Alcohol related incident

Questioner: Stephynie Perkins (Communication Department)

Question from the Floor posed to Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

1a. During the last week of class in the spring term, a faculty member was suspended because several students brought alcohol into the classroom unbeknownst to the faculty member. The University Police was tipped off that alcohol was in the classroom and came to the class. It was reported that the students will go before the Student Conduct Office, and that the faculty member has been suspended indefinitely until this incident can be thoroughly investigated. How and when did the University Police know about this alcohol related incident in the classroom and if they knew before the start of class, should they have informed the faculty to be on the lookout?

1b. In order for faculty not to be reprimanded or suspended, has the administration created specific step-by-step written guidelines for faculty to follow in case this kind of incident occurs again?

1c. What is the due process for faculty who are caught up in this kind of activity unbeknownst to them?


Answer from the Floor by Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

1a. One of the students in the class posted a picture on Instagram that somehow made it to UPD during the class.

1b. I sent some suggestions about that to Dr. Parmelee yesterday. I don’t want to do it misjustice by reporting it without having it in front of me, so I will be very happy to answer that question and include what I had sent to Dr. Parmelee yesterday.

1c. I don’t feel that I can answer that at this point. I will say this: they certainly can appeal, they can grieve. That is certainly their right to do that.

Student Targeting: Advice for Faculty and UPD

Questioner: Curtis Phills, Assistant Professor, Psychology

Posed to: FA President Radha Pyati

As a faculty member at UNF, one of my great passions is working with and supporting our students.  As we all know, it is exam week and our students are hard at work studying and completing our exams. Last week was world aids day and our LGBT center was handing out condoms. Someone not part of our community came on campus and started targeting and intimidating our students during this stressful period.

He was specifically targeting individual students and saying hateful things based on gender and sexual orientation. For instance, he targeted individual female students who were wearing yoga pants and told then that they would be going to hell. He also targeted individual LGBTQ students and also told them that they were going to hell. Members of the University Police Department (UPD) were present while our students were harassed and intimidated, and they did not intervene.

I have been told by General Counsel that targeting individual students, as this individual did, is a violation of UNF policy for outside groups exercising free speech on campus. Students who were targeted reported not being able to concentrate and take their exams to the best of their abilities. Some even reported skipping class or going home. Their ability to participate in educational activities is restricted by being individually targeted by this individual.

What advice does the FA President have for faculty to support students targeted by an individual in this way? What can we do when these students come to our offices or classrooms, upset and looking for support? What should we expect UPD to do in support of our students?

Partial answer from the Floor by FA President Radha Pyati

My advice for faculty would be to provide the most supportive environment for students so that they feel that they are in a safe space. I can discuss this issue with Tom VanShoor, Dean of Students, and representatives of the UPD to determine what can be expected of the UPD and student conduct code in such circumstances. The Faculty Association can provide a short version for faculty regarding the limitations of the conduct code so that we can express to students what is expected in this situation. The provision of a supportive environment is an expectation that we need to fill for our students. I will follow-up a more complete answer and provide a summary regarding these policies to which faculty can refer.

Partial answer from the Floor by Interim Provost, Pam Chally

In situations like this, we should lean on our Counseling Center. They are open every day and can provide support for our students in these situations.

Altering the Student Code of Conduct to Protect Students/Staff from Hate Groups

November 2, 2017

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: Radha Pyati, President Faculty Association

A UNF student has served in a public role as a Grand Dragon of the KKK, a known hate organization that devalues and actively threatens the lives of non-white non-Christian students on campus.

  1. Given free speech rights, what is the threshold at which his speech, writing, or behavior would trigger a student conduct code violation? What actions trigger expulsion?
  2. If the student code of conduct as written allows faculty and administrators no ability to refuse to teach this student, can the code of conduct be updated to deal with this problem?
  3. If the student behaves calmly in class, but serves in this position very publicly off campus, what recourse do faculty have to protect themselves and their students from him? How might the university ensure that faculty’s home addresses are not provided to these hate groups via a FOIA request?
  4. Among our diverse student body, we may have KKK members as well as known affiliates of ISIS. How would UNF treat a student who was a known affiliate of ISIS, in a practical sense? Are these same practical measures applied to members of the KKK and other such domestic hate groups?

Response from Karen Stone, Vice President and General Counsel:

Please see the ACLU primer on Speech on Campus linked below.  I realize that one of the question subparts ((3.))  asks about Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and faculty home addresses. Employee home addresses are public information unless the employee falls within a limited number of categories, such as current and past judges, prosecutors, police officers, etc.  But, we do not publish a directory of this information. Instead, someone would need to make a public records request for the information.

ACLU Speech on Campus link



Skateboarding on Campus

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: Shari Shuman, VP of A&F / Thomas Serwatka, VP & COS to the President

“In the past two years, the number of skateboarders on campus has increased exponentially. Besides ignoring the signs currently posted on campus, they race through crowds of people even through the walkways that are only 2-4 feet wide. Recently at FSCJ, a pregnant woman was struck by a skateboarder and almost lost her baby.

It has gotten to the point that every day that I walk to class, I am in fear. As this is my workplace, I do not feel that I should be subjected to this type of risk. I also have students who have had boards fly at their shins, and in a quick poll, half the students in my large lecture agree that skateboarders are an issue.

Given that they pose a workplace hazard to faculty and staff as well as posing a huge liability for the university, what can be done to curtail skateboard use on campus? Like cars, are there strips that can be laid in parts of campus to make the boarders pick up their boards and walk at certain places?”


Written response from John E. Dean, Chief of Police:

Every week UPD conducts deployments (officers assigned for a specific purpose) in reference to skateboards and bicycles in the crosswalks and the core campus area. In addition to the deployments, the officers assigned to the core are required to monitor and enforce bicycle and skateboard violations daily. At the beginning of each fall term we (in conjunction with Healthy Osprey) conduct a threefold education and enforcement program. In the first phase officer’s hand out educational material to violators for a specified time period, in the second phase they issue warnings to violators and give t-shirts to those that comply (positive reinforcement) and in the final phase they start issuing paying citations. In addition to this program we also talk about it at student orientation and other group meetings. Since January 1st of this year, UPD has issued over 100 written/warning and verbal citations to skateboarders and bicyclists.


Since January 1st, there have been (to our knowledge) two people hurt as a result of skateboards. In each case the skateboard rider fell off their board and only injured themselves (no other person injured). In only one case this year (reported to us) has there been any property damage. At this time Student Affairs and the Police Department are exploring other options to address this issue.