By Jay Solman, Manager, Student Support and Conduct
Douglas College is taking a proactive approach to promoting positive student behavior on campus.
The newly installed Office of Student Support and Conduct has launched the Let’s Do Respect poster campaign, which aims to promote a positive campus climate in which all persons are treated with respect and dignity.
Our office is responsible for the investigation of alleged violations of the student conduct policy, reported incidents of sexual violence, as well as a variety of individual behaviors that may be of concern. The office works collaboratively with counselling services, security, the Registrar’s Office and academic departments to support intervention strategies for students in difficulty.
Campus social climate helps determine how students feel on our campus. It is also a way we can celebrate positive qualities that we hope to model for our students. It is our hope that by promoting campus respect and civility through the Let’s Do Respect campaign we can contribute to positive student conduct. The campaign also aims to get students to start making conscious choices about what they value and who they want to become. We are asking all of our students to step out of their comfort zones, broaden their horizons and challenge themselves to become part of a caring and respectful community.
This campaign is part of a broader approach to student conduct. Student conduct and behavioral issues on campus are often the result of underlying personal, social or mental-health issues that can limit the student’s ability to regulate their emotions or understand the consequences of their actions.
In coming to Douglas, I was intrigued by the idea of viewing student conduct through a transformative lens where incidents could be opportunities for learning and growth. While punitive sanctions are sometimes necessary and all students should be held accountable for their actions, we also believe it is important for students to learn from their mistakes. In addition to the campaign, we are developing online modules on sexual violence, and workshops on conflict resolution. If we can give students some additional tools, they might learn to resolve conflict in a more positive and respectful manner.
In addition to the poster campaign, a video has also been produced. The video features faculty, staff, students and administration calling on students to “do something” and to take a stand against discrimination, harassment and sexual violence. View the video below.