Sex, drugs and rock and roll not allowed: The language of The Big Three

No Cohabitation

“There is to be no cohabitation on campus...[T]he practical application of the policy requires that it be used... to address persons who spend extended hours of a night together, who sleep together, and/or who engage in genital contact even if it falls short of actual intercourse.”

- The Whitworth Student Handbook

That last phrase of the rule leaves room for interpretation. What counts as extended hours?

Resident directors were given two situations comparing a long-term relationship to a one-night stand.

If people are having one-night stands, advisers would most likely help focus on how those actions could impact the two students later, McMillan RD Matthew Baker said.

“There is room for a little interpretation in the gray area and that’s because Student Life philosophy is that we want students to become decision makers, not rule followers,” Baker said.

The gray areas also allow for different ways for individual situations to be addressed. While wanting to be consistent in disciplining for policy violations, Student Life also wants to be fair to residents, Baker said.

In long-term relationships, the discipline would be similar, but leaders would focus on this being an intellectual experience in which they build a stronger relationship, Baker said.

“[The gray area] allows for healthy relationships, and allows for students to take ownership,” Arend RD Michael Ames said. “Students get to set limits on things.”

Usually, initial contact with the resident is made by the resident assistants, such as Resident Assistant Ben Olson.

“For the well-being of the person and the relationship, I might address them differently,” Olson said. “This job is less about getting people in trouble, and more about helping people towards growth and self-betterment.”

Residents should not take this as an invitation to break the rules, but to make decisions in order to grow closer to their community, Baker said.

No Drugs or Alcohol

“There is to be no on-campus possession, consumption, or distribution of alcohol, illegal drugs/ mood-altering substances or controlled medication without a prescription.”

- The Whitworth Student Handbook

When someone has been accused of violating a Big Three, one question that arises during conversation, is the topic of trust. Baker prefers to trust his residents, because he is unhappy with the idea of a community that do not trust one another, he said.

“However, it can be difficult when what someone says doesn’t line up with the evidence, what other people say or even what they had said earlier,” Baker said.

At that point, consistency in documentation can help when they pass on the case to Dean of Student Life Timothy Caldwell.

Honesty between residents and Student Life is really a matter of integrity on the part of the student and a matter of creating a positive community for student life, Ames said.

“If we have these things, students will feel like they can approach us with the truth, or with their own concerns and issues,” Ames said.

“We have to document any events that might look like a policy violation,” RA Cass Busch said. “However, addressing the situation should begin with conversation.”

By speaking with residents about a Big Three violation, she is able to shed some light on the situation when talking to the RD and share her observations, she said.

No Disturbing the Peace

“There is to be no violent or destructive behavior or other conduct that threatens or endangers the safety or emotional well-being of any person on campus. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, such behaviors as fighting, vandalism, and any behavior that results in destruction or loss of property (including theft), or disruption of community life. This prohibition also includes, but is not limited to, physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, and/or intimidation, as well as behaviors including assault, sexual assault, harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct.”

- The Whitworth Student Handbook

One question of Student Life is how approachable they are for students who want to confess to a Big Three violation or to report one they have seen.

“People can be a little turned off by reporting someone else, or by getting in trouble themselves, it just depends on the relationship we have,” Olson said.

Having a conversation does not mean you are guaranteed a Big Three punishment on your record. Often it is just that, a conversation, said Busch.

“We talk it out and handle it in a positive way,” Busch said. “People should talk more often because we are friends as well as advisers.”

 

Parker Postlewait

Staff Writer

Contact Parker Postlewait at

ppostlewait16@my.whitworth.edu

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