The Student Conduct Board has the wrong approach to a non-existent problem. The positive purpose of the Student Conduct Board is to protect students from making the wrong decisions over and over again, resulting in their spiral downward to them dropping out of college and ruining their lives. I believe while under standard funding from a portion of tuition money the Student Conduct Board served its purpose. However, under the new funding plan, the Student Conduct Board opens up to becoming very power happy.
The Student Conduct Board is a necessary thing for WSU to have as a backbone. It serves its purpose in an almost Big Brother type way. Students fear the repercussions that can result from getting in trouble with the university. However, what the Student Conduct Board does not seem to see is that for most students the monetary fine is not the bad part, it is the fear of getting suspended or expelled.
Most cases of Student Conduct violations tend to involve alcohol offenses. With a vast majority of these, the student has already been charged a hefty fine by the police. To charge students extra money on top of this is just adding insult to injury.
The Student Conduct Board simply spends too much effort, time and money on enforcing these alcohol laws. Alcohol usage is an undeniable occurrence at WSU, and it is not a problem so much as a social activity that brings friends together. The Student Conduct Board needs to spend less time focusing on small things that are not really wrong in the first place, and turn their focus on illegal drug use and actual crimes. With their new policy, someone who got in a fight and hurt someone would get the same fine as someone who was having a good time in their dorm room, were drinking and got caught doing so. This makes no sense.
The Student Conduct Board needs a complete overhaul. The way they run things is decent, at best, but if they make these changes they open themselves up to complete power corruption. If the Conduct Board becomes solely funded by fines, they will be given an incentive to find ways to fine people. This is not and should never be the goal of the Student Conduct Board. They should be a fall-back that is there in case they are needed.
A good year for the board should be them not needing to fine a single student. With this change in funding, the board will have to set a quota of the amount of fines they need to give out and will have to find alternative ways to force students to pay more money out of pocket. This could mean them asking the Pullman Police Department to report WSU students who got in trouble off campus. This could lead to students facing repercussions from the university for off campus activities, which would not make any sense.
I propose the Student Conduct Board continue to be funded by WSU student tuition money and continue to have things the way they are. On a student’s first offense they already have to pay $75 to take a pointless online course, so additional fines are excessive.
Another long-shot possibility is the university working out a deal with the WSU Police Department to give some of the fines from police involved student crimes back to the university to fund scholarships for deserving students. It is just an idea, but it is better than nothing — and certainly better than what the Student Conduct Board is proposing now.