SMC's code of ethics: Going behind the code
Every classroom has a Student Code of Conduct posted on the wall in the class, but who really reads it?
If not, you can be subject to disciplinary punishment from Student Judicial Affairs disciplinarian Judith Penchansky.
The Office of Student Judicial Affairs, formerly the Disciplinarian's Office, is a place to go to have problems solved, reach agreements, and to gather information regarding student conduct, academic honesty, behavior/anger management, before these concerns become discipline problems.
However, this part of the umbrella is just a portion of the process.
Student Judicial Affairs was established for the purpose of hearing the complaints of the faculty, while the Ombudsperson's office was established for the purpose of hearing the complaints of the students.
The offices work hand to hand, sometimes along with Campus Police.As Penchansky receives referrals from faculty, it is her role to deal with extremely challenging, disruptive students.
Student conduct includes a variety of situations where a student may fall short of discipline, according to the Student Code Conduct -AR 4410.
"Within the last year, I received a referral for a student who was often late, and when entering the class, did not keep a low profile, and was very disruptive," said Penchansky. "After repeated offenses, one day the student was ask to leave and they refused, and campus police was to called to escort them."
What many students do not know is that students' challenging behavior can send them to the health services for psychological evaluation, if it is deemed necessary.
If a student is referred to psychological services, first they will have an assessment.
"Some students just need to be taught growth promotion, a more adaptive means of interaction," said Dr. Williams Chien, clinical psychologist in psychological services.
Chien says students may be in a bad mood for a number of reasons such as bereavement, if they lost a loved one and seem depressed.
If your assessment details a history of behavior issues, they might assign you counseling courses to help you deal with anger.
This fall Counseling 17, Conflict Resolution and, Counseling 18, Behavior Management, will be available to students.
Another referral that Penchansky received more recently was a concern from a faculty member that the language overheard in the corridors near their classrooms was disrupting the learning environment.
"A lot of swearing in a very loud way and in a casual way and I am not even sure that they realize it is disruptive," said Penchansky.
As of this fall Santa Monica College will be a smoke-free campus, Penchansky says because our campus is small, it would be practical to be a smoke-free campus.
"It's black and white. You either smoke or you don't smoke. It gets complicated to measure 25 feet from here to there when people smoking in designated areas are spilling from one area to another," said Penchansky.
However, Penchansky is not making a judgment against smokers, she just feels this rule is practical for the campus.
In addition, sexual harassment has also been thin line between flirting and threatening behavior.
It is an ongoing challenge for young women who walk down the pathway from the Financial Aid office to the Library who do not want male attention; they get it anyhow just walking and minding their own business.
Many find the behavior not threatening, but uncomfortable.
Penchansky says this is a challenge because the women often do not know the men's names, only that they hang in groups near the library.
Furthermore, if she knew their names, she could address the individuals about this behavior, which could lead to disciplinary action-leading to suspension or being expelled.
Overall, the idea of the disciplinarian is to be as fair and responsible to all students attending SMC, so that if anyone is under the impression that SMC is careless about its rules, everyone should think twice before causing a problem.
Aside from that, it is also up to every individual to behave in the correct manner, when attending classes.