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The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Student conduct hearings neared 200 in fall 2022

Conduct hearing office located downstairs in Strebel.
Mariami Kentchadze
Conduct hearing office located downstairs in Strebel.

A total of 173 Utica University students went through the conduct hearings process during the fall 2022 semester, according to data from the Guardian Conduct Database. During spring 2023, 129 students, equivalent to 7.8% of the total student body, also went through conduct, a decrease from 2021, which saw a total of 477 conduct cases. 

According to Dean of Students Richard Racioppa, the data is anything but atypical, especially with new students joining the campus in the fall. 

“Every time we have a new group of students come in, they deal with issues in transition,” Racioppa said. “And with that for a lot of students [it’s] a newfound sense of freedom. Some make great choices, and sometimes they do things that they need to be held accountable for.” 

About 5.1% of all conduct hearings in the fall of 2022 were alcohol and drugs related, a 3.1% decrease from the previous semester.

Carl Lohmann, director of student conduct and community standards at Utica University, said aside from drug and alcohol issues, another cause of conduct hearings on campus was disputes between students. 

“We try to take an educational approach where we can,” Lohmann said. “[By] trying to coach those involved and give them the tools they need to navigate disputes with roommates, others on the same floor or with people in an off-campus setting.”

Lohmann described the conduct hearings as a non-punitive process aimed at education and motivation.

“Everybody is capable of making a mistake,” Lohmann said. “We aim to help students understand both what the rules are and the better decisions they could make in similar situations down the road.”

According to Lohmann, to decrease the number of conflicts in the future, restorative hearings will be installed to move disagreements outside the conduct process. 

“As long as both parties are agreeable,” Lohmann said. “We take it out of the conduct process and try to mediate a situation where, whatever the harm was in the conflict, we can resolve it.”

Aiden Moore, a sophomore animal behavior major, was initially taken aback by the numbers.

“I guess it’s just shocking,” Moore said. “Because that is a really high [percentage] of students, and a really big number.”

However, according to Moore, the numbers are not as shocking when considering the incidents that took place.

“In another way, it’s not that surprising,” Moore said. “In my classes, I’ve heard a lot about different parties and dorm stuff happening. There is a shock effect of hearing that number, but then I realize that I’ve actually heard about a lot of it.”

The current focus of the conduct system, Raccoppa said, is increasing visibility of what it means to be a community member at Utica University.

“We can always do more,” Racioppa said. “We’re always striving to be better with the process. We want students to know that we’re here to assist them, and we want to lead by example in terms of how we conduct ourselves.”

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About the Contributors
Kayden Lamphere
Kayden Lamphere, Special Assignment Reporter
Mariami Kentchadze
Mariami Kentchadze, Special Assignments Reporter
Name: Mariami Kentchadze Class Year: Junior Major: Cybersecurity with minors in Criminal Justice and Computer Science Position: Special Assignments Reporter (2023)

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