K-State uses three-tier disciplinary course for COVID-19 policy violations

Face covering signs are present on all entrances and exits on campus. (Dalton Wainscott I Collegian Media Group)

Some universities send students home if they violate COVID-19 campus policies, but as of now, Kansas State has not sent any students home for this reason.

The university imposed a three-tier disciplinary course for students in violation of any campus COVID-19 regulations.

After the first violation, students receive a letter reminding them of the policy. If the student violates the policy again, they must meet with a dean in the Office of Student Life to discuss the student’s failure to comply with the regulation.

The third violation results in a meeting with the Student Review Board.

“We so far have not had any students come through our Student Review Board,” Ashton Hess, Student Governing Associate attorney general, said. “All of the students that have gone through either step one or two of that process have seemed to revise their behaviors and now follow that university policy so I would say it’s working in that sense.”

The three-tier system gives students the opportunity to change their actions before any serious punishment is given out.

“We’ve taken the approach of educational first,” Andy Thompson, senior associate dean and director of student life, said.

After the third violation, students face a range of consequences including a recommendation for suspension or expulsion.

As with any other code of conduct violation, Thompson said the ramifications for violating the COVID-19 campus policies vary based on the situation.

“Every circumstance is looked at individually because every situation is unique on why a student isn’t wearing their face covering,” Thompson said. “If it’s a repetitive issue, they’ll go through the process in a fair manner and the board will hear that determination as they see fit.”

Thompson said off-campus behavior can’t be regulated through the Student Code of Conduct, but he encourages anyone with a concern about a student’s behavior to inform the Office of Student Life.

“Our code of conduct is only an on-campus or university-sponsored activity jurisdiction and so off-campus behavior is not heard through the Code of Conduct,” Thompson said. “Now, we do have the threat management policy, and that policy does lend itself if there’s a threat to campus, where we could look at behavior from off-campus as part of that jurisdiction.”

They cannot guarantee they are able to discipline students based on their peers’ complaints but will investigate potential violations brought to their attention.

“If anybody has a concern or an issue whether about on or off-campus student behavior, we certainly want to hear about it and have that discussion,” Thompson said. “Again, we can’t guarantee that the policy will apply, but if there’s a concern, we want to hear about it so that we can at least take a look at the situation. If it needs to be reviewed, we certainly will do that.”