Racist Snapchats shed light on how incidents are handled on campus

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Staff Writer


Two weeks ago an incident was reported where one student allegedly used racist and offensive language to attack another student’s political views. Screenshots of Snapchat messages posted on Facebook, that included tags to organizations and faculty members on campus, show the student using racist and obscene language in reference to another student. The incident was first reported to Director of Diversity and Affirmative Action and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Marty McCampbell.

When an issue is reported to the office of student conduct, the first step is to send out a written notice to the person being accused of the misconduct that details what the allegations are. From that point they have the right to have up to ten days to prepare for a meeting with the director of student conduct, Laura Whitney. The student does have the option to request a meeting earlier than that.

“Because this is a state agency, we have to give due process, this is all Fifth Amendment” Mccampbell said.

During the ten day period the director of student conduct will perform an investigation. This will include interviewing witnesses and gathering as much information as possible about the incident.

If the student and the director come to an agreement on the consequences then the issue is considered resolved from there. If the student does not agree with the outcome then the next step would be for them to appeal to the dean of students. The dean then has the option to uphold, change, or even increase the consequences. If the student still does not agree with the dean the next step would be to bring the case before an appellate court which includes another student.

If it is believed that a student is of immediate danger to themselves or others that issue is brought directly to the chancellor.

A valuable resource for students to be familiar with is the code of student rights, responsibilities and conduct. This handbook lays out the rights of students including their right to be free of harassment and right to accommodations for disabilities. If a student feels any of them are being violated they should report it. The code also explains university-wide and campus specific procedures when dealing with reported misconduct.

The handbook defines discriminatory harassment “as conduct that targets an individual based upon age, color, religion, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, or veteran’s status and that adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s education, housing, or participation in a university activity; or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for academic pursuits, housing, or participation in university activities.”

The full code can be found at studentcode.iu.edu.

The information of all students are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA prevents anyone who does not have a legitimate reason for obtaining any educational or disciplinary records of a student from doing so. This law applies to the accuser and those being accused. For more information on FERPA, IU has set up a website at ferpa.iu.edu.

IU South Bend offers multiple ways for students to report misconduct. The office of student conduct is located in room 177 in the Administration Building. They can be reached at 574-520-5524 or at conduct@iusb.edu. Marty McCampbell can be reached at 574-520-4524 or at mmccampb@iusb.edu.

IU has also recently started an online portal where misconduct can be reported anonymously, reportincident.iu.edu.

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