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A new approach to student conduct at Cornell

The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards  (OSCCS) launched in the summer of 2021 with the goal of supporting the holistic development of the student experience by reimagining how Cornell addresses and resolves behavioral concerns through the student conduct process. Now, 10 months into its inaugural year, the OSCCS team, housed within the Office of the Dean of Students and led by Director, Christina Liang, has taken steps to that end, revitalizing its role and distinguishing itself from its predecessor, the Office of the Judicial Administrator (OJA). 

The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards team. (L - R: Erika Crawley, Vin Ciampolillo, Eleni Riechers, Steve Morey, Janey Bosch, Gregory Brown, Christine Nye, Karen G. Vicks, Christina Liang)

Whereas the OJA was focused on a formal and legalistic process, the OSCCS and the new Student Code of Conduct (Code) focuses on a restorative, educational approach and collaborative conflict resolution to empower students to make better decisions in the future. “Imbedding restorative practices in student conduct is an approach adopted by many institutions of higher education and has proved to be an effective method to address behavior with support for everyone involved,” says Liang.

Rather than utilize deterrence-based measures that have the propensity to result in punitive and inequitable outcomes, the OSCCS staff helps resolve reports of misconduct by working with the community members involved. “The new approach our office takes to addressing behavior helps participants better understand the root cause of behavior that comes to the surface,” Liang says. “The OSCCS helps those who have violated the Code see how their behaviors may impede their ability to be successful, including how others were affected. For students harmed by the behavior, the OSCCS finds ways to help repair the harm experienced so trust can be resolved between everyone involved,” says Liang.

Click for the complete article originally published on Student & Campus Life website.

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