EDITORIAL: Office of Student Life needs to show consistency in punishments

For hockey fans in Mount Pleasant and for the people who depend on the profit from traffic into the ice arena, news that the men's club hockey team's five-year ban has been reduced is relieving.

The team was initially sentenced to a five-year ban, but after appealing to the Office of Student Life and ultimately Steven Johnson, vice president for enrollment and student services, the sentence has been reduced to a one-year suspension with a two-year postseason ban.

For the OSL, backing off on the five-year ban might have been worse on their part than giving the team such a harsh punishment in the first place.

When it comes to punishments for hazing or any other violations of the code of conduct, consistency is the key. Reducing a suspension is by no means unheard of, but such a drastic shift suggests to other clubs and Greek Life that the OSL either bends in the face of pressure or bluffs with its initial punishments.

Granted, the initial punishment for the hockey team was harsh and seemingly decided without much thought for the future, but if that's the punishment that was doled out, that's what should have been reinforced.

Either way, that does not bode well for the office, as it will inevitably tackle issues similar to the club hockey team's hazing incident in the future.

This calls for the OSL to more thoroughly consider all aspects of the punishments decided on. The future of the organization in question as well as the impact the punishment will have on the students and the Mount Pleasant community should be taken into consideration.

If there is any doubt about the severity of the punishment or the impact it will have, the punishment should be further reviewed until everybody involved in the decision-making process is in agreement and willing to stand by their decision.

What the OSL did suggests that if groups appeal enough times, they will eventually get what they want.

That's not right.

Just like in the real world; if you do something wrong, you will be punished, and no amount of complaining about the situation should change that. If Central Michigan University is trying to teach students to accept the consequences of their actions, the OSL caused the university to take a giant step backward with this decision.

If the OSL isn't willing to be an example and stand by its decision regardless of the backlash, it has no business punishing anybody to begin with.


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