Honor Committee reviews potential changes to Contributory Mental Disorder process

Vice Chair for Hearings Jeffrey Warren presented several possible options at meeting

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Jeffrey Warren, Vice Chair for Hearings, said the Committee is currently trying to see whether the requirement is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Richard Dizon | Cavalier Daily

The Honor Committee reviewed possible changes to the Contributory Mental Disorder process at their meeting Sunday night. 

A student who takes the CMD may request a psychological hearing to evaluate whether the disorder contributed to the commission of an Honor offense. Jeffrey Warren, a fourth-year College student and Honor Committee vice chair for hearings, presented a review of the CMD.

Currently, a student who takes the CMD must admit to commission of an Honor offense prior to requesting the psychological hearing. One of the reasons for this, Warren said, is to prevent students without potential contributory mental disorders from entering the process.

“This requirement has been a little bit contentious, and [it is] something we’re going to need to talk about,” Warren said.

Warren said the Committee is currently trying to see whether the requirement is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Devin Rossin, a fourth-year College student and Honor Committee chair, said the Committee should hear back from the General Counsel’s Office within a week.

“If General Counsel’s Office says this is not compatible, that’s something we’re going to have to take a look at,” Warren said.

Currently, University Dean of Students Allen Groves decides whether or not to grant a CMD hearing. Warren proposed transferring that decision to the Committee, with a psychologist assisting.

“[This] would eliminate the lag time,” Warren said. “The average number of days it takes is 413.”

Last, Warren proposed moving the time within which a student can request a CMD hearing until only after the case goes through an investigative panel. Currently, a student can take a CMD at any point — up until 10 days after the investigative panel.

“A student can take a CMD at any point in the hearing process,” Warren said. “If they request a CMD on their first day, it gets forwarded to a panel. At that point, there’s really nothing in the file — the panel has very little to actually look at.”

Besides reviewing the CMD, the Committee will be instituting a Lawn chair insurance program and hosting a popular assembly this fall.

Fourth-year Engineering student Brandt Welch, vice chair for outreach, announced the Committee will be holding the biennial popular assembly Nov. 6 through Nov. 8. The assembly will include a talk from John Gates — associate dean of diversity and inclusion of the Engineering School — along with a town hall and a mock hearing.

“One of our big goals is to redefine the community of trust this year,” Welch said.

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