This information is presented to assist students with questions they may have about the College Judicial Board and judicial process. It is designed to answer general questions. Students should consult the Student Handbook for more definitive information. In all cases, the Student Handbook and similar college publications are the authoritative source for college policies.
1. Exactly what is the College Judicial Board?
The College Judicial Board shall generally consist of seventeen (17) and no less than fourteen (14) student members with approximately an equal number of juniors and seniors, and exists as a means of ensuring that students uphold the policies, regulations, and ethical standards of the Smith College community. The College Judicial Board upholds all non-academic college policies, particularly those involving student conduct. Therefore, the board deals with all violations of nonacademic policies and regulations.
2. Why does someone go before the College Judicial Board?
A student appears before the board because she may have violated a college policy. A list of behaviors considered violations of college policy can be found in the Student Handbook - Code of Student Conduct. (This list is not exhaustive.)
3. Who brings a student before the College Judicial Board?
Anyone can file a complaint against a student. Usually, Campus Police and/or a residence life staff member will bring complaints before the board. A student may also bring another student before the board if she believes a violation of college policy has occurred.
4. Can JB suspend or expel students?
No, the judicial board reserves the right to RECOMMEND the suspension or expulsion of a student. However, only the president of the college can ultimately make that decision.
5. What does a hearing consist of? How does it work?
A hearing consists of five board members and one adviser. The person bringing the complaint to the board has the opportunity to present her/his version of events to the board, present witnesses, and be questioned. After that, the subject of the complaint has the opportunity to present her version of events, present witnesses, be questioned, etc. Overall, an average hearing takes less than two hours.
6. Will my parents be notified?
In most cases, parents will not be notified of a student’s violation. If the student, however, engages in conduct that places not only her but also others at risk, parents may be notified. Additionally, if an underage student is found responsible for a violation of the college alcohol policy, the student's parents may be notified. In all cases, the decision to notify parents rests with the dean of students or the dean of the college.
7. What are typical JB sanctions? What is probation?
After a hearing, members of the board deliberate and if they believe a violation has occurred, decide what course of action would provide the best means of education for the student. The board never wants to “punish” someone, but rather provide a means of education through sanctioning. If the violation is minor, usually community service or some other activity is selected. If the student, however, commits a more serious violation, a period of probation may also be included. During the period of probation, if a student is found responsible for violating college policies, she is likely to receive more serious sanctioning, which may include a recommendation of suspension or expulsion.
8. Can I have a lawyer?
The simple answer is no. No lawyers are allowed during a JB hearing. The student, however, may bring an advisor to her hearing for comfort and advice. The advisor, however, must be a member of the Smith College community or member of her family. During the course of the hearing, the advisor is not permitted to address the board.
9. Does appearing before the board become noted on my student record?
The judicial board and Office of Student Affairs keep a record of the violation and hearing throughout the student’s career at Smith and up to five years after graduation. In most cases, the violation will not be noted upon the student’s transcript.
10. How come everybody who commits the same violation doesn’t always get the same sanctioning?
Every sanction is designed specifically for the student and their personal needs. The board evaluates the severity of each complaint and determines the sanctioning based upon the information presented at the hearing. Other factors that contribute to the sanctioning process include: how much has the student learned from this experience, is the student likely to repeat the violation, will certain sanctions help or impede the student’s ability to succeed within the Smith community.
11. Are the hearings kept confidential?
Yes, all hearings are confidential. Throughout the hearing, a tape recording is made in case the board needs to hear certain parts of the hearing during deliberation or in case the student decides to appeal the final decision of the board. Statistics on cases can be made available by contacting the dean of students office at firstname.lastname@example.org
12. What happens if I do not complete my sanctioning?
If a student does not complete their sanctioning, the student may be charged with non-compliance and may be required appear before the board for hearing or have a meeting with the advisor to the board.
13. Is there any way out of it? Can I appeal the final decision of the JB?
If a violation or complaint has been filed, there is no way to avoid a hearing scheduled by the judicial board. The easiest method is to simply attend the scheduled hearing. If you believe that the final decision of the board is unfair, you can file an appeal within seven days of receiving the board’s final decision. To do so, you must file it with the dean of the college.
Chair, Judicial Board
Coordinator, Judicial Board
Associate Director of Residence Life,
Dean of Students,
Adviser to Board
Director of Multicultural Affairs,
Director of Residence Life,
Associate Dean of International Students,
Stacey Steinbach (West Quad) - ext. 4374
Marge Litchford (Green Street) - ext. 2236
Kia Brown (Upper Elm) - ext. 6970
Annie Cohen (Lower Elm) - ext. 2237
Sara Sandstrom (Center Campus) - ext. 2234
Brandon Buehring (East Quad) - ext. 4934
SGA & the Judicial Board
Community Judicial Board FAQ