Northern’s 16-member All Student Judiciary (ASJ) is currently accepting applications for 12 to 13 new panel members for the fall semester.
ASJ is a group of students who meet informally to review student code violations when students want to challenge any charges brought against them.
The students who are accepted into ASJ would ideally be a representation of NMU’s student body, said Mary Brundage, associate dean of students and adviser to ASJ.
“I [would] like to see a good blend of background, majors, personality preferences, ways of thinking, etc.,” said Brundage.
However, if ASJ cannot gather 16 members, the number specified by the student handbook for the panel, it will still assemble since at most hearings there are only five members needed to constitute a hearing, said Brundage.
The group hears students’ “side of the story” and decides if they should be charged with breaking the student code and if so, what their punishments should be, she said.
ASJ members can penalize students up to and including disciplinary probation, added Brundage.
Any cases which require punishments higher than disciplinary probation are heard by the Student-Faculty Judiciary, which ASJ members can serve on after completing a semester on the student panel, Brundage added.
With each case comes lengthy deliberations on the part of the panel, as well as thorough decision making, said Lauren Mattioli, a junior pre-law and philosophy major and member of ASJ.
“No other organization’s members leave meetings with the knowledge that their vote may have changed an individual’s college experience entirely, positively or negatively. We deliberate so long, because we know our votes are going to reverberate into the future,” Mattioli said.
Some members find it difficult to be unbiased when judging their fellow student, said Geoff Woodcox, a senior photography major and current member of ASJ.
“It is difficult to remain impartial and in control of yourself when judging hearings where someone is very traumatized and upset throughout the hearing,” Woodcox said.
While ASJ members may find parts of their job difficult, they do feel the group prepares students for life after college, Mattioli said.
“ASJ gets you to think in a way that may be unfamiliar to some students. You have to make just decisions based on the facts presented, and you have to be objective toward the outcome of the hearing. It’s a skill that everyone who ever wants to be in a supervisory role needs to learn,” Mattioli said.
The time commitment for ASJ differs each semester, students can plan on volunteering between 15-30 hours per semester, Brundage said.
To apply to become a member of ASJ, a student must have: a minimum 2.0 GPA, at least 12 earned credit hours and no university probation imposed by the judicial process.
Applications are available on the Dean of Students Office Web site (dso.nmu.edu) and are to be turned into the Dean of Student’s Office no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26.