. He also admitted that in  rare cases the process can last until after the violation has been cleared up with local police. Another question was asked regarding off-campus arrests or violations and the corresponding disciplinary response. Pierce explained that the student’s response to the incident, meaning whether he or she cooperated with law enforcement or not, as well as their previous violations are always taken into account.

A member of Congress also questioned the perception of the Office of Community Standards on campus as a sort of scary or hidden part of the school until one must meet with them. Pierce stated that it is necessary for it to remain a mystery to most students due to confidentiality. Also, he believes it is a good aspect that most students at Providence College are frightened by his office, as it is supposed to be a deterrent from getting into trouble with the school or local police.

When questioned where the money goes from fines paid to the College, Pierce said that it is not placed in an official account or place, but is often used for improvements to academic tools offered within the College.

The last few questions regarded how the disciplines were decided or appealed for smaller violations. Pierce explained the necessity for multiple violations to be levied for one gathering or party, to differentiate the difference between smaller offenses and larger ones. Regarding appeals brought forward by students who thought their punishment was overly harsh, Pierce clarified that the only three reasons a decision made by his office could be changed are procedural error, new information regarding the case being brought forward, or excessive and inappropriate sanctions.

Congress would like to thank Pierce for taking the time to speak and answer questions, and if students have any further ideas or questions, his office is located in Slavin 206.

Congress would like to remind and invite all students to the grand opening of Moore Hall this coming weekend.

The Class of 2018 is making the final preparations for their 218 Nights Until Graduation this coming Saturday. Have fun!

The Outreach Committee would like to invite all students to come out to the Turkey Drive this coming Friday from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. in Raymond Dining Hall. If you hit a basketball shot, Sodexo will donate a turkey to a family in need this holiday season!

This week PC’s A Novel Idea presented for a second straight week before the congress in the hopes of gaining accreditation as a club on campus. They reiterated once again that they wish to create a safe space for those who love reading to come together and discuss and enjoy books on campus.

They were questioned on their similarity to a class that is now offered, but other members of Congress defended this saying it is unfair to differentiate itself from a class, as there are many clubs affiliated with other majors or minors on campus. Also, some believed that there is a large difference between a class and outside reading done for pleasure.

While there are many clubs that do similar events and fundraisers, members again argued that more people willing to help with drives or fundraisers is never bad. After all this discussion, the club was passed with two nay votes and one abstention. Congratulations to the members of the club on their hard work!