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OIR Looks For Student Input On Conduct

For The Heights

Published: Sunday, October 14, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

The Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment has recently distributed a University-wide survey in order to gather information on how familiar students are with the current Code of Conduct System at Boston College and their opinions on the process.

According to their mission statement, the main goal of the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) at BC “is to support the achievement of University goals by providing information for institutional planning, policy formation, and decision-making.”
The survey is a means of gathering information and consists of about 16 questions. Some are multiple-choice, while some are open-ended, allowing students to give specific feedback and share their thoughts with the OIR. This survey is open to all BC students, and student involvement is a critical part of the survey’s process.

“[The survey] is a part of an ongoing assessment that all administrative departments go through,” said Michael Pimental, director of the Administrative Program Review. “Every seven years, each administrative department will go through this student conduct assessment at least once.”
The Office of Residential Life, the Career Center, and the Office of AHANA Student Programs are all notable administrative departments that have gathered student feedback in the past, Pimental said.

“[The Office of the Vice President for] Student Affairs really takes this program seriously,” Pimental said. They are concerned with “getting a better sense of where are we, where do we need to be, where can we go.”
A few hundred students have completed this survey already, and in a few weeks’ time, the survey will close, allowing student affairs to analyze responses to the questions more closely.

For instance, a key question in the survey asks, “What are your primary sources of information about the student conduct process?” Responses to this question in particular allow student affairs to “gain insight into what communication vehicles work,” Pimental said. Student affairs is interested in knowing how students are becoming educated on the conduct policies at BC. Knowing where students are gathering information is critical, as for instance, if most students are learning about the conduct policies from their RAs, it is then essential to make sure that the RAs are conveying the right messages about these policies.

Additionally, open-ended questions such as, “How do you think BC might improve the conduct process?” allow students to describe their personal thoughts on the process. This will allow student affairs to acquire specific information about the “level of awareness that students have about the roles of the student conduct policies,” Pimental said. Furthermore, feedback such as this from students will allow student affairs to pinpoint precise areas that may need improvement.

Ultimately, according to the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment’s website, “The intent of these efforts is to foster the mission of Boston College as a Catholic, Jesuit university, while contributing to the advancement of the broad field of institutional research.”
Efforts like the student conduct survey are part of an ongoing process of evaluation by the OIR that encourages improvement in various areas. Student involvement in these efforts is crucial to their success, Pimental said. The more students who take part in this survey, the more student affairs can grow and evolve accordingly.

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