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Student Governing Association

Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch is responsible for reviewing matters of non-academic disciplinary complaints, violations of the K-State SGA Constitution, the Conduct Code, Residence Life Policies, Housing and Dining Services Contracts, interferences with students' rights and freedoms, and appeals of K-State Police Department parking citations.

It aims to ensure fair treatment of students and serve as a judicial authority for resolving complaints and appeals. Judicial boards offer authoritative means to impose sanctions and levy disciplinary actions against students found to be in misconduct or engaging in harassment of fellow students. For students who feel they have been wronged, the judicial system often serves as an avenue of last resort after they fail to resolve their issues by other means. 

The focus of the judicial branch is to foster the growth and development of individual students through the encouragement of self- discipline, accountability and responsibility to the community. A respect for the rights and privileges of others is the core of this philosophy. Responsibility for proper conduct is put upon the student – not the institution – with the assumption that most students do not try to intentionally cause violations, and will respect the rights and property of others.

The goals of the Judicial Board process are to redirect the behavior of students into acceptable patterns, to protect the rights and privileges of all students and to encourage educational development. The main advantage of a student judicial system is that when peer influence is exerted through a structured process, it can often be the most effective and positive means of accomplishing the goals of the system.

Judicial Boards:

  • Judicial Council
  • Student Tribunal
  • Housing and Dining Services Judicial Boards
  • Student Review Board
  • Parking Citation Appeals Board
  • Ad Hoc Boards

Students with legitimate complaints have a right to petition a judicial board and have their case heard. To file a case with the Judicial Branch, contact the attorney general. Once a case is started, the appropriate board will receive the information and contact the student regarding further action.

Attorney General - Joe Oaks, joaks01@k-state.edu

It is the duty of the Attorney General to preside over the Judicial Branch of SGA. Judicial authority is divided and controlled by the following boards: Judicial Council, Student Tribunal, Housing and Dining Services Judicial Boards, Student Review Board, Parking Citations Appeals Board and Ad Hoc Boards.

Judicial power includes the disposition of non-academic university disciplinary complaints against students, violations of the KSU SGA Constitution, Conduct Code, Residence Life Policies, and Housing and Dining Services Contracts, interferences with students’ rights and freedoms and appeals of KSU Police Department parking citations.

The SGA Attorney General in consultation with the Student Body President appoints members to the above-mentioned judicial boards, and is also responsible for initial and on-going training of those boards. The Attorney General also determines which judicial boards shall be authorized to hear each case in consultation with the Dean of Student Life. 

Judicial Advisor - Andy Thompsonathomp@k-state.edu

Andy Thompson serves as the Judicial Advisor for Student Review Board and Student Tribunal hearings. The Judicial Advisor is present during the hearings for consultation by any person on the hearing board. Judicial Advisor also acts to protect the rights of the respondent and the complainant in ensuring that due process is protected and respected. The board may call the Judicial Advisor as a witness.

Should the board find the respondent in violation and move to the sanctioning stage, the Judicial Advisor is consulted in order to offer guidance on appropriate sanctions. Only after the hearing board has moved to the sanctioning stage, may the Judicial Advisor advise the hearing board of prior violations by the respondent and only to assist the board in the sanctioning process. 

The Student Tribunal

The Student Tribunal serves as a means for appealing judicial rulings and has the power to interpret SGA governing documents.

Duties of Student Tribunal:

  • Interpret the KSU SGA Constitution, By-Laws and legislation, upon written request by the Student Body President, Chair of Student Senate, or by presentation of a petition signed by 50 members of the KSU SGA. The interpretation should be (in order of priority):
    • Based primarily on the common understanding of the words and phrases.
    • Logically consistent with the remainder of the document.
    • Consistent with prior interpretations.
    • In the best interest of members of the KSU SGA.
  • Try bills of impeachment passed by Student Senate, with the exception of judicial boards.
  • Hear appeals of decisions form the Housing and Dining Services Judicial Boards, ad hoc boards, SGA Elections Committee, and Student Review Board, with the authority to modify or overturn the decisions of such judicial boards.
  • Hear in the first instance disciplinary cases involving special circumstances or situations for which jurisdiction is not otherwise described.
  • Consider appeals of decisions originating under the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Policy Prohibiting Sexual Violence, and Policy Prohibiting Racial or Ethnic Harassment when appeal is beyond the administrative process desired.
  • Hear appeals from any committee created according to the legislative powers granted in Article V of the SGA Constitution when legislation specifies such an appeal.

Student Tribunal shall be composed of two faculty members appointed by Faculty Senate and five students appointed by the Student Body President in consultation with the Attorney General, as follows:

  • One off-campus student unaffiliated with an organized living group.
  • One student from a Fraternity or Sorority which is a member of The Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council or Black Panhellenic Council.
  • One student from the KSU Association of Residence Halls (KSUARH).
  • Two at-large students, one being designated as Chancellor.

Student Review Board

Student Review Board hears cases involving violations of the Conduct Code occurring on campus or at off-campus university sponsored events. They also hear what are referred to as 20g hearings, which involve student’s failure to comply with or complete the educational sanctioning they were issued.

Student Review Board in composed of one faculty member selected by Faculty Senate and five students appointed by the Student Body President, one being designated as Chair, as follows:

  • One off-campus student unaffiliated with an organized living group.
  • One student from a Fraternity or Sorority which is a member of Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council or Black Panhellenic Council.
  • One student from the KSU Association of Residence Halls (KSUARH).
  • Two at-large students. 

Chief Justice

The Chief Justice has two responsibilities – guiding the hearing and facilitating discussion. While guiding the hearing, the Chief Justice insures that proper procedure is followed, questions are appropriately asked, issues are thoroughly investigated, the due process rights of the respondent and the complainant are protected and the hearing runs smoothly. Careful adherence to procedure is an important responsibility because the potential consequences for the respondent and the university could be significant. The Chief Justice may consult the Judicial Advisor and/or the Office of Student Life regarding procedural matters before, during or after a hearing. The Chief Justice is also responsible for the safe keeping and proper order of case notes, the tape recording and any physical evidence, until they are transferred to the Attorney General at the end of the hearing.

While facilitating discussion, the Chief Justice is responsible for helping panel members ask appropriate, thorough questions during the hearing and for guiding their discussion of the facts. The Chief Justice (generally) does not question the complainant; respondent or witnesses but he/she may stimulate questioning or redirect it. The Chief Justice should focus on facilitating discussion of the proceedings. Remember that the hearing is not a court of law. 

Associate Justices

It is the task of Associate Justices to investigate the facts of the case by reading all information provided regarding an alleged violation and by asking probing, thorough and appropriate questions. The facts will be used to determine, by a preponderance of evidence, whether or not the respondent has violated the Student Conduct Code as outlined in the Student Governing Association By-laws. If a majority of the justices find the respondent responsible for violating the Student Conduct Code they will move to consider appropriate sanctions. Sanctions are to be determined by consensus and should be commensurate with the violation and the educational goals of the judicial system.

Parking Citations Appeal Board

The Parking Citation Appeals Board is composed of six students, three faculty and two members of the classified staff. This board considers student, faculty, and staff appeals of Kansas State University Parking Services parking citations. Find out more at http://www.k-state.edu/parking/enforcement/.