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.

Skateboard, Bikes and golfcarts

Question asked from the floor

I just watched a minor accident when a student on her bike passed a golf cart and the cart driver made a left turn without signaling. No one got hurt but the student had to step down from her bike. Increasing number of skateboards, bikes and golf carts are crisscrossing our sidewalks with good speeds; that should get some attention.


Answered by Mackesy Francis, Director of Safety and Security

UPD does enforcement of skateboard violations on a regular and routine basis.  We handle both on our own and in response to complaints.  This is a problem area that UPD takes seriously and will continue to work as time permits.
P.S.  do you have a number I can call you on this morning?


Supporting Students being Threatened by Campus Protesters

January 11, 2018

Questioner: Curtis Phills

Posed to: Radha Pyati, President Faculty Association, UNF President John Delaney

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.


Response from UNF Police Chief Frank Mackesy

Current case law and new legislation by the Florida Legislator continue to recognize free speech as highly protected and for such targeting to be actionable it must be severe, persistent and pervasive (in other words, repeatedly occurring and causing the student harm) for it to be actionable. In addition to being severe, persistent or pervasive it must also have the impact of limiting or denying the student’s ability to effectively participate in the University’s programs and activities. This is a very tough standard to meet. If any member of the UNF family should observe such behavior as described above , according to UNF policy 7.0040R the following course of action should be taken:

“If, in the opinion of the President or his/her designated representative, an event is disrupting normal University operations or infringing on the rights of other members of the University community, the President or his/her representative may:

(a) Identify him/herself to the participants, giving name and official position;
(b) Inform the participants that they are in violation of the University policy and/or in violation of the law and specify the nature of the violation;
(c) Request that the violation cease; and
(d) In the event of noncompliance with this request, enlist the assistance of the University Police in restoring order and enforcing the law.”

The current designated representatives are identified by the President as the Interim Provost, or later the Provost, and any associate vice president under their supervision, in Academic Affairs or Student Affairs, to act as the President’s designee in enforcing the regulation. If that administrator’s efforts to enforce the regulation are unsuccessful, the University Police, as the President’s designee, may take necessary steps to enforce the regulation.



Skateboarding and Smoking on Campus

April 6, 2017

Questioner: Anonymous
Posed to: Shari Shuman, Vice President of Administration & Finance, and John Hale, Assistant Vice President of Physical Facilities
This morning, I saw a student riding a skateboard under a walkway right beside the “No skateboarding sign” and this student was smoking at the same time. What is the enforcement policy on skateboarding, and how can it be enhanced, especially given the narrow pedestrian traffic paths around the Skinner-Jones construction site where skateboarding is often observed?


Partial answer from FA President Pyati from the floor, regarding smoking:
A question regarding smoking enforcement was asked at the December 2016 FA meeting, and the response provided by VP Mauricio Gonzalez appears in the January 12 FA meeting Questions and Responses index on the FA website. 

Support Services Committee received the response from UPD Chief Mackesy during October 26, 2016 meeting:
UPD “will not enforce” the smoking ban. He specifically mentioned not writing citations for those found smoking on campus. This is in opposition to the stroll it, don’t roll it policy, which the UPD does enforce with citations and verbal admonitions.

Online Campus Crime Log

March 2, 2017

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: Mauricio Gonzalez, Vice President of Student Affairs

Can the daily crime log, which is required to be posted, be posted online like other institutions, rather than only in the lobby of the UPD building?


Thank you for the question. The relevant state and federal laws such as the Clery Act require that crime reports be posted on-site, and further the Clery Act and Florida’s public records law require the reports be made available to anyone who requests them. Our current practices have been implemented to fully comply with those laws. As technologies and processes progress, we plan to look into the possibility of providing both on-site posting and electronic posting.

Skateboarding in Parking Lots

March 2, 2017

Questioner: Pali Sen

Posed to: Shari Shuman, Vice President of Administration & Finance, and
John Hale, Assistant Vice President of Physical Facilities

One evening, I was about to make a left turn in a parking lot on the UNF campus, and two students crossed my car on rollerboards – they came out of nowhere. I had to slam on my brakes. Some students seem to use the parking lots as playgrounds. Can we get some border collies to chase these rollerboards away from the parking lots (not the students), before someone gets hurt?


Dr. Richard: Please see Dr. Gonzalez’s response below to the Faculty Association question regarding skateboarder’s. Thank you, Mary

Thank you for your question. I have consulted with Chief Mackesy, and skateboarding violations are the likely most common complaint UPD address, and UPD enforces the UNF skateboard policy regularly. When a skateboarder is caught in violation of University rules, they can receive a warning, a paying ticket, and/or a conduct referral to the Dean of Students Office. One or all of these may occur depending on the interaction at the time of the violation and if the student is a repeat offender; warnings may be issued at any time, but an officer must witness the violation to issue paying tickets and conduct referrals. However, as with all University rules violations, a professor can also issue a referral to Student Conduct should they see a violation of the skateboarding policy. It is not necessary to call the UPD to take such action

Smoking Policy Enforcement

December 1, 2016

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: John Delaney, President, University of North Florida

Both the Faculty Association and Student Government have passed resolutions asking for enforcement of the No Smoking policy. Yet there seems to be lots of smoking going on. Can we expect something to be done about smoking on campus?

Response from Vice President Mauricio Gonzalez:
Thank you for your questions about UNF’s smoking policy and enforcement. We’ve received many inquiries about why the policy isn’t more strongly enforced. In short, UNF’s Office of the General Counsel has advised that while state universities may pass regulations banning smoking on campus, state law preempts universities from imposing discipline, such as a fine or ticket, for violation of the Smoke-Free Campus Regulation. The relevant law is found in Florida Statutes Chapter 386, part II. We are aware that some other state universities have indeed passed policies that include imposing discipline, but it is our General Counsel’s opinion that these regulations would be found to be inconsistent with the law if they are legally challenged.

Additionally, we don’t wish to be overly punitive or exclusionary in enforcing the ban. Smoking is difficult to give up even for people committed to it, and we don’t want to alienate people or push them into a defensive posture. As such, we’ve devoted most of our efforts to awareness and cessation aid for students, staff and faculty who want to quit. To give an overview of what we’ve been doing, UNF first made the decision to go smoke free in January 2015, and planning and early promotions proceeded through the spring. In June 2015 we rolled out the full marketing campaign and began training staff and student leaders for the full rollout in September 2015. Ongoing Breath Fresh orientations, “Smoke Free” outreach, and marketing have continued every month since, and we’ve put additional resources into smoking cessation programs through the Department of Health Promotion and Healthy Osprey, and will continue to do so in the future. Many questions we’ve received involve English Language Program (ELP) students, so please see the attachment for an overview of how we’re approaching the issue with them in particular. These efforts will continue as well. Some more information on UNF’s policy and how we’re promoting cessation can be found here:

I hope this answers your questions, but feel free to contact us for more information.


Classroom Access for Guest Lecturers

September 1, 2016

Questioner: Jose Franco

Posed to: Shari Shuman, Vice President Administration & Finance

Is there a way to revise the procedure for gaining access to classrooms on campus such that a faculty member filling in for another faculty member will be allowed into the room by the campus police?

Vice President Shari Shuman provided a response from the floor:

If a faculty member is not attached to a course, there is a safety and security measure with allowing individuals access to classrooms who are not authorized users. A faculty member wishing to substitute for the faculty member of record for a course would need to have the Chair of the department call the campus police and inform them of the substitution. Shari Shuman will follow-up with the Chief of police to clarify the process.