Student Homelessness: A multi-faceted adjudication challenge

A multifaceted
 Meloni S. Rudolph
Dean of Student Life
Community College of Denver
 Jake Kasper
Director of Student Conduct
Community College of Denver
 Urban, commuter campus
 CCD (approx. 11,000 students)
Downtown Denver
Tri-Institutional campus (Approximately 46,000)
Hispanic Serving Institution
Open Access
People who are living in a place not meant for
human habitation, in emergency shelter, in
transitional housing, or are exiting an
institution where they temporarily resided,
and were in shelter or a place not meant for
human habitation immediately prior to
entering that institution (HUD, 201 2).
met federal (HUD)
definition of homeless
“couch surf” each
have been homeless
at some point while attending CCD
currently live in their car
currently feel
pressured to engage in sexual activity
to keep their housing
feel chronic stress due
to finding housing af fects their ability
to succeed in school
have frequent
absences due to insuf ficient housing
33,039 college students identified themselves as homeless in
the 2010–2011 academic year.
636,000 homeless in US (HUD 2011)
th in the nation.
 Denver is ranked 26
47% low -income young adults are enrolled in
higher education(2008)
 National pover ty level is
U.S. Census Bureau Poverty
Thresholds, 2012
Size of Family
Lack of employment opportunities (recent increase)
Decline in public assistance (recent increase)
Lack of affordable health care
Domestic violence
Mental illness (25%)
One person
Under age 65
Age 65 or older
Two people
under age 65
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Weighted Average
Poverty Thresholds, 2012, released in September
Inspired by the CCD Psi Beta Study
Data Collection: one 60 minute interview with
each participant:
 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
 A. Maslow (1943, 1954)
 Downward Comparison Theory
 Wells (1981)
 Challenge and Support Theory
 Sanford (1966)
Pride and Independence
“No one knew”
 Panhandling – a symbol of lost hope or pride
 Downward Comparison Theory - when identified was also
linked with an act of kindness and generosity to another
 How it is generalizable…
 Challenge and support
 Student development
 Individual’s Needs v. Needs of Community
 Limitations – Case Studies
 Vincent
 Matthew
 Vincent
 He is a non-traditional, self -identified homeless “C” student with
several incompletes and failures. He fir st enrolled in 2009 and has
taken out full financial aid ever y semester with no definitive plan to
 Vincent is a student who identifies as homeless. He has a lengthy
criminal histor y full of disturbances of the peace, drug felony
violations, forger y, contempt of cour t, thef t and carr ying concealed
 Vincent was widely known on campus as “the homeless guy sleeping on
the couch”. He would spread himself out in a public space, rearrange
furniture, remove his shoes, leave food and beverage messes on lounge
furniture and sleep, of ten snoring loudly. He also created an odor in
the general vicinity of his per son. Vincent creates a scene when he
does sleep making a mess with his food, leaving items unattended, and
being verbally aggressive with anyone who may approach him.
 What possible violations do you see? What policies in your current
Code would help you adjudicate this case?
 Vincent had a meeting with the conduct of ficer initially for
trespassing in a building on campus after hours. After
repeated conversations with Vincent about modifying his
behavior, the behavior continued.
 Several of fices are complaining to the Conduct Of ficers about
the nuisance that Vincent is becoming, saying that it deters
from the professionalism the institution is trying to portray
and makes community members uncomfortable.
 What sanctions can you think of that would be appropriate in
this situation? What other factors can/should be considered?
Housing options
Discomfort factor
Social norm
 Characteristics of Vincent
 Pride
 Independence
 Entitlement
 Extensive criminal history
 A student in paralegal program
 Homeless
 As time went on, Vincent was contacted by police
dozens of times, going through multiple court
proceedings for trespassing. He continues to ignore
directives from the court and from the institution.
He has said to the conduct officer “there is nothing
more you can do to me.” And he continues to violate
multiple policies.
 What else can be done?
 Matthew is a non -traditional, self -identified homeless student who lost his
construction job because of chronic back pain. He then turned to alcohol
and ended up in the streets. His criminal histor y is relatively small but has
disturbances of the peace, contempt of cour t, and public intoxication.
 He is an A/B student who never took school seriously in his life. He says he
doesn’t know what he wants to study so he has taken multiple cour ses
since 2011 . He is well -liked by other students and instructor s. He practices
per sonal hygiene and utilizes the rec center shower s.
 He fir st came into contact with the conduct of fice when he attempted to
enter campus in the middle of the night while stumbling and intoxicated.
He had finished a ‘gig’ playing music for a local bar where they paid him in
beer. He was placed on probation status.
 Does it matter if:
 Hygiene
 Contrition
 What policies/sancti ons in your code would apply in this situation?
 M a t t h ew c o n s i d e r s h i m s e l f a s p o ke s p e r s o n f o r t h e c a m p us h o m e l e s s p o p ul a t io n .
 M a t t h ew h a s m u l t i p le p o l i c e c o n t a c t w h e n c o n c e r n e d s t u d e n t s a n d c o m mun i t y
m e m b e r s c a l l t h e c a m p us p o l i ce w h e n t h ey s e e M a t t h ew w a l ki n g a r o u n d w i t h h i s
l a r g e h i k i n g b a g e q u i p p e d w i t h h i s s l e e p i n g b a g a n d c h a i r. C o m m un i t y m e m b e r
r e p o r te d t h a t h e m a ke s t h e m u n c o m fo r t a b le a n d d ete r s f r o m t h e p r o fe s s i o n a l
i m a g e t h e c a m p us i s t r y i n g to p o r t r ay.
 M a t t h ew c a m e i n c o n t ac t w i t h t h e c o n d uc t o f fi c e a g a i n w h e n h e w a s c o n t a c ted
a g a i n b y t h e p o l i c e b e c a u s e a c u s to d i al m e m b e r w a s f e e l i n g i n t i m i d a te d w h e n
M a t t h ew a s ke d h e r f o r h i s c h a i r. H e h a d l e f t i t i n t h e h a l l way o v e r n i g h t b u t c o u l dn ’t
f i n d i t t h e n ex t d ay. T h e s t a f f m e m b e r to o k t h a t to b e t h r e a te n i ng a n d c a l l e d h e r
s u p e r v i s o r w h o t h e n c a l l e d t h e p o l i ce .
 M a t t h ew a d m i t s to s l e e p i n g o n c a m p us b u t s t r i v e s to u s e t h e l o c ke r s a n d s p a c e s
w i t h i n p o l i c y a n d d o e s n o t m a ke a ‘ m e s s ’ l i ke V i n c e n t . H e s a i d m o s t h o m e l e s s
s t u d e n t s d o n o t g et a l o n g w i t h V i n c e n t b e c a u s e h e g i v e s t h e m a b a d n a m e .
A d d i t i o n a l ly, M a t t h ew b e l i ev e s t h e c o l l e g e h o m e l e s s s t u d e n t s d o a g r e a t j o b
p o l i c in g t h e m s e l ve s a n d t h ey ’ r e o f te n t h e o n e s c a l l i n g t h e p o l i c e w h e n s o m et h i n g i s
w r o n g o n c a m p us.
 W h a t s a n c t i o n s / r e s o urc e s w o ul d yo u r e c o m m e n d i n t h i s c a s e ?
Characteristics of Matthew
Non-traditional student
A/B student
Frequent visitor to resources in Student Life
 How are these cases the same?
 How do they feel dif ferent?
 Communication
 Mental health resources
 Policies – how to adjudicate?
 Sanctioning – who funds it?
 Chemical Dependency issues?
 Compassion
 What else can you see?
 Meloni S. Rudolph
Dean of Student Life
Community College of Denver
 Jake Kasper
Director of Student Conduct
Community College of Denver
 http://columbiachroni -stud ents-invi sible -on-college campuses/
 Joy, D., Baca, R., Millican, B., Ragusa, M., Taylor, A ., Viter vo, A . & Walker, D.
(2011). Homelessness and housing challenges in the community college
population, final results and recommendati ons. Presented at the 119 th
Annual Convention of the American Psychol ogical Associati on, Washington,
 Housing and Urban Development, Depar tment of (201 2). National allianc e to
end homelessne ss. Retrieved from y/entr y/c hanges -in-the -hud definition-of-homeless
 Maslow, A .H. (1943). A theor y of human motivation. Psychologic al Review,
 Maslow, A .H. (1954). Motivation and Per sonality . New York: Harper & Row
Publisher s.
 Maslow, A .H. (1962). Toward a Psychol ogy of Being. New York: Van
Nos/Trand Reinhold Company.
 Wills, T.A . (1981). Downward comparison principles in social psychology.
Psychologic al Bulletin, 90,2, 245-271 .
 CCD+Psi+Beta+Wins+Nati onal+Awards
 http://www.huf -tirado/why -po or-peopl es -bad -deci si ons make-per fect-sense_ b_ 4326233.html