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University Student Judiciary (USJ) Application

Please read through the descriptions of the branches and committees of the University Student Judiciary.
(The link to the application is at the bottom of this page.)

Thank you for your interest in the University Student Judiciary (USJ)! The Office of Student Conduct (OSC) is continually seeking undergraduate and graduate students of all majors to serve as members of the University of Maryland Student Judiciary. Positions are open in the Appellate Board, the Central Board, the Community Advocates, the Resident Board, and the Student Honor Council. We are looking for students of different academic pursuits, cultural backgrounds and social interests. A successful candidate is able to reason effectively, behave responsibly in confidential and serious matters, and is dedicated to promoting integrity, character and ethics.

The USJ online application will be available from now until October 23, 2016. The online USJ application is only one part of the USJ selection process. There also will be individual and group interviews taking place on November 3rd and November 4th, 2016 (Thursday and Friday). You will be asked to reserve your spot for those interviews once you apply. Please be mindful of the required interview dates. If selected, you will be required to attend a USJ Training session on the afternoon of Friday, January 27th, and all day Saturday, January 28th, 2017. Please be mindful of these dates. 

UNIVERSITY STUDENT JUDICIARY BRANCH DESCRIPTIONS

The primary function of the Office of Student Conduct is to resolve disciplinary and academic dishonesty referrals filed against students at the University of Maryland. In order to do so, we utilize graduate and undergraduate students to serve as members of the University Student Judiciary. The Judiciary is comprised of the University Appellate Board (AB), Community Advocates (CAs), the Resident Board (RB), the Central Board (CB), and the Student Honor Council (SHC). Although each group differs slightly in function, all work to educate students about their rights and responsibilities as members of the campus community.

APPELLATE BOARD

The Appellate Board serves as the final level of appeal in disciplinary cases heard by the Central and Resident Boards not resulting in sanctions of suspension or expulsion (such cases are heard by the University Senate Committee on Student Conduct). The Appellate Board also reviews appeals for the Student Honor Council and it's XF Petitions as well as second-level parking appeals for the Department of Transportation Services.

All appeals are handled in writing only; no oral appeals are permitted. Board members are provided with the necessary information and documentation on which to render a decision. They discuss the merits of the case as a board and come to a majority decision. All decisions of the Board are considered final and conclusive.

Time Commitment: The Board meets weekly for approximately two hours, depending upon the caseload.

CENTRAL BOARD

Members of the Central Board hear non-academic conduct cases that may result in a suspension or expulsion from the university. Hearing panel members (5-7 per panel) are active participants who question parties in a clear and courteous manner, determine the facts, and render a decision based on the evidence presented.

Time Commitment: The time commitment varies widely depending on the number of cases warranting a hearing. Hearing panels convene on an assigned day and time (late afternoon) throughout the semester. While some hearings may be quite lengthy, most last less than 2 hours. Board members also are expected to attend intensive training sessions at the beginning of each semester, attend monthly meetings of the CB, and participate on one committee (e.g., selection, education) in the Office of Student Conduct throughout the academic year.

COMMUNITY ADVOCATES

Community Advocates assist complaining parties (such as professors, Resident Directors, etc.) with the Central Board, Resident Board, or Student Honor Council hearings. These students frequently help prepare a case prior to the hearing, make opening and closing statements, assist during questioning, and recommend sanctions to the hearing panel. The advocates investigate facts, research University policy specific to each case, provide support to complaining parties (e.g., professors), interview witnesses, and present their findings during the hearings.

Advocates must be able to work independently, present information clearly, reason effectively, and behave responsibly in potentially adversarial circumstances. Although the role of the Community Advocate is to impartially help the board see the facts of the matter at hand, it is important to note that many students view this role as that of a student prosecutor, which is not the case. The intent of the judicial process is not meant to be adversarial, rather it is meant to challenge respondents with the facts of a given case.

Time Commitment: Each advocate is assigned cases throughout the semester. In addition, each advocate is expected to participate in on-going training sessions and regular meetings and to participate in USJ committees. The time commitment varies widely over the course of each semester but averages 10-15 hours monthly.

RESIDENT BOARD

Resident Board members hear cases involving student misconduct in the residence halls. Hearing panel members are active participants who question all parties, determine the facts of a case, and recommend appropriate sanctions to the Office of Rights and Responsibilities and the Office of Student Conduct. Board members must be familiar with both the Code of Student Conduct and the Community Living Handbook.

Time Commitment: The time commitment varies widely depending on the number of cases in any given semester. However, the maximum number of hours would be 6 per month (3 hours every other week). Hearings typically begin between 4 and 6 p.m. and end two to three hours later. In addition, attendance at various training sessions is required, and students are expected to participate on one committee (e.g., selection, training) with the other branches of USJ.

STUDENT HONOR COUNCIL

"SHC" members comprise a unique self-governing organization dedicated to creating a university climate that supports and promotes academic integrity. Council members are charged with the responsibilities of receiving and investigating reports of academic dishonesty (including cheating, plagiarism, fabrication of information, and facilitating academic dishonesty), serving with faculty members on honor review boards, and advancing academic integrity on campus. SHC members possess effective communication skills, exceptional reasoning abilities, leadership potential, self-initiative, and an ability to work well with others.

Time Commitment: Each SHC member is expected to devote a minimum of 12-15 hours per month to SHC activities. Members are assigned to investigate reports of academic dishonesty, serve on honor reviews, serve on SHC committees, and may seek positions of leadership within the SHC.

All members of the University Student Judiciary may be asked to serve on ad hoc and appellate boards as needed.

USJ COMMITTEE DESCRIPTIONS

Executive Board: Responsible for management of all other USJ committees, comprised of a Co-Chairpersons, Secretary, and co-chairs from other committees 
Selection Committee: Responsible for Recruitment and Selection of new USJ members
Secretary's : Responsible for internal USJ communication 
Education/Social/Outreach Committee: Responsible for all social activities of USJ including Homecoming, USJ Banquet
Training Committee: Responsible for education efforts of all USJ members, including fall and spring training
Treasurer: Responsible for USJ Fundraising and spending efforts and the USJ bank account


Now that you have read the USJ Branch Descriptions, you may move forward to the USJ APPLICATION.

Questions?

If you have specific questions about the selection process, please contact the Office of Student Conduct at 301.314.8204 or via email at studentconduct@umd.edu.