Peer Pressure Puts the Pressure On at William Woods

Peer pressure is being used in a positive way at William Woods University. When students get in trouble, they go before a committee of their peers. Known as the Campus Standards Board (CSB), this committee of students hears violations of policies and standards of the university.

Offenses include alcohol violations, noise violations, physical confrontations, and vandalism. The board may impose a range of sanctions, based on the severity of the offense.

According to Venita Mitchell, dean of student life, the CSB is so effective because of the amount of influence students on the board have with their peers on campus.

“Peers are absolutely more effective [than university administration] in holding students accountable,” says Mike Wills, director of residential life and campus safety. “It is a learning process for the people serving on the board; they get to find out more about themselves and others. The focus is to educate and change behavior.”

This year the CSB is made up of all new members. Missouri participants are LeeAnn Beard of Hannibal, Kacey Myers and Shannon Eldridge of Mexico, Bradley Prasuhn of Farmington and Mikol Reichardt of Middletown.

Participants from out of state are Holly Fisher of Kentwood, Mich.; Brynn Elliott of Newcastle, Wyo.; Lindsay Stephan of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., and Kathryn Golden of Crystal Lake, Ill.

To be considered, students had to complete an application that included providing appropriate and creative sanctions to examples of student cases. Students were also selected based on interest, insightfulness, approachability and the ability for thoughtful consideration.

The CSB receives training and guidance from university personnel to make sure all procedures are properly followed. Tarra White, area coordinator of residential life, is an advisor, in addition to Wills.