Symplicity Helps Manage Housing and Student Conduct for CLU

Highlights: 

  • California Lutheran University has been utilizing Symplicity Advocate and Residence to connect all student services from residential life to student conduct; 
  • In a typical year, California Lutheran University manages RA trainings and housing violations within Advocate and Residence to pinpoint additional training needs for RAs and directly view housing violation code trends; and 
  • With a small staff managing student housing and student conduct, Symplicity Advocate and Residence has enabled the team to ensure they are all viewing the most up-to-date student information that allows the staff to connect students to the right resources and staff members 

California Lutheran University (CLU), located in Thousand Oaks, California is a four-year, private liberal arts university home to 4,000 studentsWith a residential population of around 1,500 students, CLU is a heavily residential campus with students being required (prior to COVID-19) to live on campus for three years. Wearing a lot of different hats, the small but mighty team at CLU encompassing the Director of Housing Operations, other Residential Life live-in staff, Assistant Dean of Students, and more, has used Symplicity Advocate and Residence to efficiently manage everything from the housing selection process, Title IX cases, student conduct, academic integrity, RA training, track all CARE team information, Clery Act reportable crimes, and any on or off campus violation 

Tracking Student Cases 

Prior to adopting Advocate and Residence, CLU was tracking and managing everything in Excel spreadsheets which proved highly problematic. In addition to using Excel spreadsheets, the CLU team was using a paper system which meant information would get lost, trackability was nonexistent, and information wasn’t properly secured. With the old paper system, documents would also need to be scanned into a separate system, taking up valuable time from staff members just to find the most up-to-date information for a student conduct case or to support a student. Without a unified system, the CLU team could not get a full snapshot of a student’s previous violations, CARE reports, and student conduct violations. Since 2008, CLU has been able to utilize Advocate and Residence to enable multiple departments to communicate and view the most updated information on a student and easily track student data.  

 “It’s easy for me to go in and I have a snapshot of a student… somebody comes in and a name pops up and I can go in and see have they been involved in a CARE report, any incidents, or Title IX issues.” – Christine Paul, Assistant Dean of Students, California Lutheran University 

 Supporting University Housing Processes 

 With Residence, students have their own login to apply for housing, view roommates, and other components in the housing selection process. With Residence, housing staff can manage room conditions, easily make room reassignment changes, implement workflows, and keep all housing tasks in one place. In the wake of COVID-19, Residence has enabled the CLU Housing staff to easily manage move-out processes, room assignment changes, and track how many students are living on campus at any given time.  

 At CLU, Residential Assistants (RAs) all have their own profile in Advocate, enabling them to fill out their nightly duty report which are viewed each morning by hall supervisor (Graduate Resident Director, Coordinator, or Assistant Director)Additionally, CLU staff frequently utilize reporting features in Advocate to mediate roommate conflicts, input policy violations, pull up student information to see if they’ve had past conduct violations, and ensure compliance with CLU’s Student Handbook policies and procedures In 2020, CLU implemented a public reporting system within Advocate that the community can submit reports for incidents that happen off campus. Being able to view all the activity that happens on and off campus has allowed CLU staff to address RA training needs and what additional campus programming they need to do.  

“We can see consistently if there are missing puzzle pieces for RAs who are documenting policy violations and what additional training is needed for RAs during our training and in-service meetings in September.”  Caitlin Hodges, Director of Housing Operations, California Lutheran University  

University Information: 

Institution Name | California Lutheran University 
Symplicity User Since | 2008 
Institution Type | Private Lutheran Liberal Arts 
Location | Thousand Oaks, California 
Student Enrollment | 4,000 

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