Community values: supporting and respecting one another
The ultimate aim of my approach to our Hall community is that we should all learn to be self-directed and self-disciplined in our behaviour, in an environment where there are real opportunities to develop our personal, social, academic, and cultural interests and skills.
We should all be participative stakeholders in our Hall and enjoy positive, friendly cooperative, relationships with our neighbours (in the broadest sense).
We should all know who our neighbours are and care about what happens to them, being ready to help and support them if they run into problems.
And we should understand that the Hall rules and regulations represent a social contract which balances our individual rights with the rights of the whole community.
Achieving the kind of community we all want to live in
To help promote the development of a positive, tolerant, vibrant community in Hall, I ensure that events are organised right from the start of the year where residents can start getting to know one another and also develop a healthy rapport with the Hall staff. I make sure there is a range of events to appeal to every section of our Hall community. By promoting celebrations from different countries and cultures, I hope we can help everyone here make the most of our multiculral and divese community. And if things don't work out, I am ready to help repair damaged relationships and bring everyone back to a neighbourly understanding of one another: I try to use a mediation-arbitration approach to resolving conflicts in Hall -
I believe that taking a punitive approach to Hall discipline can often be more of a problem than a solution. For many students, Hall is the first time they have been away from direct parental supervision, and some of them end up testing the boundaries of what behaviour is acceptable. Others may not yet realize how their behaviour can impact others. Still others may be acting out – they are struggling with personal issues, and breaking the rules is a way of getting attention, or is just something they do to mask a deeper problem.
The disciplinary system is intended to be a back-up when active listening, community standards, and emphasizing personal responsibility are not working. Disciplinary penalties are generally applied only if, in my opinion, the student is just “not getting” why their behaviour is unacceptable. A great deal of my work is intended to shape a strong community, where people know and respect each other, and are therefore invested in ensuring that they do not behave in a way that negatively impacts their friends and acquaintances. Most students, when this is explained to them, get it. As a result, we have a relatively low incidence of disciplinary issues.
None of this takes away from the fact that we have zero tolerance of racism, homophobia, religious hatred, abuse of staff, sexism, or other forms of harassment and discrimination at Connaught Hall.