Judicial Board FAQs

Below are answers to common questions about the Judicial Board. If after you’ve reviewed this page, you still have questions or comments, please email the Dean of Students. 

What is a “complainant”?

A complainant is the person who is filing charges with the Judicial Board. A complainant, while usually a student, can be any member of the Lawrence community.

What is a “respondent”?

A respondent is the student who is suspected of violating the social code. He or she responds to the allegations.

What is a “procedural advisor”?

A procedural advisor is a member of the board who is assigned to provide information about the judicial process to the complainant and the respondent. The procedural advisor is a neutral party who will not participate in the judicial board hearing and will not communicate with other members of the Judicial Board regarding the case.

What is a hearing like?

A hearing, while not a trial, is a formal look into the filed complaint. Before the hearing, both parties involved in the case will have access to a procedural advisor-a neutral party who can provide information about the judicial process, but will not be present at the hearing. The hearing will consist of the complainant, the respondent, five voting board members, one non-voting chair, and a non-voting advisor(s). Occasionally, witnesses are present to provide additional information and answer the board’s questions. The five voting board members will listen to all information presented and ask questions of the complainant, respondent and any witnesses present. After the board is satisfied that all information has been given and clarified, the board decides if there has been a violation of the Social Code and, if so, what the appropriate sanctions will be.

What are some possible sanctions?

The Judicial Board is authorized to assign a wide range of possible sanctions. Some possible Judicial Board sanctions are:

  • Official Warning-notification that the adverse judgment has been rendered against the accused party and that further violation of the Social Code may result in a more severe penalty. Extracurricular probation-precludes for a specified time the accused party from participating in extracurricular activities as the Judicial Board shall determine appropriate for each particular case.
  • Suspension-constitutes the accused party’s required separation from the university residence, classes, activities, and privileges for a specified period of time, after which readmission to the university if automatic.

A more complete list of Judicial Board sanctions can be found in the more to come.

Does the violation go on my record?

Actions resulting from processes under Judicial Systems become part of an internal record but not part of the permanent record or external reports of a student. There are some exceptions. Some employers and some professional and graduate schools require, as part of the application process, a statement from a university official concerning disciplinary action taken while the student was at Lawrence. Upon a student’s waiver of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, this information will be released.

Who knows about the hearing and/or sanctioning?

Specific information is kept in the strictest confidence. Only people directly involved with the case will know; this includes the complainant, the respondent, the procedural advisor, any witnesses involved in the proceedings, the Judicial Board advisors, and the Judicial Board members involved in the hearing. Board members who are not directly involved in the case do not even know details of the event.

Why does the Judicial Board tape record hearings?

The hearing will be taped, and a written account will also be taken. These will be used by the president of the university in the case of an appeal. At the conclusion of the case, all tape recordings of the case will be destroyed.

Can the outcome of the hearing be appealed?

Yes, outcomes of a hearing may be appealed. All appeals must be filed with the president of the university within three workdays of receiving a copy of the written statement from the Judicial Board. In the case of an appeal, the president has the power to review, modify, or reverse any decision of the Judicial Board as he or she finds appropriate.

How does one file a complaint?

The complaint process begins when you pick up a form from the Dean of Students Office located in Raymond house or from the Campus Life Office located on the 4th Floor of the Warch Campus Center. When the complaint form is picked up, a procedural advisor is assigned as an advisor to the case. The complaint form will ask you to list the alleged violator(s), any witnesses and the specific policies you believe have been violated. You will also be asked to submit a brief written statement about the details of the complaint. Completed complaint forms must be returned to the Dean of Students Office or to the Campus Life Office.

Who can file a complaint?

Any current student, faculty or staff member can file a complaint against an enrolled student.

What if I didn’t know about a rule/the Social Code?

At the beginning of each academic year, a student signs a form which states, “I understand that the Student Handbook is available on the Lawrence University website and that I am responsible to abide by all university rules and regulations.” Failure to be cognizant of policies and procedures outlined therein does not relieve a student from responsibility for such information and does not constitute an excuse in the event of a violation of policy or procedure.

How can I become a member of the Judicial Board?

During term III Judicial Board asks for nominations from current students, faculty and staff for new Judicial Board members. You can either nominate yourself or other people. The board will then send out applications to those people, who can fill them out if they so desire. The nominees will then be invited to participate in a mock hearing and interview. The new members will be notified by the end of the year.

What is the difference between the Judicial Board and the Honor Council?

The main difference between the Judicial Board and the Honor Council is in their areas of jurisdiction. Honor Council works to uphold academic integrity and the honor code by combating academic dishonesty. The Judicial Board works to uphold the community values and standards by addressing violations of the Social Code.