Should schools be held responsible for bad off-campus behaviour?
Published Tuesday, September 4, 2012 6:15PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 4, 2012 6:51PM ADT
As post-secondary institutions spring back to life, some people are asking what responsibility – if any – do universities and colleges have when students misbehave off campus?
The question comes after firefighters were kept busy in Fredericton on the long weekend, attending to five furniture fires that were set near university campuses.
No one has been charged in connection with the fires, but fingers were quickly pointed at returning students.
When it comes to dealing with students who behave badly off campus, different schools use different tactics.
For the first time ever, students entering St. Thomas University will be bound by a code of conduct that extends to any misbehaviour done off school grounds and includes anything from illegal drug use to violence against others.
“The sanctions we would look at range from a letter of reprimand or discipline all the way through to expelling the student from university,” says university spokesperson Jeffrey Carleton.
Down the hill at the University of New Brunswick, there is no off-campus code in effect – at least not yet.
“It’s something that comes up in discussions every year with the committee that STU and UNB sit on with municipal employees, so it’s a moving target and definitely something UNB keeps a close eye on,” says UNB spokesperson Greg Carriere.
Meanwhile, students seem to have mixed opinions on whether universities should hold them responsible for what they do off campus.
“I think the ones on campus and off campus both are held to a certain degree when you’re at this level now, and they're supposed to get away from that and live a more academic lifestyle,” says one student.
“It's not part of your student life. Your student life is on campus, it’s what you do there,” says another. “I mean, what you do off campus is a different story.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore