Beginning in Fall 2021, the University Honor Board (HB) and Community Standards Board (CSB) will merge to create one CSB that will both facilitate academic and non-academic hearings. Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Community Standards Kevin Butler made the decision in consultation with Board Co-Chairs Laura Garvey ’21 and Brendan Keane ’21.

The HB has traditionally been responsible for overseeing academic hearings, while the CSB has facilitated non-academic hearings. Noting the potential benefits of having both sets of perspectives in hearings, Butler instituted a pilot program within the past two years to train HB and CSB members to facilitate both academic and non-academic hearings. 

“When I was appointed Advisor to the Honor Board (HB) and began to advise both the CSB and HB Boards simultaneously, I noticed that there were some valuable perspectives that could be beneficial that were shared by student members serving on both Boards,” Butler wrote in an email to The Argus. “I asked some of the student members if they might be interested in hearing both academic and non-academic violations…. I implemented a joint training to incorporate training for both types of hearings and which seemed to make sense since the process for both are relatively the same and because the administering of both types of hearing now rested in the Office of the Dean of Students.”

Since the pilot program is already in place, Butler and the Co-Chairs do not envision that this merge will alter the board’s function in any significant way.

“Currently all members of the Boards are trained to facilitate academic and non-academic hearings,” Butler wrote. “This change will officially ease the burden for CSB members and HB members who can be overwhelmed with cases, some of them serious, at critical and busy times throughout the academic year. Now the responsibility to resolve alleged academic and non-academic violations can officially be shared among all Board members, allowing for some to take fewer cases during the most strenuous times of the academic year.”

All members of the current boards will continue to serve on the combined board. Moving forward, the board will consist of up to 15 juniors and seniors, each member serving up to a two-year term. 

Keane hoped that this change would make participation on the board a more practical time commitment for members. 

“Several board members have been serving on both the Honor Board and Community Standards Board since the fall of 2019,” Keane wrote in an email to The Argus. “I have been hearing both cases, and found it was very manageable and allowed for greater engagement with the board.”

Butler added that he hopes the merge will improve the hearing process for board members and broaden the mindsets of those facilitating the hearings.

“My only hope is that this official change will continue to bring multiple perspectives and students experiences into the resolutions process, and that the Board continues to think critically about student accountability and how student behavior can personally affect the student(s) involved as well as the impact their choices might have on the Wesleyan community at large,” Butler wrote.

Butler also emphasized that rising juniors and seniors interested in serving on the board should reach out to him to express their interest and ask questions about the board. 

“We will continue to look for rising juniors to apply (rising seniors when necessary) to possibly participate in giving back to the Wesleyan community via the Board and [also] that students should feel free to contact me if they are interested in applying for the Board,” Butler wrote.


Hallie Sternberg can be reached at or on Twitter @halsternberg.

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