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New greek judicial board wins praise

The greek judicial board is no longer just a plan, but a functioning body that has heard a total of four cases so far in front of newly trained justices representing all the main greek governing bodies at the University.

The board was established in January to hear cases concerning greek chapters, which have previously been under the jurisdiction of the Undergraduate Judicial Board. Four months later, administrators, national greek representatives and campus greek leaders are observing the board's procedures and offering nothing but positive remarks.

"It's gone very smoothly," said senior Lou Leskosky, outgoing Interfraternity Council judicial board chair, who said the board benefited from following the UJB model. "[Associate Dean of Students for Judicial Affairs Kacie] Wallace has helped us immensely through the Undergraduate Judicial Board. A lot of their hearing procedures came in with a streamline process already set up."

Wallace praised the board on every case it has heard. "They're learning new intricacies of holding people and groups accountable," she said. "Their deliberations have lasted longer than what I would consider normal because they're having such thought-provoking discussions."

Leskosky added that currently the accused party is not notified of the board's final verdict until a week after it is made, during which time Wallace assesses the board's decision to provide constructive feedback and to determine if the board is operating the way it should.

"[Administrators] give us complete free range [of action]," Leskosky said. "If [the verdict] is too severe or too lenient, [Wallace] will probably say that it is not appropriate, but she will not necessarily overturn it."

Only small grammatical changes have been made to the board's sanctions, Wallace said. "Thus far, it's mainly been minor wording tweaks [to help form the] intent behind the sanction and to help them word and phrase it to close loopholes."

Greek leaders--from the IFC, the Panhellenic Council and the National Panhellenic Council--said the reestablishment of the greek judicial board is a decidedly positive addition to the greek community as a whole.

"Our community really needs to take steps to improve our credibility within our own community," said Whitney Evans, executive vice president of Panhel, adding there is often anti-greek sentiment on campus. "People outside the system only see certain aspects of our system. I'm glad that with this judicial board we are publicly taking accountability for things that we do and taking responsibility for things within our system."

Leskosky said the board is committed to using a concept called "creative sanctioning," which emphasizes the use of new and different consequences, which can help correct the roots rather than the symptoms of the problem.

"We're trying to move ourselves away from reactionary [punishments]," Leskosky said. "We're still aware of the fact that [the accused] need to be punished with... punitive plus educational consequences."

Outgoing IFC President Jeremy Morgan, a senior, added that the accused may be more willing to comply with the board's verdicts due to the board's makeup as greek members themselves.

Sheldon Maye, outgoing NPHC president and a senior, said the greek judicial board relates to greek members in a way the administration could not under the previous system.

"The board understands things that the administration does not understand," Maye said. "It reminds us that we're all greek. It affects everybody."

Greek leaders said the board will help ease the tension between the University and greek groups that are quick to accuse administrators of limiting greek life by enforcing harsh and seemingly unfair punishments against them.

"It takes a burden off [the administration] of problems dealing with [greeks]," Maye said. "We are responsible enough for dealing with our own issues."

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