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EDITORIAL: Elect representatives committed to a rehabilitative UJC system

The Editorial Board endorses four candidates running for University Judiciary Committee representative

<p>The Editorial Board is endorsing Peyton Hamlett, Nabeel Raza, Ronith Ranjan and Lisa Kopelnik.&nbsp;</p>

The Editorial Board is endorsing Peyton Hamlett, Nabeel Raza, Ronith Ranjan and Lisa Kopelnik. 

This year, The Cavalier Daily Editorial Board endorses four candidates running for University Judiciary Committee representative. We endorse third-year College student Peyton Hamlett, third-year College student Nabeel Raza, second-year College student Ronith Ranjan and first-year College student Lisa Kopelnik.  All of these candidates demonstrated a vision of UJC as a rehabilitative and transparent system that should serve the entirety of the diverse student body. 

Hamlett is a current UJC Representative for the College of Arts and Sciences. During his term, he aimed to increase diversity within UJC and outreach among first-years to educate them on the opportunity of joining the First Year Judiciary Committee. If re-elected, Hamlett hopes to encourage the UJC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee to reach out to a diverse set of organizations and communities across Grounds so that UJC can address the needs of the entire student body. Further, Hamlett wants the student body to see the UJC as a support system working towards the safety of the University community. He is certain that his dedication will continue if he is re-elected. 

Raza is a current UJC representative — he is running to retain his seat. He has been involved in UJC since his first year and has experience as the vice chair for sanctions. He is passionate about making justice at the University equitable and restorative. He will push for improved demographic data on cases for increased transparency, support regular statistics releases and hopes to empower the group’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to be as effective as possible. Moreover, Raza intends to partner with community and student organizations — especially minority coalitions — to help UJC remain educated and wants to institutionalize a clothing bank that provides business clothing to anyone who may need it for trial. In addition, he wants to promote restorative justice through thoughtful sanctioning and feedback from the student body and hopes to build a community of trust — through increasing mutual respect and accountability between UJC and the student body. Simply put, Nabel hopes to use his extensive experience and commitment to create a rehabilitative UJC that represents the entirety of the student body. 

While not a current representative, Ranjan carries two years of UJC experience under his belt, presently as a counselor. Ranjan sees UJC as a rehabilitative and educational system — students should learn from their mistakes. He discussed how to advance the UJC by reevaluating its standards of conduct so that they address student concerns. Finally, if elected, Ranjan will increase the accessibility and transparency of UJC by increasing recruiting to multicultural CIOs, as well as presenting and actively responding to the data UJC releases. Ranjan operates off of the core values of UJC — respect, safety and freedom — in order to cultivate a rehabilitative system that not only educates students, but supports them.

Kopelnik is currently the first-year judiciary committee chair for UJC. Looking to become a College representative, Kopelnik desires an equitable UJC that is rehabilitative rather than punitive — she believes UJC should be a body that places students’ wellbeing first. In an effort to gain trust in UJC among the student body, Kopelnik intends to increase outreach to CIOs across Grounds, in addition to advocating for transparency from the committee. She believes students currently view UJC as an antagonistic body, a perception that she hopes to change. Through openly posting data on social media, reevaluating policing relationships on Grounds and ensuring that accusers and the accused are met with empathy in trials, Kopelnik envisions a UJC that is transparent and held accountable.

The Editorial Board firmly believes that these candidates, if elected, will dedicate themselves towards creating a diverse and rehabilitative UJC for the betterment of all students on Grounds. 

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