Student Association President senior Harrison Dole sent an email to a number of campus listservs on Thursday Feb. 19 in search of candidates to apply to serve as justices on the Student Court, the judicial branch of SA. Applications were due on Tuesday Feb. 24. According to Dole’s email, the Student Court “acts as a body of appeals for students and student organizations.” According to Student Court Guidelines Article 3 Item A, “The Court shall hold at least one public meeting during each month of the academic year, not including August or May. A simple majority of Justices must be present for action to be taken in a public session.” According to a separate email from Dole, “The Student Court has been inactive for several years.” Dole declined further comment. It is unclear when Student Court meetings will commence after the appointment of new members.
Last approved in December 2009, Student Court Guidelines indicate that it is the responsibility of the court to recommend “to the SA Executive Committee appropriate action in cases involving violations or validity of Student Association policies and actions,” and “to hear and decide upon cases of impeachment of members of the SA Executive Committee when the matter has been fully referred to the Court by the USAEC [Undergraduate Student Association Elections Committee],” among other responsibilities.
According to The Lamron archives, Student Court was called upon in 2008 to hear a case regarding the SA frozen budget policy. The court heard this case and did not come to a decision immediately. Afterward, the SA Executive Board amended its policy to state that an organization with a frozen budget cannot have SA readings passed.
Student Court also heard a case brought by the SA Executive Board in 2010, according to The Lamron archives. The court affirmed the independence of the Undergraduate Student Association Elections Committee, ruling that the SA constitution didn’t afford Executive Board members the right to amend guidelines proposed by USAEC.
Student Court is not required to hear all cases presented by petitioners––the Chief Justice must present all petitions to the five justices of the court and at least two must elect to hear the case. They are required to hear the cases presented by the SA Executive Board, as stated in Student Court Guidelines Article 4 Section 1 Item F. According to Article 2 Section 1 Item H of Student Court Guidelines, the court makes decisions “based solely on information collected through Court investigations, public meetings, or executive sessions.”
It is currently unclear how new associate justices will be trained and when they will start fulfilling their duties.
As listed in Student Court Guidelines Article 2 Section 1 Item E, all justices of Student Court are expected “to be knowledgeable of and well-versed in all policies of the Student Association, including the SA Constitution, SA Financial Policy, USAEC Guidelines and these guidelines.”
Additionally, according to Student Court Guidelines Article 1 Item C, “once selected, Justices remain in office until they are no longer students at Geneseo, have ceased membership in the Student Association, submit a written resignation to the SA President, or are removed from office.”
The Lamron contacted Student Court Chief Justice senior Joshua Roychowdhury, but he was unavailable for comment. The Lamron was unable to find the names of other current associate justices of the Student Court.