2017-18 University Judiciary Committee in review

The University Judiciary Committee undertook a number of initiatives during their 2017-18 term. Law student Peter Bautz sat down with The Cavalier Daily to discuss his experience as UJC Chair for the 2017-18 school year and the accomplishments of the Committee. Bautz highlighted eight key initiatives the UJC took on this past year.

The Committee is composed of 25 representatives chaired by Bautz. In addition to Bautz, the executive committee consisted of third-year Engineering student and vice chair for first years Kevin Warshaw, fourth-year College student and Vice Chair for Trials Jack Brake and third-year College student and vice chair for sanctions Jordan Arnold. Additionally, fourth-year College students Maddie Holler and Casey Schmidt served as senior counselors, fourth-year College student Uma Mengale served as senior educator and fourth-year College student Annabel Hungate served as senior investigator. Second-year College student Sam Powers served as senior data manager, first-year College student Chirag Kulkarni served as first year judiciary committee chair and first-year College student Gabriella Cox served as first year judiciary committee vice chair.

Warshaw in March to serve as chair of the committee for the 2018-19 term.

Bautz plans on moving to New York to work for Hogan Lovells as a junior associate. He said he plans to remain involved with the UJC through fundraising and alumni events.

New merchandise

This term, UJC rebranded and ordered new merchandise, including pens, cups, laptop stickers and highlighters, to distribute at student activities fairs.

UJC demographics survey

UJC conducted an in November.

“We found out that overall, our committee largely matched the University’s diversity in terms of breakdowns in poverty … race and ethnicity, gender,” Bautz said. “There’s obviously still work to be done there but it’s a good starting point to be at.”

The data revealed that UJC is 68 percent white, 12 percent Asian, 9 percent black, 7 percent Hispanic, 2 percent Middle Eastern and one percent Native American. UJC is also 52 percent female, 47 percent male and 1 percent non-binary.

U.Va. Fund

The Committee also created a University fund to collect money from UJC alumni. Bautz said that the Committee has already raised $25,000.

“That will continue to grow as we reach out to more alumni and doing more alumni outreach which has been pretty much absent for most of our existence,” Bautz said during the Committee’s last general body meeting.

Case Management System

This term, UJC upgraded its . Bautz said that the system had not been updated in 10 years, and the Committee overhauled the entire system so they can better track cases online and make sure members are getting assigned to do case management through the system. 

The new case management system now allows representatives and support officers to submit edits to case descriptions and charges, which they were unable to do in previous years. The reforms to the system also give the Committee the ability to file a case against an organization and upload photo evidence to the case website.

Safer Communities Initiative

UJC also revitalized the Safer Communities Initiative — a UJC-sponsored program that focuses on facilitating discussion and engagement between UJC and administrators, varying student groups and local law enforcement. Third-year College student Jordan Arnold and second-year College student Sam Powers were named co-chairs of SCI and will continue to serve in that position in the next term. 

“We rebranded the Safer Communities Partnership Initiative as the Safer Communities Initiative and sort of restarted getting that regularly meeting,” Bautz said. “It had kind of gotten fallen through by the wayside a little bit after … August 11 and 12 … We’re sort of retooling it to better fit the purposes we wanted it to fit.”

Bautz added that the SCI has held multiple meetings this year.

Creation of a Vice Chair for Graduate Students

The UJC recently elected Batten graduate student Stephanie Ibanez as vice chair for graduate students — a new position implemented as part of recent changes to UJC bylaws.

“We also created a vice chair for graduate students to help us with our outreach to graduate schools and students who are often underrepresented in our committee and have trouble filling their representative spots,” Bautz said. “Hopefully this will change perceptions and create better education opportunities outside of the normal college area where we hit pretty heavy already in terms of outreach.”

The vice chair for graduate students is a voting position on the executive committee, which also consists of the chair, vice chair for trials, vice chair for sanctions and vice chair for first years.

SIS demographics pull

UJC further plans to release accused student demographic data with statistics coming directly from the Student Information System in the coming weeks. Bautz said there had been problems with underreporting of certain characteristics while students self-reported demographic data in the past.

“Hopefully that’s going to help fix the underreporting problem and allow us to get some meaning from the numbers going forward that Kevin can work with to figure out what our accused student demographics look like,” Bautz said. 

Guest speakers

Bautz added that the Committee expanded their presentation speakers series to feature more guest speakers than in past years. Typically, the UJC has student affairs staff speak at general body meetings, but Bautz was able to invite School of Law professors, representatives and experts on .

“Part of it is to give people a chance to meet and hear from these administrators and ask questions to whom they might not interact with,” Bautz said. “Other ones are supposed to be interest areas that we’re hopeful that our reps care about or are interested in learning about.”

Source