c/o Alexandra Turtil, Assistant Photo Editor

c/o Alexandra Turtil, Assistant Photo Editor

Seven students—Ashley Vazzana ’24, Tom Broadus ’24, Jessica Luu ’24, Queenie Xie ’23, Cam McCrystal ’24, Marina Seawick ’24, and Michael Quinteros ’24—were appointed to the Community Standards Board (CSB) for the fall 2022 semester, increasing the size of next year’s Board to ten student members. The appointments were announced in the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) committee reports on Sunday, April 10.

The board, which consists of student voting members and faculty in advisory positions, is responsible for upholding the standards of the University community and adjudicating all cases of alleged violations of the Honor Code or Code of Non-Academic Conduct. 

“The student members are making the decisions about a student’s level of a responsibility and the faculty/administrative advisors participate in an advisory role,” Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Community Standards Kevin Butler wrote in an email to The Argus. “The Board thinks critically about the decision it makes and works hard to be fair and unbiased in its response to alleged policy violations…taking into account what is best for the student and what is best for the University.”

Because members hold their positions until they graduate, six members of the current Board—which consists of nine total student members—are leaving the CSB at the end of the academic year. As a result, applications to join the CSB opened at the beginning of the spring semester to all rising juniors and seniors in good academic and non-academic standing with the University. Current members of the CSB and the WSA Student Judiciary Process Committee (SJPC)—a subcommittee of the WSA Student Life Committee (SLC)—reviewed applications and interviewed applicants for the fall.

“Through the application process, we try to identify students with excellent written and verbal communication skills, good listening skills, problem solving experience, confidence, and flexibility,” Butler wrote.

According to the WSA bylaws, two members of the SJCP and all current members of the CSB have a say and a vote in the selection process for new CSB members. Faculty who sit on the CSB and other members of the SLC are not directly involved in the final decision, but are permitted to have a voice in the deliberation process.

“The whole point of the structure of the CSB is that students make the decisions and hear cases about [their] peers which is different from a lot of other colleges, so it [makes] sense that they are chose[n] by other students,” SLC Chair Orly Meyer ’24 wrote in a message to The Argus.

Luu was motivated to serve on the Board to give back to the University community and participate in a vital part of student governance.

“I think it is really important to have a student voice in judging other students,” Luu said. “’Cause if you just have faculty members and deans judging other students, they’re not necessarily going to understand all of the circumstances the student is going through…. Even though they understand the campus, they are understanding it from a faculty perspective—and just having students is essential to giving a fair judgment.”

As part of the CSB, Luu hopes to help make the standards for students more transparent. 

“[I want to make] everything more transparent by having a more accessible student handbook,” Luu said. “Because it’s on the site and I had to dig through a lot to find what I was looking for, and I think just having a small booklet or something to give out to students—with the principles, moral code you are supposed to abide by—is very useful. Dean Butler said they actually thought about this, but I don’t know where they are in the process of making everything more accessible.”

The new CSB Board will participate in training before New Student Orientation for the incoming first-year class in August.

“I look forward to the orientation later this summer and learning from the veteran members of the board,” Broadus wrote in a message to The Argus.

Moving forward, the CSB is aiming to appoint three additional student members.

Andrew Lu can be reached at ajlu@wesleyan.edu.

Elias Mansell can be reached at emansell@wesleyan.edu.

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