Top Ten Ways to Get Kicked Out
In the fall 2012 semester, 56% of all students with a Student Code of Conduct violation were freshmen. The “Top Ten” presentation creates an opportunity for student conduct staff to speak frankly to students about policies and expectations within their new environment in an open and humorous way. The presentation centers on the most common decision-making pitfalls that freshmen may experience. When scenarios from 2am on a Saturday are introduced in a classroom setting, the errors in judgment become more apparent, thus helping students identify when simple decisions can lead to significant consequences. Comical anecdotes that are recognizable to the audience help students consider how they can respond in healthy and safe ways the next time they find themselves in similar scenarios. By avoiding telling students not to break the rules, but instead focusing on the decision making errors that lead to Office of Student Conduct and police referrals, we aim to empower students to make behavioral choices that align with their academic and collegiate goals.
The Top Ten Ways to Get Kicked Out presentation supports University 101 learning outcomes:
I. Foster Academic Success
c. Recognize the purpose and value of academic integrity and describe the key themes related to the Honor Code at the University of South Carolina.
III. Prepare Students for Responsible Lives in a Diverse, Interconnected, and Changing World
c. Describe and demonstrate principles of responsible citizenship within and beyond the campus community.
d. Describe processes, strategies, and resources, and explain the implications of their decisions, related to their overall wellness.
As a result of attending this presentation students will:
- Be able to identify the most commonly violated laws and policies
- Be able to identify decision making pitfalls, the repercussions they carry, and the benefits of legal and safe decisions
- Connect their decision making to adult accountability and responsibility
“Top Ten” begins with the explanation of why it was created – to openly discuss what the students in the freshman class before them wish they hadn’t done! The goal that the presenters and participants share is to prevent students from ending up in the Student Conduct office for easily avoidable errors in judgment. We set a new mantra, “What could go wrong?” as a helpful decision making model.
The “Top Ten” activity involves ten images given to ten students that represent violations that can result in significant consequences that students rarely think through, including removal from housing and the institution. The focus is on the most commonly occurring incidents. For each image the facilitator and students walk through scenarios and the decision making turning points in each.
Ex: Image: pill bottle
Scenario: choosing to take one of your roommate’s prescribed Adderoll pills in order to study.
With the red solo cup as the presentation’s mascot, students and conduct staff enjoy laughter while directly addressing the some of the foibles of the college student mentality and the predictability of how their environment affects their decisions.
50 minutes (if requested in advance) or 75 minutes