Branch Descriptions

Appellate Board

The University Appellate Board serves as the final level of appeal in disciplinary cases heard by the Central and Resident Judicial 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 serves the Student Honor Council by reviewing its appeals and and XF Petitions.

Central Board

Members of the Central Board hear our most serious non-academic conduct cases which may result in a suspension or expulsion from the University. Hearing panel members are active participants questioning all parties, determining the facts, rendering a conclusion, and recommending sanctions.

Board members are trained and advised to: function as part of a team (5-7 panel members); ask clear, sensitive, and relevant questions to help determine the facts of a case; consider facts carefully; and provide recommendations for sanctions that are educational, fair, and appropriate for the offense.

Community Advocates

Community Advocates assist complaining parties in Central Judicial Board, Resident Life 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 board. The advocates investigate facts, research University policy specific to each case, provide support to complaining parties, 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.

Resident Board

The Resident Judicial Board is responsible for hearing cases of alleged violations of the Residence Hall Rules and the Code of Student Conduct.  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.

If you have specific questions about the Resident Board or the Office of Rights & Responsibilities, please contact the Office of Rights and Responsibilities at 301.314.7598.

Student Honor Council (SHC)

"SHC" members comprise a unique group dedicated to creating a university climate that supports and promotes academic integrity. Council members are charged with the responsibilities of 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.

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

Leadership Positions with USJ

Upon entry to USJ, all active members are eligible to apply for the following leadership positions.

Executive Board

Responsible for management of all other USJ committees, comprised of a Chairperson, Secretary, and co-chairs from other committees:

  • Selection Committee: Responsible for recruitment and selection of new USJ Members
  • Internal Affairs: Responsible for internal USJ communication, USJ finanaces, and the USJ Point System
  • Education & Outreach Committee: Responsible for all outreach activities of USJ including Integrity Week, First Look Fair, and all social media outreach efforts
  • Training Committee: Responsible for education efforts of all USJ members, including fall and spring trainign and general body meetings

Presiding Officers

Presiding Officers (POs) are responsible for facilitating and managing board hearings, constructing PO Reports, and ensuring the overall fairness of the conduct process. POs gain valuable leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills. 

Appellate Board Chair

The Appellate Board Chair enhances the overall function of the Appellate Board and leads Appellate Board meetings. 

Time Commitment: 

Boards have mandatory board meetings.The time commitment for board meetings may flucturate depending on the branch and case load.

All members

  • must earn membership points to maintain good standing by participating in various USJ events throughout the semester, including general body meetings (GBMs), tabling, outreach events, and other activities
  • are required to participate in USJ selection interviews during the fall semester and Integrity Week in the spring semester
  • are required to attend a weekend training at the start of each semester
  • are required to attend assigned hearings, which can vary in time
  • are required to maintain a clear judicial record and be role models of USJ principles


If you have specific questions about the selection process, please contact the USJ at or via Instagram (@umdusj).