Whether you see their flyers around campus or updates in the student announcements, the Office of Community Standards wants your attention!
Located right in the same building as DiNardo hall, the Office of Community Standards deals with the realm of student rights on campus. Going hand-in-hand with the Student Handbook, the Office of Community Standards handles situations from community violations down to problems in residence halls. Ultimately, the main goal of this office is risk prevention.
A major policy push that the office has tried to make more well-known is the Amnesty Policy. Located under the “Policies and Procedures” section of the Student Handbook (which can be found at handbook.bridgew.edu) there is a blurb about two paragraphs long dedicated to the Amnesty Policy. The policy itself is to recognize the concern students may have of reporting an incident without being held against it when it is addressed.
In response, the policy states, “…university officials may elect not to pursue disciplinary proceedings against a student who, in good faith, reports, witnesses, or possesses personal knowledge of sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or retaliation.”(BSU Student Handbook 2022-2023). This policy also goes for students aiding others who are intoxicated or impaired from the use of substances.
Peter Wiernicki (he/him), Director of Community Standards, recently spoke to The Comment about this push to bring attention to the Amnesty Policy.
“We don’t often get an opportunity to be out there in a proactive way,” Wiernicki explained, “if you feel unsafe, if a friend is unsafe, we want you to be able to do the right thing and not have to pause and consider ‘am I gonna get in trouble’ and maybe potentially put someones safety at risk by pausing out of that concern. We want people to feel safe and do the right thing. So that’s really why we’ve made a push this semester to just get that out there.”
If something has not occurred but is a concern to students, the Office of Community Standards always has their door open to talk out “what-if” scenarios for students who need advice regarding serious matters.
“It’s always better to learn in advance than as a result of a serious incident whenever possible, said Wiernicki. “So anytime anyone wants to walk in appointment, or not through the door and ask a question, we’re happy to do that…There’s a lot that we do that goes kind of hidden from the campus community because it’s so private.”
For more information, visit the Office of Community Standards or go online to read the Student Handbook to learn more about the opportunities that await you at the Office of Community Standards.