College standards violations to be reviewed by single body
In response to the Board of Trustee's desire to create a single adjudication body, College standards violations by athletic teams, fraternities, and individual students alike will soon be reviewed by a single over-arching judiciary committee.
A recent report drafted by Dartmouth's Group Adjudication Committee, chaired by Senior Associate Dean of the College and Committee Chair Dan Nelson, calls for the establishment of this single judiciary body, the Organizational Adjudication Committee, to review all alleged violations of College standards.
The establishment of the OAC stems from the Board of Trustees' Student Life Initiative decision, in which the Trustees proclaimed that "all students and student organizations should be treated under the same set of guiding principles and rules."
According to Nelson, through a "single judicial system embracing all student organizations," all students and student organizations will receive the same fair and equal treatment.
Currently, misconduct involving the College is evaluated by the particular department the offense falls under. For example, many Greek house violations are handled by the Judiciary Committee of the Coed Fraternity Sorority Council.
Committee member Margaret Kuecker '01 noted that under the current policy a fraternity and an athletic team may receive a different punishment for a similar action because their cases would be handled by separate departments.
"In the past, adjudication process has been really inconsistent," she said.
Under the new proposal, the Committee suggested that the OAC be composed of nine faculty members, 12 juniors and seniors and six members of the administration. In addition, the Dean of the College will serve as committee chair.
The committee also recommended that a second full-time investigative officer be added to Safety and Security.
According to Nelson, "The anticipated increase in investigative work and the current lag time involved in some case follow-up suggests that there is a very real need for at least a second investigator."
The proposal grants the OAC the right to "impose any sanction, penalty, remedial action, or educational and community-service requirement that it deems appropriate."
Emphasizing that the OAC will only deal with "violations of College standards," Nelson indicated that "organizational behavior in violation of departmental rules or policies not covered by the Standards of Conduct normally will continue to be managed by individual departments, in consultation with the Undergraduate Judicial Affair Officer (UJAO).
"The UJAO [as the representative of the Dean of the College] would have the authority to make a determination that a case would be heard by the Committee," Nelson explained.
Nelson acknowledged that the OAC "will require time for recruitment, selection and training" before going into effect.