The University Record, March 8, 1993

Students, faculty begin training to serve on rights statement hearing panels

By Rebecca A. Doyle

A training session held this past weekend has readied six faculty members and approximately 25 students to hear complaints brought under the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities this term.

The faculty members and students form a pool from which a panel of six students and a non-voting faculty chair will be drawn to hear complaints. A pool of 50 students is expected to be available fall term, says Mary Louise Antieau, assistant to the vice president for student affairs and head of the Student Judicial Adviser’s Office. Her office will continue to recruit students to serve this term.

Students are selected randomly by the Office of the Registrar, then asked by Antieau’s office if they can serve. Although 10 have declined, they did so because of other commitments, she says, and not because they disagreed with the policy.

The training session explained the policy and the roles students and faculty member have on the panel, as well as the roles of the accused, the complainant(s) and of witnesses. Prospective panelists also learned the differences between the hearing process and that of the judicial process from University General Counsel Elsa K. Cole and Daniel H. Sharphorn, assistant general counsel. The two also discussed victims’ rights and “tailoring sanctions to the degree of involvement of the student and the situation,” says Antieau.

Vernon L. Baisden, security supervisor for the Department of Safety, and University Police Officer Rene L. Chenevert discussed types of campus crime, departmental procedures and the identification process.

Students and faculty also participated in a mock hearing, followed by pizza and a question-and-answer session.

“Our procedures are in the developmental stages,” says Antieau. “We are being very watchful. If something doesn’t work, we’re going to change it and make it work. We will be seeking input regularly from faculty, staff and students to make that happen.”

Antieau expects that approximately 400 complaints may be filed each term, but says data gathered from other institutions with similar procedures indicate that the panels probably will hear only 13–15 cases.