The Judicial Review Board is hosting a number of events over the coming weeks in an effort to increase their on-campus visibility and promote student awareness.
“We have been trying to be more active on campus in order to increase awareness about who we are and what we do, because no one really knows,” said Elizabeth Brennan, JRB president.
According to the JRB blog on the UMW website, the JRB presides over misconduct hearings regarding on-campus infractions, most involving alcohol and general misconduct in residence halls. The board consists of a president and vice president, as well 20 elected officials, with five from each class. The JRB’s mission statement states that it is dedicated to promoting student responsibility for student action.
The JRB and UMW Police sponsored a Mocktail Hour event last week that strove to educate students on the UMW alcohol policy, as well as what the JRB accomplishes. Fake cocktails were served on Campus Walk, and the UMW Police pretended to “bust” the party.
According to Brennan, JRB chose to hold such an event because it was a “fun and different” way to engage and educate the student body.
“Being on JRB or choosing a JRB hearing is another way for students to engage in maintaining our community values,” said Brennan.
Increased visibility for JRB allows students to be more aware of what is, and is not against the UMW Code of Conduct. Brennan emphasized that students often plead ignorance when faced with alcohol or other charges, but that the JRB “cannot find you not responsible for being uninformed.”
Junior Anthropology major Patti McCloy said that she “honestly knows nothing about the JRB” despite being a UMW student for three years. She had seen some flyers about their upcoming events, but had never had any face-to-face interaction with the board.
Brennan said proposed changes to the Code of Conduct procedures would affect student involvement with the JRB. While students currently have the option of choosing either a JRB hearing or a meeting with a Residence Life administrator, starting next year students who violate Category 2 of the Code of Conduct, which includes alcohol, residence and property violations, may not have an option, and will have to appear before the JRB.
“This is the main reason for trying to promote ourselves this semester,” said Brennan.
Ray Tuttle, director of judicial affairs and community responsibility, addressed the possible changes.
“A JRB hearing can help [students] to understand that they are accountable to their peers and to the greater UMW community,” said Tuttle.
Tuttle also said that he believes it is, “wholly appropriate for students to be holding each other accountable for their conduct,” and that a hearing in front of one’s elected peers can help promote this accountability and the UMW Honor Code at large.
In addition to last week’s Mocktail Hour, the JRB will host their annual Drench the Bench this Friday, April 13, where students will be given the opportunity to dunk the president and vice president of the JRB and Honor Council into a dunk tank if they answer questions about the judicial process correctly.
The event will also provide students with the ability to interact with members of the JRB and Honor Council.
Additionally, they are beginning an Adderall awareness campaign this week, showcasing the dangers of the drug, in preparation for final exams.