The disciplinary power of the University is independent of prosecutorial or judicial action; its exercise is neither demanded by pendency of state action nor precluded the absence or failure of state action.
The SJC shall be comprised of ten elected justices--one from each undergraduate class (four), one from each law class (three), one elected at-large from the School of Law, and the SJC Chair and SJC Secretary, both elected by the student body. Alternate justices will be appointed by the SJC Chair. The SJC may appoint a non-voting adviser(s) as necessary.
If substitute justices are required for a hearing during Spring Term due to the absence of elected justices, the SJC Chair will first seek a substitute from the pool of past SJC justices. If none of these students are available at the time of the hearing, the SJC Chair will notify the SFHB of the open seat and request a substitute. In the event that no student member of the SFHB is able to serve as a substitute, the SJC Chair will contact the president of the Student Executive Committee (EC), so that he/she might notify that board of an open seat. In the event that no substitute justices can be found from these student committees, the Chair will appoint a student leader in the community who he/she believes can serve as an honest and fair justice. The Chair will actively consult with the administrative adviser of the SJC in appointing temporary justices.
A person wishing to complain of a violation of the standards of the SJC against a student may bring the complaint to any SJC Justice who will then submit the complaint to the Office of the Dean of Students and Chair of the SJC.
The SJC Chair shall appoint an SJC Justice to conduct an investigation. Following the investigation, the SJC justice shall present a summary of the relevant facts to the SJC. Based on information provided, if the SJC determines that sufficient evidence of misconduct justifies a further proceeding, it may, by a majority vote of the SJC, vote to hold a hearing.
Information should be reported to the SJC within twelve weeks of the alleged misconduct in order to warrant an investigation.
Rights of the Respondent
The respondent has a right to be represented by an Advocate from the Washington and Lee student body. The responsibilities of the Advocate are to advise the respondent on SJC procedures, to assist the respondent in developing an opening and closing statement, and to advise the respondent on the specifics of a written appeal, if necessary. Advocates are also available for student support to provide information to respondents on resources they may wish to contact to obtain support until resolution.
The respondent has a right to be present at the hearing while witnesses testify and to question them at that time. The Advocate has the same rights as the respondent to be present at the hearing and to question witnesses. All questioning shall be restricted to matters deemed relevant to the specific case by the SJC Chair, who shall regulate the nature of the questioning and proceedings.
The respondent has a right to invite witnesses bearing relevant information to testify.
The respondent has a right to be heard separately when the respondent is one of two or more allegedly involved in a joint misconduct. If none of those respondents in an alleged joint offense request separate hearings, the hearing may be held jointly or separately, as determined by the SJC.
Rights of the Complainant
The complainant has the right to report student misconduct to any SJC member and to have that report investigated. The complaint will be sent to the Office of the Dean of Students and Chair of the SJC. The complainant may serve as a witness during the hearing, and will be informed of the outcome of the hearing.
The Office of the Dean of Students and/or the SJC Chair shall notify the respondent of the complaint in writing, explain SJC policy and procedures, and set a date for a closed hearing as soon as practicable. The SJC may call any witnesses it deems relevant. The SJC Chair shall, as presiding officer, regulate the order and nature of questioning and shall exercise discretion in dealing with matters not formally covered in these procedures. The SJC Secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of the SJC.
If an SJC justice cannot provide an unbiased decision, the justice shall be excused from the hearing. If the SJC cannot meet quorum for a case, which is seven members, the SJC Chair shall appoint student replacements for the duration of the case.
The respondent and the Advocate shall be permitted to remain present throughout the questioning of witnesses and all other proceedings of the hearing except during SJC deliberations.
After the respondent has had an opportunity to present a defense and after all testimony has been heard, the SJC shall begin deliberations. Deliberations are closed to the respondent, the Advocate, and the complainant.
After all deliberations are concluded, a vote shall be taken. An allegation is proven when, in the judgment of the SJC, it is supported by the greater weight of the evidence. A finding of responsibility for violating this policy requires a vote of two-thirds of the SJC justices present.
If a student is found responsible, the SJC shall impose the appropriate sanction by a vote of at least two-thirds of the SJC justices present.
The SJC Chair shall inform the respondent, the complainant, and the Advocate of the SJC decision.
Any student, who retaliates against, harasses or attempts to influence a person with respect to that person's participation in an investigation or hearing will be subject to conduct charges by the SJC.
If the respondent, after receiving proper notification of the hearing, fails to attend, the hearing shall be conducted in the student's absence.
SJC hearings are confidential. The facts about individual cases and their dispositions are to remain confidential to the extent possible, except for notification of the results to the community. In order to protect privacy and the effectiveness of the process, no one involved in a complaint process should discuss any information regarding the case except with those with a need to know, with the respondent, with the complainant, with their families, or with those to whom they need to disclose information necessary to obtain support until resolution.
If during the hearing, a majority of the SJC determine that they need more information or want to call a material witness(es), as a result of the testimony received, they may suspend the hearing for no more than 48 hours in an attempt to gather that information or call said witness(es). The SJC shall then re-convene the hearing within 48 hours from the suspension.
Having dedicated themselves to Lee's ideal of honorable behavior, students accept responsibility for violations of this standard, including penalties imposed by the SJC. The sanctions the SJC may impose include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A monetary fine
- The payment of restitution for property damage
- Specific task(s) related to the nature of the misconduct
- Community service
- Removal from University housing
- Conduct Probation-A severe warning by the SJC. Period determined by SJC
- Social Probation-a student may not participate in any University-sponsored social function held on campus, including fraternity/sorority functions, where alcohol is served. Social probation may be extended to dry social functions. Period determined by SJC. If a social probation sanction is 53 weeks or until graduation, it constitutes "disciplinary action." (See p. 57 of the Student Handbook)
- Suspension-Period determined by SJC. Suspension length can be for the remainder of a term, a full term, or multiple terms.
- Dismissal from the University
The SJC may not impose a sanction that requires action by a third-party or entity. In addition to the sanction, education and counseling may be recommended.
Suggested Sanction for Finding of Responsibility
|Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol||Suspension|
|Activity that Endangers a Person||Suspension|
|Sale of Illegal Drugs/Controlled Substances||Suspension|
|Possession/Use of Illegal Drugs/Controlled Substances||Suspension|
|Felonious (Cocaine, Ecstasy, LSD, GHB)||Suspension|
|Non-Felonious (Marijuana)||Social and Conduct Probation|
|Fire Alarm Pulling||Immediate $250 Fine, Suspension, and Conduct Probation|
|Vandalism||Restitution for Damage and Conduct Probation|
|Violation of SJC Sanctions||Suspension|
All changes to this system require a majority vote by the SJC.