Branches

The University Student Judiciary is comprised of five branches. Members typically serve on one branch based on their interests, skills, and the organization's need. These branches include the Appellate Board, Central Board, Community Advocates, Resident Board, and the Honor Council. Read more about each branch below.

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

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.

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 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.

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.

Honor Council 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.

Boards have mandatory board meetings.The time commitment for board meetings may fluctuate 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