Mission and Outcomes puts conduct process under review

Grace Braver ’23 spearheaded reform in The College of Wooster’s conduct process (Photo courtesy: Samuel Boudreau ’23).
Julia Garrison
Contributing Writer

On February 23, 2023, the Vice President of Scot Council Grace Braver ’23 spoke to a collective of students, Scot Council members and members of the Board of Trustees during the most recent Missions and Outcomes Meeting, which fosters an open line of communication between current and former Scots. Braver is no stranger to Scot Council or the Board of Trustees, as she has been involved with Scot Council since her junior year at the College as a co-representative.

Braver’s presentation came after a culmination of conversations with concerned students, members of Scot Council and members of the administrative team regarding issues with transparency and consistency throughout the conduct process. Braver spent two months prior to the meeting preparing information, as well as sending out a survey through Scot Council to the entire student body to assist in the “reformulation of [the] conduct process.” The survey polled students who had and had not been involved in the conduct process, asking questions that asked students if they were aware of their rights and their experiences within the conduct process and their interactions with administrators. A document circulated during the Missions and Outcomes meeting was created by members of Scot Council in collaboration with members of Wooster’s administration that reflect Scot Council’s goals for the readjustment of the conduct system and compared Wooster’s conduct

process to other colleges and universities in the area (Denison, Albion, Oberlin and Kenyon). The document accompanied Braver’s presentation which outlined the need for a change within Wooster’s conduct system. The proposition brought forward by Scot Council was to increase transparency within the conduct process and for the conduct to be “educative in nature, not purely punitive” (M&O Conduct Presentation). The presentation explained the need for institutional checks and balances, highlighting the need for an active student conduct panel and a more collaborative process. It also stresses the need for official recordings of one-on-one meetings with students and the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities “to eliminate hearsay” or to have a third-party observer at these meetings. Scot Council also stressed the need for student rights within the conduct system and more generally to be more accessible, such as outlining them at ARCH or orientation. “I am a huge believer that [The Scot’s Key] needs to be revised and edited,” said Braver about the Scot’s Key, speaking particularly of the section on conduct procedures. “I highly recommend students read it if they get time.” The conduct system at Wooster has been a point of contention within the campus community in recent years, as the College has undergone many changes within the Student Rights and Responsibilities Department, specifically within the position of Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, currently held by Dr. Amy Franklin-Craft. The Voice investigated the conduct process in the Fall of 2021 when students began noticing shifts within communication offered by administrative officials within the College as well as strengthening of rules and protocols (“C.O.W. Clarifies Inconsistent Conduct Enforcement”). Dr. Franklin-Craft was in communication with Scot Council during the publishing of this initial article, but no follow-up was published.

Scot Council are not the only members of the community who feel there is a need for better transparency between students and faculty. The Voice reached out to The Wooster Student Initiative for Power Readjustment (SIPR), a collective of students that run an Instagram page educating students to understand their rights as outlined within the Scot’s Key. The Voice interviewed founder and member Case Baumwart ’25, who reiterated Scot Council’s requests for transparency and change. “The past and current administration prioritizes severity over equity,” Baumwart says. “This issue is not one that we can solve quickly, but we hope our determination and the mutual passion of our peers will carry the student body towards a more equitable campus environment.” The Wooster SIPR Instagram account posts infographics for students, most recently posting information about the College’s medical assistance amnesty policy, citing directly from the Scot’s Key: “Wooster has the ability as a private institution to change its harmful…rules and functions to better reflect its proclaimed values.” Baumwart and other members of the Wooster SIPR wish to become more involved with Scot Council and host open forums to invite students, faculty and staff to work towards their cause. Dr. Franklin-Craft provided a flow chart of the conduct process via email and initially agreed to sit down with the Voice for an interview; however, a few hours before the interview was to take place, she canceled, citing “an extensive issue that will be occurring over the next two weeks.” The Voice reached out to other current and past Student Conduct Officers and received noComments. Dr. Franklin-Craft will meet with Scot Council next week about the conduct process.

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