Gonzaga University offices or departments may request a conduct records check when considering a student’s application for a leadership position or program participation. While internal checks do not require a student’s prior written consent, the Resolution Center expects the office or department to inform students of the records check. Informing students during the application process provides the most transparency so students can knowingly self-select their participation.
The Resolution Center generally provides information that a student is or is not currently on Conduct Probation, as well as Housing Probation for residentially-based leadership positions or programs. Some contractually-based programs require release of more detailed information. Other requests for information will be evaluated by the Resolution Center on a case-by-case basis.
FERPA also permits the University to notify University officials about a student’s involvement in a conduct case in instances where the University official or office has a legitimate educational interest in knowing such information. For example, Campus Security and Public Safety, the Student Affairs Executive Office, or the Provost Office.
The following provides a concept-free understanding of Housing Probation (HP) and Conduct Probation (CP).
What is Housing Probation and Conduct Probation?
HP and CP are administrative conduct outcomes, for a specified period of time, in which a student’s status is under review. Violations of University expectations while on HP, may result in residential restrictions or removal. Violations of University expectations while on CP, may result in suspension or expulsion.
When is Housing Probation or Conduct Probation assigned?
HP is assigned for violations, or a single egregious violation, that occurs in University housing and specifically affects the residential community. Examples include: more than one alcohol violation, drug violation, residential damage or vandalism, or another disruptive incident.
CP is assigned when there are multiple violations, or a single egregious violation, that are incongruent with University expectations and have broader community impact. Examples include: multiple alcohol or drug violations, recurring incidents of intoxication, provision of substances, theft, tampering with fire safety equipment, violations of law, unauthorized entry to facilities, disorderly conduct, or a spectrum of code of conduct violations.
More information about outcomes assigned for violations of University policy can be found in other sections of the Resolution Center website, including Conduct Outcomes for Alcohol and other Drugs and COVID-19 Expectations and Conduct Outcomes.
How does Housing Probation and Conduct Probation affect the student to whom it is assigned?
As an administrative outcome, HP and CP do not require actions or assignments by the student and there is no impact on enrollment or financial aid. Students are generally assigned educational outcomes in addition to HP or CP.
What about recidivism?
Student recidivism while on HP or CP is extremely low. Engagement with the Resolution Center generally results in sufficient educational notice and reflection. Most of the time, additional violations of University policy do not occur.
Reviewing Information and Selecting Applicants
While selecting an applicant with conduct history may cause apprehension, some of these concerns are misguided or ungrounded. Students are not defined by their conduct history and past behavior does not mean future misconduct will inevitably occur.
Holistic engagement with applicants, through a non-biased lens, assures not passing on an otherwise qualified candidate. When making selection decisions, let students tell their story, the context of their journey, what they have learned through the process, and their understanding of program expectations. Generally, a student’s desire to participate in programs or leadership positions is restorative and yields positive contributions to the community. A student with lived experiences may be your best ally.
Some concerns are legitimate. Decisions about a student’s participation in a position or program are at the discretion of the University office or department making the request. Review program requirements, expectations, and the nature of the role to discern appropriateness of representing the University. The Resolution Center for Student Conduct and Conflict is unable to provide advice about the suitability of a candidate and does not make selection or participation decisions.
Grounding Questions to Assist Decision-Makers
The Resolution Center provides these grounding questions to assist decision-makers in making their determination:
Gonzaga’s Ignatian Precepts & Jesuit Values
- Am I approaching the decision from the belief in the inherit dignity of the human person?
- Is this decision living into the Gonzaga mission?
- Have I fully engaged with the student to understand their story/background?
- Am I meeting the student where they are, or taking their past conduct at face value?
- How could I accompany the student?
- What is the student’s motivation and goals for applying for the position/program?
- Can the student articulate understanding of program expectations, as well as a plan for success?
- Am I providing equity-based opportunities for the student to participate in the economic, political, and cultural life of the university?
- Would offering the position to engage in community provide growth in dimensions of the student’s personhood – intellectual, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual?
- What concerns are legitimate? Is it appropriate for the student to be a representative of the program and/or University?
- Are my concerns based on unknowns or fear of reputation/brand? How can I effectively manage those concerns?
- Will the position offer growth in all dimensions of the student’s personhood – intellectual, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual?
- What should I expect from the student? What can they expect from me?