By Talia Floyd
Berea college has three different kinds of probation students can be subjected to: labor, academic and social. Students are able to easily find detailed description for all but the last, Social Probation.
Why care? Social probation is important because of the current discussion on campus about a previous sexual assault case that included social probation as one of the disciplinary actions taken against the alleged individual involved.
According to Berea College’s policies Probation prohibits a student from receiving travel grants, participating in study abroad or other travel opportunities through the college, keeping a motor vehicle on campus or being granted a leave of absence. Students on probation cannot enjoy independent studies, team initiated studies or internships although according to the definition of Social Probation, “Exceptions to these policies must be approved by the body responsible for setting the terms of the probation.”
In an attempt to explore the exact details of social probation, several staff members were contacted for response.
College chaplain Loretta Reynolds said “You should be able to find this in the Student Handbook which can be found on the Student Life Webpage.”
Student Life staff Alicia Klopfer, said “In what context do you need the definition of social probation? Are you wanting to know what it entails or what leads to social probation?”
Student Life staff, Jamie Poff said, “ Social probation is a disciplinary sanction that, while seldom used, is generally issued by an Administrative Hearing Officer or the Campus Conduct Hearing Board. Being on social probation basically places a “red flag” on one’s student file. Some departments that arrange off-campus educational opportunities (internships, study abroad, etc.) choose not to offer those opportunities if a student is on social probation at the time of application.”
“External departments set their own standard for how to handle students on social probation.
Further, any further disciplinary incidents that involve a student on social probation may be treated more seriously/escalated to being a more serious matter. This can lead to a hearing in which suspension or expulsion could be considered as a sanction. Other than these two situations, social probation is basically a strong warning to deter future violations of conduct policy. It is typically issued for no more than one academic year, and is not issued that often, honestly. It is rare for more than 1-2 students on campus at any given time to be on social probation,” Poff added.