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Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct’s Response to COVID-19 Guidelines

Fall 2021

Philosophy

  • Effective Aug. 5, 2021, the university will temporarily require face coverings in indoor public spaces on campus, regardless of vaccination status. This includes public office spaces, classrooms, conference rooms and other academic spaces like laboratories and libraries. Additional, masks will be required while traversing public spaces in residence halls, dining facilities, the Student Union, Campus Rec, and retail spaces. Masks will be required for extracurricular activities held in indoor on-campus spaces. Face coverings are not required when outdoors.
  • While public health mandates must be enforced, police (both university and city) cannot be the only parties reporting or responding to infractions. There has been consistent communication at both the local and national level that the enforcement of public health related issues by police can negatively impact community relationships. For our purpose, Faculty/TA, Staff, and/or other authorized University Personnel will work together to promote the health and safety of our community.
  • Education and bystander intervention are the best means to positively influence student behavior related to the observation of public health directives.
  • An individual entering an indoor space without a face covering will be instructed to comply with the current guidance or exit the facility. If the individual does not have a mask, one will be provided for them.
  • If an individual is disruptive, belligerent, and/or refuses to comply or leave the space please follow the regular chain of command (Building Mayor, Chair, Vice Chancellor, or University Police Department, etc.)for support.
  • A report can be submitted concerning the incident to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct, the office will review the information to determine if a policy violation may have occurred.
  • Violations and sanctioning are progressive and use a combination of education and restorative practices to address behaviors.
  • For the purpose of this document, “appropriate face covering” or “mask” as defined by the CDC. Follow CDC guidelines for wearing face coverings correctly.

 

Individual Responsibility

Students have been informed of the COVID-19 guidelines; therefore, students will not be allowed in indoor spaces when they are out of compliance with these guidelines. Students have been notified that appropriate face coverings are required in all indoor public spaces, including but not limited to classrooms, the library, Lyceum, Health Center, Jackson Avenue Center, South Oxford Center, and Student Union.

Example: University Authority or Employee will instruct the student of the option of wearing a mask or exiting the building:

  • If the student chooses to wear the mask then the matter is resolved.
  • If the student refuses and will not leave the building a University official will be notified. The University official will inform the student of the available options and ask the student to make a decision on the options. If the student complies, there will be no action taken by the official or from the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct.
  • If the University official informs the student of the available options for resolution and the student refuses to comply with the University Official, for the safety and well-being of the community, the  student will be removed and the matter and referred to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct.
  • A student referred to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct will be ensured the same due process rights and have the same expectations to participate as any student would no matter the accusation.
  • If a student is found responsible for the policy violation, the student may:
    • incur a conduct record;
    • be placed on probation;
    • be required to complete an educational project or attend a seminar. The subjects could encompass decision-making, community expectations, COVID-19, reflective exercises, and/or topics created during conversations between the student and the conduct official.
    • under certain circumstances that involve more serious or endangering behavior or a pattern of similar behavior where suspension or expulsion may be necessary.
    • Failure to complete sanction by due date will lead to the student being in violation of the Educational Sanctioning Non-Compliance and Monitoring Policy.

 

Student Organizational Event Responsibility

Student organizations are responsible for complying with all applicable University, local, and state public health guidance.  The organizations will be held accountable for any violations of this guidance.

  • As part of the event registration process, a student organization will agree to follow and enforce the face-covering or mask expectation at the indoor event;
  • University Staff will ensure that the organizational hosts know and understand the responsibilities of upholding all policies and adhering to the expectations involved in the event registration process;
  • If a report or allegation of any policy violation is made to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct, the office will investigation. If there is evidence of a possible violation, the organization’s President and Advisor will meet with a CRSC Administrator to resolve the matter.

*Outcomes:

  • Organizations found in violation will:
    • Incur a conduct record;
    • receive outcome notification from CRSC via email;
    • be placed on social probation for six months for a first offense and 12 months for a second offense; or equivalent such as suspension from practice, meetings, or participating in events or activities;
    • be fined on a scale defined by its size:
      • 1-50 members = $20 per member
      • 51-100 members = $40 per member
      • 101+ members = $60 per member
    • Additional or increased sanctioning based upon the Student Organization’s conduct record and/or history.
    • Failure to complete them will lead to the organization being in violation of the Educational Sanctioning Non-Compliance and Monitoring Policy.

 

These are suggested outcomes as we understand that some things are situational. Please understand that the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct will examine each incident on a case by case basis, but these outcomes are among the most likely.

Please note that the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct will have records of all previous incidents involving each student or organization and will be able to assign escalating outcomes based on the number of previous infractions accordingly.

 

Community Service during Social Distancing

If you have Community Service as a sanction, please know that the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct wants you to stay safe and to keep your community safe by practicing social distancing. As a result, we would like to offer three alternatives for our traditional community service sanction. Please review these options and contact bldawson@olemiss.edu or studentconduct@olemiss.edu for questions or approval to substitute one of these options for your community service options:

Please know we are here to help. If none of these options seem viable for you, please contact us and we will work with you to resolve your community service sanction.