New penalty fees for student conduct violations

Students may want to think twice about using alcohol and other illegal substances in the residence halls. This year SDSU is following the trend of many schools and making consequences for students come with a price.

According to Dean of Students Sam Jennings, students found responsible for an alcohol, marijuana, or drug violation will be fined.

“The fines are meant to deter students from making choices to use alcohol and other drugs,” Jennings said.

 The second purpose of the fine is to put money back in to alcohol and drug education. The student group Helping Everyone Reach Optimum Health is funded in part by student conduct fines, and the money from these additional fines will help fund alcohol and drug education on campus. Along with being assessed a fine they also must do the sanctions they are assigned.

Sophomore pre-pharmacy major Kristen Binger said, “If the fine is big enough I think it will deter students from drinking, and also if students have to take and pay for a class.”

In the end the goal of the added fines to the conduct violations is to have fewer fines, because less fines mean that there is more education about making healthy choices, according to Jennings.

“It would be awesome if we didn’t get any money,” Wellness Coordinator Mariah Weber said. 

The Students’ Association is also on board with assisting students in positive decision making. According to the Students’ Association, the SA values student behaviors that are likely to lead to higher academic learning and personal student development.

Generally when things happen documentation is taken by a Community Assistant or the University Police Department, and a report goes to the student conduct staff and is heard by a Residence Hall Director. For a minor incident the student is read the report and gets to say their side of the story. The response is a behavioral censure, probably in the form of a warming. Students also can be assigned to the “Choices, Chances and Changes” class.

The class costs and conduct fines are applied and billed to a students account. Classes are run through the Wellness Center. For the first violation that is a non-threatening situation will not cost a student more than $100, according to Jennings.

The HEROH student group holds alcohol awareness programs such as providing fatal vision (drunk) goggles to events on campus held by groups such as Residential Life. They also provide brochures with the goggles in order to provide lessons.

The conduct fines assessed to students will go in to the Health Promotions account and then be used for alcohol and other substance abuse awareness and events, according to Weber.

The only change is the fines are added on top of the rest of the consequences. 

“The idea is to stop students from hurting themselves or others.” Jennings said. “We want to get a message through to the students in a meaningful way.”

“The goal is not to make money, it is to get the message out there to students to make safe choices and promote non-drinking,”Weber said.