Student rep. positions in OAC, COS fully filled
By Marina Shkuratov, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Beginning last spring, the Organizational Adjudication Committee and the Committee on Standards merged their processes for choosing student members. Students and administrators involved with the Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Office said the change was a logical development because the two organizations, responsible for overseeing College disciplinary action against students and organizations, serve similar functions and abide by the same guidelines.
The student body elects six students to participate in both the OAC and COS through elections each spring. An additional six are selected to participate by Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson. Prior to the change, campus-elected students would run separately for the OAC or the COS.
The OAC and COS draw from a common pool of faculty and administrators in addition to elected and appointed students. The College president appoints administrators to the committees, and the dean of the faculty appoints faculty members. While the OAC handles infractions committed by campus organizations, the COS adjudicates cases individual students’ cases.
In a given term, there are 36 members in the total pool of administrators, faculty and students available to participate in hearings, said undergraduate judicial affairs director Meredith Smith. Students make up about two-thirds of the body, depending on individual Dartmouth Plans.
For each COS hearing, two students, two faculty members and one administrator must be present. For OAC hearings, three students, two faculty members and two administrators are needed to hear a case.
The two committees have always been highly interconnected, easing the decision to combine the pool of students who participate in the groups.
“The responsibilities are the same, the thoughtfulness and the consideration of the community are the same, it’s just that the types of them are different,” Smith said. “It’s an absolute logical progression for us because the two systems are not divorced from each other.”
Both the COS and the OAC ensure that College rules and expectations, based on the Student Handbook and Standards of Conduct, are enforced.
Rohail Premjee ’14, a member of the COS and OAC, said that combining students involved in the OAC and the COS creates a larger available pool of participants to hear cases of either type.
“I think it’s just more efficient to have this pool,” he said. “We’re trained in the College standards, and the College standards apply to both the organizations and the students.”
The OAC student board, which was created in spring 2010 to deal with low-level infractions, has gained momentum since its inception. The student board commonly addresses violations of Social Event Management Procedures by campus organizations, Smith said.
In its early stages two years ago, the student board struggled to obtain enough members for the five-person quorum necessary to hold hearings. The organization currently is functioning more efficiently, Smith said. Increased campus knowledge about the student board and a smaller, more “workable” pool of members have contributed to this improvement.
Student board members are chosen through nominations by faculty members and applications on the Undergraduate Judicial Affairs office’s website. The office is working to maximize the effectiveness of the board by combining talented students recommended by faculty members with passionate ones who choose to apply, Smith said.
Albert Kim ’14, a member of the OAC, the COS and the student board, said he has seen no membership problems in his three terms on the student board. Kim said that while this organization is responsible for handling less severe infractions than the OAC and COS, it approaches its cases in a similar way and uses the same guidelines and procedures.