Fanshawe’s hands are tied

Today, the London Free Pressran an article explaining why Fanshawe College cannot act directly against students who misbehave off-campus.

As everyone knows, I completely disagree with any attempt to extend “codes of conduct” against students to off-campus activities.

It’s bad enough we lose our civil rights when we step on a post-secondary campus; we shouldn’t lose the protections entitled to us as citizens elsewhere because we’ve decided to pursue higher education.

The article talks about Fanshawe officials “doing the next-best thing: They’ve stretched their code-of-conduct rules so that if a student’s off-campus behaviour is deemed to pose a potential threat to those on campus, they can expel that student.”

The next line states that two students have already been suspended.

One detail that needs to be clarified: those two students are suspended for actions on campus. They are presently facing charges related to an alleged sexual assault.

Fanshawe’s statements about these suspensions have been intentionally vague; it seems they want people to have the impression that the college is acting against off-campus behaviour. They have not.

Nor should they; there are laws on the books to deal with the continuing incidents around the college. If the students are engaging in criminal behaviour, they should be arrested for that behaviour. They should not get any lighter or tougher treatment based on their student status.

Fanshawe should be clear in this regard: the college is responsible for students when they are on-campus; society is responsible for citizens when they are off-campus.