UA's Judicial Boad Helps Students, TooBy Kevin Subramanya
Not only will the Undergraduate Association's Judicial Review Board interpret the UA constitution and resolve problems within the UA, JudBoard Chair Hans C. Godfrey '93 would like to see the Board broaden its purpose to help the general student population.
When the UA Council amended its constitution in December 1991, the three-member Judicial Review Board was created, making it the judiciary branch of the UA government. It was created to solve disputes concerning the UA constitution, the election code, and other UA legislation.
"The Judicial Review Board will act as an intermediary between the UA President's Office and the UA Council," Godfrey said. "It's main objective is to lead students in the right direction when they have a problem."
Another JudBoard member, Sahansha Mukherji '95 said the board is set up to serve the members of the UA, as well as undergraduates. Especially if the issue "concerns the MIT community or is a UA-related issue," he said.
The JudBoard is there to "listen to students and take appropriate measures," he added. "The board is also there for advice."
In a memorandum, Godfrey listed plans for the board. He wants JudBoard members to be trained as mediators, to write a pamphlet about ways to deal with the MIT administration, and to set up a discussion group on Athena about students' concerns.
The memorandum continues: "Finally, once people become more familiar with the function of the JudBoard, we would like to act as advocates for undergraduates in dealing with the administration if they have a hard time doing it themselves."
Godfrey said that JudBoard is available to help students with any type of complaint. "We are willing to act as advocates and bring up the students point of view, or if necessary, fight their case to the fullest extent like an obudsman." Godfrey said.
Students using the service will be allowed anonymity. "Some students may feel uncomfortable with MIT administration and would rather talk to a fellow student when they have a complaint," Godfrey explained.
"I'm glad this new improvement was carried through." Godfrey said. "Students really need a service like this available to them."
Mukherji said JudBoard has had to address a couple of cases, which were all problems within the UA. These instances were solved by compromises, he added.
"We're still in the final stages of formulating our rules of procedure," Mukherji added.
The board is going to work on publicity so students are aware of its services, Mukherji said.
The present members of the JudBoard are Godfrey, Mukherji, and J. Paul Kirby '92, but the UA Nominations Committee will be appointing two new student members, Godfrey said.
Currently, Godfrey and Kirby are on leave from the board because of their involvement with the upcoming election, Mukherji said.