Terror Attacks Felt Locally
Campus Extends Reach of Discipline Rules
UC Santa Barbara has extended its jurisdiction over student conduct to areas beyond the physical boundaries of the campus, announced Michael Young, vice chancellor, student affairs, and Yonie Harris, dean of students, last month.
This change will apply to cases where students are accused of sexual and other forms of serious physical abuse and assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and hazing. Previously, students accused of committing such offenses off campus were beyond the reach of UCSB discipline.
The change in the official Campus Regulations went through all campus approval processes. Full implementation, however, began with the start of the fall quarter this month when students were notified of the new policy.
"We see this as an important step that we can take to help ensure the health and safety of the UCSB community," said Chancellor Henry Yang. "Other campuses in the UC system have found that extending their jurisdiction in this way is a useful and effective tool." UCLA and UC Berkeley are examples.
Under the policy change, the Campus Regulations, which govern student conduct, will be in force for all UCSB students, no matter where they live or where any infraction covered by the extension of jurisdiction is committed.
The campus plans to exercise its new authority judiciously, reserving it "for the most egregious violations," said Young.
"We come to such a policy with some reluctance, because we have serious concerns about involving the institution in the private lives of students and citizens," he added. "But in very serious cases of this kind, we do have an obligation to protect the safety of the UCSB community, so it is important for us to assume this authority."
Officials say that the policy is in no way intended to supplant the criminal justice system but to complement it in cases where more protection for members of the campus community is needed. The criminal justice system generally resolves most such issues, they note.
"I had seen instances, one or two over the past few years, where I wished I had had that tool to try to safeguard the community," Harris told the Santa Barbara News-Press.
Punishment for violations of the Campus Regulations ranges from a warning to suspension for a specified period of time to outright dismissal. Students are sometimes required to perform community service.
In considering whether to exercise off-campus jurisdiction, the revised Campus Regulations state that the following may be considered: "the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, whether the alleged victim is a member of the campus community, whether a crime has been reported to the criminal authorities, the risk of future harm involved, whether the off-campus conduct is part of a series of actions that occurred both on and off campus, and the ability of the University to gather evidence, including the testimony of witnesses."
Harris noted that the policy change was not a response to any particular incident or event. An extension of jurisdiction originally was suggested in a safety plan proposed in 1999 by the Associated Students. After two years of deliberations, including two public forums, the change in policy was recommended by the Campus Regulations Review Committee for final approval.
One year ago, UCSB extended jurisdiction for all offenses covered in the Campus Regulations to students living in university-affiliated private residence halls in Isla Vista, where about half of all undergraduates live.