Student Council tables bill defining consequences of an Honor or UJC charge for its members

The proposed bill would clarify what should happen if a member of Student Council is found guilty of an Honor or University Judiciary Committee charge


If the proposed bill is enacted, any member of Student Council found guilty of an Honor or UJC charge must recuse themselves from their position.

Fota Sall | Cavalier Daily

Student Council discussed a four-part bill at its general body meeting Tuesday that is intended to, in part, correct numerical and categorical errors within the bylaws while also clarifying what should happen if a member of Student Council is found guilty of an Honor or UJC charge.

Mary Alice Kukoski, a second-year College Student and chair of the Rules and Ethics Committee, addressed the absence of explicit guidelines on UJC and Honor charges within Student Council. 

“There’s actually never a clause in the constitution that if you’re found guilty of an honor or UJC violation that you would be removed from your position on Student Council,” Kukoski said. 

If the bill is enacted, any member of the Council found guilty of an Honor or UJC charge must immediately step down from their position on Student Council. 

While the amendment would provide clarity on the issue, Ian Ware, a third-year College student and Student Council representative, raised concerns regarding UJC’s confidentiality policy and how that can be upheld if members are required to relinquish their position.

According to the UJC Constitution, all personally identifiable information relating to an investigation and trial will be “kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.” 

“UJC is a very confidential process,” Ware said. “How is that going to be handled when that can out someone’s UJC charges if they are publicly removed from Student Council?” 

Sarah Kenny, a fourth-year College student and Student Council President, addressed Ware’s concerns on UJC’s confidentiality policy. 

“I think that we would just ask all members that when they go through our boot camp process they familiarize themselves with the bylaws and on their honor, if they were convicted of a UJC offense, they would take it upon themselves to remove themselves,” Kenny said. 

In response to Kenny’s suggestion, Ware proposed further changes to the bill in order to ensure confidentiality. 

“[If] Student Council members become aware of the reasons someone was removed from Student Council, if it were a UJC charge, that they are forced to adhere to the same rules UJC members are forced to adhere to, which is that they cannot talk about the information they know about the case,” Ware said.

Due to discretionary concerns, the bill was unanimously tabled by members present. Representatives Nathan John, a third-year Batten student, Avery Gagne, a first-year College student, Josh Crane, a second-year student in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and Cat Wyatt, fourth-year College student, were not in attendance during Tuesday’s meeting and abstained from voting on the bill by proxy. The bill will be readdressed in next Tuesday’s meeting at 6:30pm in the Newcomb South Meeting Room.

Kenny also addressed the Representative Body about a reported firearm incident at Boylan Heights, where a man displayed a firearm to bouncers after being prevented from re-entering the bar Jan. 29. The University did not issue a warning to students the night of the event which led some students to raise questions. Boylan Heights, however, lies outside of the spaces outlined in the Clery Act which would require a University-wide notification.

There remain some questions regarding the event due to conflicting reports by Charlottesville and University police, the University and Boylan Heights employees. 

“Two Boylan employees shared with me their account was dramatically different than [the] University’s official statement, so we’re trying to get to the bottom of these discrepancies,” Kenny said. “I will keep you posted on next steps for holding our police departments accountable.” 

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