The reorganization of 1998
In the 1997-1998 academic year, the rules for JB and DB were
completely rewritten. In part, this was due to students who had
committed disciplinary code violations, such as violating dry week,
self-reporting and then believing that the matter had come to an end.
In addition, there were discrepancies between the rules found in the
Student Handbook and the Faculty Handbook.
Over the course of the year, the rules were completely rewritten. In
this process, the rules were written so that they reflected current
practice, as well as clarifying the process for starting a trial by
self-reporting. The Judiciary Board and Disciplinary Board were also
brought closer together, to create a single board called the Honor
Board. Members are now elected as Honor Board representatives, and
when a case is heard, the appropriate chair selects from the Honor
Board pool to create the appropriate hearing board. This was also the
point at which the investigator system was initiated. Before a case
is heard, two investigators are chosen from the Junior and Senior
class; these investigators are in charge of presenting the evidence to
the hearing board.
In 1997, Leslie Baer became the Sexual Harassment Grievance Officer.
At this time, the Sexual Harassment Grievance Board and Peer
Counselors was created. This group was to be in charge of dealing
with hearing cases relating to sexual harassment, and initiate
activities meant to decrease incidence of sexual harassment at Harvey
In the spring of 1998, a case was brought before the Sexual Harassment
Grievance Board, which highlighted many problems in the judicial
system. The case was brought to both the Sexual Harassment Grievance
Board as well as the Judiciary Board. In order to prevent the
defendants from being tried in separate courts, the Judiciary Board
decided to let the Sexual Harassment Grievance Board hear the case.
Unfortunately, the rules for hearing Sexual Harassment cases were
untested at this time. The main problem encountered by the Board was
that in many places, it was possible for long delays to occur. For
this reason, the trial took the majority of a semester to complete.
Over the course of the next couple of years, the Sexual Harassment
policies were revised to shorten the amount of time permitted to allow
for quick trials.
The Appeals Board also had a problem with the way the case was
handled. They attempted to override the JB Chair's decision that it
wasn't under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Board (Meeting
of the Appeals Board, October, 1998). This was swept under the rug by
most of the parties involved, and was for the most part forgotten. It
does highlight a potential problem with how the jurisdiction of cases
Changes considered by current Council
After the much publicized "napalm case" earlier this year (some students
were accused of mixing a napalm-like substance on campus, and burning it
behind one of the academic buildings), several
students became concerned about the requirements of the student
judicial system. The largest concern is that cases are closed by
default and all information is kept confidential. This requirement is
a bit problematic, since people not directly involved in the case
don't know if it is an Honor Code violation to speak about what they
know. In addition, it is unclear exactly what kind of information the
administration should release in such an incident. Part of the reason
the rumor mill got so out of control was that some members of the
administration felt that there was a real danger to other students and
campus property, yet the administration never sent a notice to the
student body about these concerns. For these reasons, the committee
formed this year is suggesting that cases be open by default, with the
possibility to petition the board for a closed hearing.
Another change being discussed is a clarification of who chairs the
board if one of the chairs is accused of a crime. In case this
happens, the other chair will act as chair of the hearing board.
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