Judicial Bodies and Jurisdiction

House Councils

A House Council is a body of representatives elected by the residents of the Council’s residence hall and empowered to promote the community and safety of the hall. This responsibility includes but is not limited to hosting programs for the residents, establishing Community Standards, and collaborating with the hall staff to serve the needs of the hall.

Community Standards are rules or guidelines developed by the House Council to support healthy community living. They may be tailored to the unique needs of the hall so long as they do not conflict with the higher authority of existing rules or policies of the College, and must be submitted to the Student Life Office each term for review and approval.

With majority agreement of that hall’s residents, a House Council may petition to establish a separate judicial hearing body by residence hall election. Such a body would be empowered to hear charges of violations of the hall’s Community Standards, and to resolve disputes and complaints relative to activities within the hall. The members may either make a decision in a case or refer it to the Student Life Office for consideration by another judicial body. In the event that an appeal of a House Council judicial body’s decision is submitted, it will be referred to either a Student Judicial Board or an Administrative Hearing Officer.

Judicial Boards (J-Boards)

Student Judicial Boards (“J-boards”) are composed of a cross-section of students who provide educational and developmental peer accountability. Members are selected each academic year through an application process conducted by Student Life with assistance from the Student Government Association Judiciary, and must be in good academic, labor and social standing.

J-boards have been empowered by the Student Government Association, Vice President of Labor and Student Life, and Residential Life Collegium to hear charges of residential and campus violations referred to them by Student Life. They have the authority to make decisions of “Responsible” or “Not Responsible,” and sanction students accordingly. Should the J-board determine during the course of the hearing that a sanction of social probation is possible, the case will be referred to an Administrative Hearing Officer.

Appeals of Judicial Board decisions will be referred to an Administrative Hearing Officer.

Mediation within the Judicial Process

Berea College is committed to providing guidance for students on appropriate interaction and conduct. The College further recognizes that, in some circumstances, a mediated outcome for the student(s) against whom a complaint has been filed may be more appropriate than a judicial hearing.

Therefore, in certain cases in which the initial complaint of a non-suspendable offense is filed by one or more students, Student Life may , after consultation with the complainant(s), offer the complainant(s) the choice of mediation in lieu of a hearing to resolve the complaint. Both parties (the complainant(s) and the accused student(s)) must agree to participate in the mediation process and acknowledge that a copy of the mediation’s outcome will be placed in each party’s student record.

Should the complainant(s) or the accused student(s) choose not to participate in mediation; the case will be referred to a hearing body.

Administrative Hearing Officers

Administrative Hearing Officers are appointed by the Vice President of Labor & Student Life to hear charges of violations for which the maximum penalty is typically less than suspension. Should the Hearing Officer determine during the course of the hearing that a suspension sanction is possible, the case will be referred to the Campus Conduct Hearing Board.

Appeals of Administrative Hearing Officers’ decisions will be referred to the Campus Conduct Hearing Board.

Campus Conduct Hearing Board

The Campus Conduct Hearing Board (CCHB) has original jurisdiction for all suspendable nonacademic cases of student misconduct.

The Campus Conduct Hearing Board consists of five elected faculty members, five elected staff members, a representative from the Student Life Council (appointed annually), and four students appointed annually by the Student Government Association in accordance with the standards outlined in “Procedures for Campus Conduct Hearing Board Panels”. The Vice President for Labor and Student Life, the Assistant Vice President for Student Life and members of the Residential Life Collegium are not eligible to serve on the CCHB.

Appeals of CCHB decisions will be referred to the Chair of the Student Life Council.

Student Life Council

The Student Life Council (SLC) has original jurisdiction in cases involving weapons, and in cases deemed by the President or his designee as being of an emergency nature. In the absence of an actual case, SLC will not issue interpretations of the Student Conduct Regulations.

The Student Life Council consists of seven members, including four elected members of the General Faculty Assembly (two of whom also are members of the College Faculty), two student members (one of whom is the Student Government Association President or other elected officer designated by the SGA President), and the Vice President for Labor and Student Life (who will not be eligible to serve as a hearing panel member).

Appeals of SLC decisions made only while functioning in its original jurisdiction may be submitted to the President or his designee.

Summer Judicial Hearing Bodies

During the summer terms, hearing bodies shall consist of a summer-term Student Judicial Board and Administrative Hearing Officers. Others may be appointed by the Vice President of Labor & Student Life to serve in this role as needed and appropriate.