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Pivot




For some, this has merely been an opportunity to get an earlier start to summer projects or to hone in on strategic plans while for others its daily reporting on how their days were spent.
 
But in some cases conduct staff have been instructed to make an even larger pivot by meeting with students only for high-level cases freeing up time to prioritize service to other departments such as residence life, retention, or enrollment. 

It's an unspoken rule that to work for ASCA, you must have, at minimum, a working knowledge of trivia related to the Friends television show with a preference for being able to quote it in conversation-- a fact I was not informed of until one of my first staff meetings, but luckily I was allowed to stay.  
 
Not sure about you, but I've noticed an increase in the use of “pivot” as a buzzword surrounding our need to change to divert away from our planned experiences and head in a new direction. Each time its uttered, I cannot help but think of the Friends characters attempting to carry a couch up the stairs and yelling “pivot” to no avail. It's a fairly popular scene from the classic show that you can watch here
 
But the next line in the clip is just as important to the story, though not as commonly referenced. “Pivot, pivot, pivot” is met with the defeated response of “shut up, shut up, shut up!” As in the show, the more we are told to pivot, the more defeated we may feel. Or maybe you identify more with the couch. You didn't put yourself in the situation, but you're definitely stuck in a difficult position and changes are going to take shape. 
 
Nearly all campuses share in needing to migrate academics and campus services to a virtual environment, but the implications reach far beyond inconveniences. Tuition-reliant institutions have already begun reviewing long-term fiscal plans and as a direct result many conduct officers have begun to feel unspoken (or sometimes direct) pressure to justify that they remain of value to the institution. For some, it has merely been an opportunity to get an earlier start to summer projects or to hone in on strategic plans while for others its daily reporting on how their days were spent.
 
But in some cases conduct staff have been instructed to make an even larger pivot by meeting with students only for high-level cases freeing up time to prioritize service to other departments such as residence life, retention, or enrollment. Now, that may be a whole new level of “other duties as assigned,” but student outreach is of a renewed vitality presently not only for the well-being of the student, but for the institution as leaders come to terms with the potential long-term impacts to colleges.
 
During today's ASCA Chats on “Interpreting our codes in remote processes,” countless pivots came to light continuing to inspire others to think differently about our work. As one participant put it, “I never knew I was so resourceful” and another “in two weeks we've done what we said we couldn't do!” 
 
Indeed, there are countless ways that conduct pros have been asked to show flexibility within the last weeks, many of which are discussed below. AThey beg the question—when the time comes, how will you handle the pivot?
 
Other Duties as Assigned:
  • Worries swirl that layoffs will come eventually
  • Conduct personnel assisting campus in different ways:
    • One-on-one calls to current students to check how they're doing
    • Calls to prospective students to gauge their thoughts
    • Aiding or facilitating retention processes
    • Getting ahead on campuswide summer projects
Code Adjustments:
  • For codes requiring in-person hearing, students being asked to sign waiver stating they understand the extenuating circumstance and they waive right to in-person hearing in leiu of web platform
  • Others using clause permitting institution to update code and publishing new items
  • Some schools have clause that allows school to adjust procedures as necessary
Sanctions/Student Education:
  • Campuses looking to build online civility course or module
  • BASICS not considered clinical in some areas so still being completed using interns
  • Most extending sanction completion timelines, as needed
Clery:
  • Discussed interpretations of situations for Clery reporting. 
    • Climbing in windows of residence hall… burglary or no?
    • Other reportable offenses that now do not take place on physical campus, but physical campus was not an option
Disposition Statements:
  • Online learning is not without its disruptions
    • New phenomena: Zoom Bombing
    • Disposition sheet is intended to allow faculty to have the main conversation with student when classroom-related incidents occur
 
If you missed it, the staff of Southern New Hampshire University delivered a very insightful webinar today to showcase the functions and processes they use in their online conduct department that was virtual way before it became the new, cool thing. For ASCA members, a recording of the webinar as well as a copy of the presentation slides are available.  
 
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Want to join a future chat? Check out our schedule and register online
 
Have additional thoughts or recommendations on any of the questions/topics discussed during today's chats? Feel free to share in the comments.
 
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Any opinions, stated or implied, are those of the author and do not reflect the official view, position, or endorsement of the Association for Student Conduct Administration.

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