Student Affairs

2006 Virtual Case Study (VCS) Scenario

Diversity College a liberal arts focused institution, is set in a small town in Northwest Ohio. Approximately 20,000 students attend the college. The school was founded in 1865, and is steeped in tradition. The student body is almost 70% residential, and includes students from every part of the U.S. and a dozen countries.

Late last semester the campus was abuzz with talk related to a incident that caught everyone by surprise, including the College's president and Board of Trustees. After much investigation, a male freshman student who was living on campus was accused of sexual harassment, lying and theft of another student's identification and password for the site. Recent details released also included the following:

  • The accused male student had done some snooping and discovered where his roommate kept his log-in information (in a folder in his desk drawer).
  • The student then logged into using his roommate's information, unbeknownst to his roommate.
  • The student sent messages to a number of female "friends" during a 36 hour period. The messages stated that he thought they were "hot," that he wanted to rape them, and that if they told anyone about the message he would "hunt them down like the dogs they were and make them pay the piper."

A day later the student's roommate returned from a weekend at home and was immediately arrested by Campus Police. He was accused of sexual misconduct, improper computer use, and "behavior that calls into question a person's suitability to remain a student."

During questioning by Campus Police the roommate had stated that he had no idea what was going on, and that his parents could verify that they had picked him up after his last class on Friday at 2:30pm., and that he did not return to campus until they dropped him off that morning. A phone call by Campus Police to the parents did indeed confirm this.

Still not convinced the student couldn't have done this from home, they asked the IT Department to investigate when and from where the messages were sent. A short time later the Director of IT called Campus Police to inform them that the messages were sent from the student's room beginning at 7:32pm on Friday, and ending at 1:18pm on Sunday. A total of 31 messages to female students were sent.

After confirming the times and location of messages, Campus Police decided to speak with the other student who resides in the room. Initially, the student denied any wrongdoing, stating that he was on campus for the weekend, but had spent much of his time in the library studying.

After a lot of questioning and further denials, the student finally admitted to being the one who sent the messages. He further admitted that he had changed his roommates contact information, had pasted inappropriate pornographic pictures on the site, and started a group entitled Fags Are Among Us.DIE DIE DIE!!!

When asked why he did all of this, he said that he meant it all as a joke, and didn't think the female students or anyone else would take the messages he sent to them seriously.

During a hearing before the Student Conduct Board the student was found responsible for violating the above policies. He was suspended immediately from the college, and was required to complete several hours of educational sanctions.

As a result of this incident, you have been asked to be part of an ad-hoc committee to address and other online issues with current and incoming students. Your team has two tasks:

First, is to develop and implement a session as part of the orientation program for new students in August. Your committee is comprised of two professional staff from Residence Life, the Assistant Director of IT, a Campus Police Officer, and 2 student orientation leaders.

The Director of Orientation and the Dean of Student Life would like your presentation to address the following specific topics, but these are just basic questions. Your group should think of other points to include:

  • A quick overview of
  • Why do students build a profile?
  • What are the issues students need to be aware of when utilizing

Your team's second task is to identify topics that should be addressed for an online "tutorial" that students would have to complete before they can first access the school's computer system the following fall. The program should take a student approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. The tutorial should include an exam at its conclusion, and a student would have to pass with a "B" grade, or take the online course tutorial again.

You are to give a deliverable mock-up using PowerPoint showing the proposed orientation program and online tutorial. The presentation is to be given to the Dean of Student Life, and all Director's within the Student Life Division.

Questions you should address at your presentation to the Dean of Student Life:

  • Why is this presentation and tutorial necessary on your campus?
  • How did you decide which content and questions are to be utilized for the student presentation and tutorial?
  • What questions will be asked as part of the exam for the tutorial?
  • How will you ensure that the orientation and online programs are worthwhile and educational to the students? Is there a way to measure their success?
  • When and how often will the feasibility of these programs be revisited?
  • What are the issues faculty/staff need to be aware of when utilizing
  • What did you and your committee learn from this project?


  • Your group should utilize relevant student affairs literature, where appropriate, for their presentation.
  • Utilization of outside sources, URLs, articles, etc. are encouraged, but cannot include input from individuals outside the team.
  • Submissions should be well-thought out and organized.
  • The preferable format for viewing is PowerPoint.
  • All submissions MUST be no larger than 800K.

Judges will be utilizing the following criteria when evaluating presentations.

  • practicality of approach
  • innovation of approach
  • use of literature both within and outside student affairs
  • organization of presentation
  • rationalization for chosen responses