Undergraduate Assembly members last night "condemned" the administration for not splitting the roles of the Judicial Inquiry Officer and for "misleading" students about the outcome of the JIO review. A unanimously passed resolution called on the University to reconsider its decision and to reconvene the committee which reviewed the student judicial system last year. UA members echoed last year's assembly stance that the JIO should be divided into a "prosecution JIO" and a "settlement JIO" saying the current system -- in which one person performs both roles -- hurts students' chances for a fair hearing. "With a strong and united voice, the University must realize that those most directly affected are unhappy with the current system," the resolution reads. The statement passed last night is the strongest stance the UA has made all year and harshly criticizes the administration for leading "the united front of students into believing that [their] voices would be heard" on the JIO issue. "The student body was lied to," said UA Treasurer Jeff Lichtman, who proposed the resolution. "[Administrators] basically decided they knew better . . . and chose to ignore the recommendations of those who were most involved." Overlooking the objections of all the student members, a provost committee established to review the student judicial system last year recommended that the JIO remain as one position. The students, who included both undergraduate and graduate representatives, later released a minority report advocating several additional changes as well. The resolution passed last night also demands more student representation on the judicial hearing panel, which currently consists of three faculty members, one undergraduate and one graduate student. Some UA members said they plan to come back with additional recommendations for changing the JIO. Last night's meeting also uncovered some confusion about the role of the Nominations and Elections Committee -- which governs UA elections and appoints undergraduates to University-wide committees. According to the UA Chairperson Mitch Winston, the student government constitution says the NEC is a UA committee. In light of that interpretation, Winston said the UA will take a greater role in running UA elections in the spring because recent elections were "not up to par." But while acknowledging -- even welcoming -- the UA's input on running elections, NEC Vice Chairperson Melanie Brownrout said the bodies are two completely separate branches of student government. "The NEC is not a committee of the UA," Brownrout said. "We are our own governing body, we make our own decisions." In the recent past, elections have been handled solely by the NEC, but the UA constitution gives veto power over the NEC's election plan to the UA. Winston said the UA will take a closer look at the plans for next semester's election. In other business, UA members elected College junior Lichtman and Wharton junior Sandor Hau to be University Council representatives. Lichtman will be representing Nursing students, who have no UA representative, despite some members' concerns that his appointment violates the UA constitution by not giving the seat to a Nursing student.Comments powered by Disqus
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