New judicial ‘points’ system introduced to students

Guilford is making a point with its new judicial system.

A point-based system is now in effect, with the hopes that these judicial guidelines will clarify the sanctioning process and crack down on substance abuse.

The point system assigns a numerical point value to violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Director of Student Judicial Affairs Sandy Bowles was the main contributor to the development of the system.

“We had a system with a lot of gray areas,” said Bowles. “The new point system is an effort for students to clearly know where they stand in their relationship to their remaining on campus.”

The point system outlines yearly point limits for students which vary depending upon class level. First-years may accrue 75 points, sophomores 60, and juniors and seniors are limited to 50. Once a student surpasses his or her point limit, the student is suspended.

“(Point limits) take out the amorphous gray piece that bothered students and give us guidelines for our Quaker values of integrity and justice,” said Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Aaron Fetrow. “This also eliminates the ability for us to play favorites.”

With this change in the judicial system, the school has put a greater focus on drug and alcohol violations.

“Ninety-five percent of what we deal with is substance-related,” said Bowles. “The majority of our time and effort is spent dealing with substance use.”

With the point system’s emphasis on substance abuse, the school plans to treat drug abuse very seriously. Students are still limited to two drug offenses during their time at Guilford, but there are other changes being made.

“We are treating covered smoke detectors much more seriously than we have in the past due to safety concerns,” said Bowles. “Possession of drug paraphernalia or weed combined with a covered smoke detector is grounds for suspension.”

First-year Robert Hansury supports the strict policy.

“I think that if you come to college, you shouldn’t be doing drugs,” said Hansbury.

On the other hand, first-year Abe Kenmore disagrees.

“Being suspended for only two drug violations is a bit harsh,” said Kenmore.

Like drug violations, the administration will treat alcohol violations much more seriously.

“We had drawn a strict line on marijuana but not so much on alcohol, which not only confused the students but us as well,” said Fetrow.

In the school’s effort to combat the abuse of alcohol, students are now limited to three alcohol violations during their time at Guilford before facing suspension. Previously, students could receive three alcohol violations per year.

Despite these tightened policies on alcohol, the school recognizes its prevalence in college culture.

“We’re not trying to stop drinking,” said Bowles. “We’re just trying to get students to re-evaluate their usage.”

Resident Advisor Taylor Alston, a junior, supports these changes.

“People will be more careful about choices they make,” said Alston.

Still, satisfaction amongst students differs. The administration remains open to suggestions.

“There are plenty of chances for students to get involved with the judicial process,” said Bowles. “If students are interested, all they have to do is send me an email.” Bowles can be reached at [email protected].

In the meantime, the point system remains in effect. With its strict drug and alcohol policies, the school has made a clear point to the community: substance abuse will not be taken lightly.