Student Conduct Board allows students to be represented by peers

Butler University students  who violate the rules might face more than the student code of conduct, when they make an appeal.

The Student Conduct Board made up of peers is called upon when a student appeals the decision that the university board has come to during an administrative hearing. It is made up of students, staff and faculty.

When an appeal is requested, Sally Click, dean of student services, is the first to receive the information.

She is an adviser to the board but also ensures students are aware of their rights.

“It’s not like a trial you see on TV,” Click said. “It’s modified based on necessity, comfort issues, and protection of witnesses.”

After a student presents his or her case to the board, the council meets and discusses the circumstances.

The group will then vote to confirm the prior decision that was made, modify it in a way they feel is more fitting and fair or dismiss it all together.

Robert Holm, director of university research programs, serves as a hearing officer who coordinates the meeting and introduces all who are present.

He can be present for all cases but remains neutral without a vote in the final verdict.

Holm said it is an interesting opportunity for students to present their story to peers which in turn “gives the students an audible voice.”

Not every person on the board will be asked to address each case, because they want to avoid any conflicts of interest.

This means that some people might be asked more than others, based on their affiliation to the state of affairs or peer.

“We look for a breath of representation and always try to protect privacy as much as possible,” Click said.

Addie Baez, a student board member for three years said she’s only been asked twice.

“I don’t think it happens that often,” she said.

Baez admits that she is more comfortable talking it out with the students on the board but appreciates the staff members’ ability to prevent any student bias.

Contrary to Baez’s experiences, Anna Roueche, a previous student board member, said she came across about seven cases during her two years.

It is not a weekly commitment; it is more of an on-demand dedication, she said.

Roueche said her experience on the board was gratifying and it is “comforting to know that if you are stuck into a situation where you have to meet with the board, there is a student somewhere who will listen to your side.”

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