Office of Judicial Affairs Becomes Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities
The Office of Judicial Affairs, within the Division of Student Affairs, will change its name and become the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, effective July 1. The new name is reflective of the educational mission of the office and places the focus on students.
“Changing our office name to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities is consistent with national trends in student conduct,” says Pam Peter, director of judicial affairs. “We also believe it is more reflective of the role of the office within the campus community.”
It has long been the work of the office to execute a judicial system at Syracuse University that is educational in nature. Staff help students to better understand their behavior and experience at SU, and the behavior that brought them to the office, so they can agree to a learning outcome that is most appropriate. Additionally, the office is responsible with not only resolving cases of violations of the Code of Student Conduct but also serves as one of the offices where students can file a grievance if they feel their rights have been violated by a member of the Syracuse University community.
“The new name accurately positions students at the heart of the office, which serves to care for students in their development as responsible campus community members, as well as people,” says Thomas V. Wolfe, senior vice president and dean of Student Affairs. “It effectively underscores the importance of our students’ rights and responsibilities as they live the Syracuse University educational experience.”
Despite efforts to educate students, faculty, staff and parents on the educational and advocacy roles of the office, the current name often confuses most constituents to liken the duties of the office and the University judicial system to what occurs in the court system. After conducting several focus groups with campus stakeholders, including students from Student Association, the University Judicial Board and the Residence Hall Association, as well as staff and faculty from the University Appeals Board, it was determined that the new name, Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, meets the goals of moving away from language often associated with the court system, while reinforcing to students that the office advocates for their rights and will also hold them accountable for their actions.