Judicial Review Board


Philosophy of the Board

All of the Board’s activities, and ultimately its very existence, derive from a single principle: dedication to student responsibility for student actions. Thus the Board conceives of its role, in terms of the University judicial process, as one of mediation between the expectations of the University as an enduring institution, the needs and rights of the student body as a whole, and the needs, rights and impulses of the individual student. Each alleged violation of University rules is considered unique, due to the circumstances surrounding the violation; therefore, there is no system precedence. The sanctions it recommends represent, not an attempt to punish, but the best possible balance of the three interests, and are a sincere attempt to communicate to the individual, at the most immediate level possible, that his/her actions have somehow damaged the mutual ongoing process of education.

Composition of the Board

The Judicial Review Board (JRB) shall be comprised of the President, Vice President, and twenty elected members — five from each class. The JRB is advised by the Director of Judicial Affairs and Community Responsibility. If a judicial representative feels that he or she cannot hear the case objectively, the representative shall disqualify himself/herself from the hearing. A quorum of five must be present to hold a hearing. The others shall be reserved in the event of an appeal. The Board members will select (from within the Board), a Hearing Coordinator, a Sanctions Coordinator, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.

General procedures:

The JRB President receives the Incident Report and will contact the accused student. Students are given the choice of accepting responsibility by waiving their right to a JRB hearing (Waived Rights Case) or having a JRB hearing.
If the accused feels there are extenuating circumstances, or that s/he is not responsible for the violation(s), it is his/her right to have a hearing. Upon request, the Hearing Coordinator will schedule a date and time for the accused to appear before the JRB and explain the circumstances of the incident.

Procedures for Judicial Review Board (JRB) hearings:

1. All those in attendance introduce themselves by their name and their role in the hearing.
2. The Hearing Chair reminds all present about the Honor Code, and the standard of evidence used, which is preponderance of evidence.
3. The Hearing Chair reads the charges to the accused student, who pleads “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” after each charge. (If the accused student pleads “Responsible” to all charges, the hearing moves directly into the sanctioning phase.)
4. The incident documentation is read by the Hearing Chair.
5. The incident documenter (if present) and witnesses requested by the Board (if present) relate their perspectives of the incident.
6. The accused student relates his or her perspective of the incident.
7. Witnesses requested by the accused (if present) share their perspectives of the incident.
8. The accused student is given the opportunity to hear all statements made by the incident documenter and by the witnesses, and to question these individuals in front of the Board following their statements.
9. The accused student is given the opportunity to make a closing statement.
10. The Hearing Chair adjourns the hearing for deliberation. The Board may recall any individual to question his or her statements further. The decision of the Board is based on the incident documentation and on statements made during the hearing. A simple majority of Board members present will determine whether the accused student is found “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” for each charge.
11. The Hearing Chair reconvenes the Board and the accused student (and his or her advisor, if present) and announces the Board’s decision.
12. If the accused student is found “Responsible” for one or more charges, s/he is given the opportunity to make a statement and the Board is given the opportunity to question the accused student further.
13. The Hearing Chair adjourns the hearing for sanctioning. The decision of the Board is based on the incident documentation, statements made during the hearing, and any prior violations for which the accused has been found “Responsible.” Board members will reach a decision concerning sanctions by a simple majority.
14. The Hearing Chair reconvenes the Board and the accused student (and his or her advisor, if present) and announces the Board’s decision. The accused student is reminded about his or her right to appeal the hearing.
15. The Hearing Chair adjourns the hearing.

Procedure for appeal to Judicial Appellate Board

The Judicial Appellate Board shall be composed of a presiding officer and five non-biased members of the Judicial Review Board (JRB) who did not sit on the original hearing. An accused student who has been found responsible for a violation by the JRB may, within five business days after notification of the decision, send a letter of appeal to the JRB (Marye House) requesting the Judicial Appellate Board to review the decision of the JRB on any one of the following grounds:

a. Denial of judicial process.
b. Presentation of new evidence not available at time of hearing.
c. Penalty inappropriate for, or inconsistent with, the violation.

In an appeal, the student shall set forth in writing all of his/her objections to the action of the JRB. The President and Vice President will review the appeal letter and evidence and decide if an appeal is warranted. In the case of (a) or (b), an appellate hearing shall occur. In the case of (c), the Judicial Appellate Board shall convene to consider the sanction only.


Procedure for appellate hearing

1. The Presiding Officer reads the letter of appeal to the Appellate Board and adds any relevant information.
2. The appealing student may present evidence he/she feels supports the appeal.
3. The Appellate Board may question the appealing student, any witnesses, or the Residence Life staff member (if present).
4. After testimony, the Presiding Officer adjourns the Appellate Board for deliberation. The Board may recall anyone who previously testified for further questioning and clarification.


Waived rights procedures and appeals

Students have the option to waive their right to a Judicial Review Board hearing and to plead responsible to all charges. In a waived rights procedure, the accused student is not present. The Judicial Review Board President or Vice President reads the incident report to a panel of at least five JRB representatives. The panel then discusses and decides on appropriate sanction(s) for the offense(s). A decision letter is sent to the student indicating what sanction(s) have been issued.
After the waived rights procedure has been completed, students who chose the procedure may appeal the panel’s decision if they feel that the sanction they received was too severe.
Students who wish to appeal must submit a letter stating the grounds for their appeal to the Judicial Review Board within five business days after notification of the panel’s decision. In the case of an appeal, the accused student’s case will be heard before an appellate panel comprised of at least five representatives who did not sit on the original waived rights panel. The panel may sus
tain the original sanction(s), or may choose to decrease the sanction(s). As with other appellate procedures, the decision of the appellate panel is final.

Judicial Review Board Blog