Residence Life

  • Information for Community Assistants (CAs) and Head Community Assistants (HCAs)

    What is my role in the disciplinary process?

    As a staff member, after confronting an incident, you should:

    • Meet with all involved students to ensure that they understand why their behavior was confronted and documented

    • Explain the policies related to the incident and the rationales behind them

    • Share your perspective of the incident, ask for each student’s perspective, and ask how the students are feeling

    • Discuss behaviors and actions, not personalities

    • Explain that the students will meet with the building director to determine consequences for their behavior(s) or be referred to the formal student conduct process

    What important things should I remember?

    • Your building director will decide how to respond to an incident. Please don’t make promises about something that is out of your control.

    • CAs and HCAs are only informed of the results of an IRC or student conduct hearing if they were physically victimized during the incident or if they are involved in the judicial sanction. Federal law limits the sharing of student conduct information.

    • Your building director has the responsibility to collect and follow up on all facts and circumstances surrounding an incident.

    • Confidentiality by all participants is very important throughout the entire disciplinary process

    Why as a CA/HCA am I extremely important in IUP’s disciplinary process?

    • You are the “front line” respondent to incidents.

    • You decide whether or not to confront an incident.

    • You decide whether or not to document an incident.

    • You can either calm or escalate incidents, depending on your approach.

    • You write incident reports and therefore control information flow.

    • You are in the best position to follow up with residents after an incident.

    • You serve as witnesses in student conduct proceedings and can impact hearing decisions.

    How can I maximize my effectiveness in the area of discipline?

    • Get to know your residents before an incident occurs.

    • Be direct and honest about policies and consequences for violating them at floor meetings.

    • Encourage residents to read the housing license agreement and “The Source.”

    • Confront policy violations without demeaning or insulting residents.

    • Ensure that residents know why their behavior was confronted/documented.

    • Talk with residents about an incident, not at them.

    • Explain that the building director will determine consequences for behavior.

    • Treat information confidentially and avoid gossiping.

    • Trust that your building director will handle follow-up appropriately.Components of a Successful Confrontation

    As a CA/HCA, what should my goals be for confrontations?

    • To gather factual information

    • To confront behavior(s) quickly and directly

    • To help the resident understand why a change is necessary by providing rationale

    • To decrease inappropriate behavior and increase appropriate behavior

    How do I successfully confront an incident?

    • Develop a positive, open relationship with residents before a confrontation is necessary.

    • Always respond to problematic situations/policy violations.

    • Be assertive, not aggressive or passive.

    • Be aware of your feelings and keep them in check or find another staff member to handle the situation.

    • Be clear, honest, direct, and nonjudgmental.

    • Be specific when defining the problem/issue.

    • Deal with present behaviors only, not past behaviors.

    • Never make a deal with a student.

    • Confront individuals (not groups) by isolating a key person.

    • Focus attention on behaviors, not personality, values, or other personal characteristics.

    • Request assistance as necessary (i.e; another CA, your building director, Resident Life On Call, and/or University Police).

    • Never swear, yell, make accusations or threats, adopt an aggressive attitude, or otherwise escalate the problem.