Office of Judicial Affairs and Community Standards

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The Office of Judicial Affairs and Community Standards (OJA) is the department in the Student Affairs that handles disciplinary action for students. The current head of OJA is Dean Jerri Henry.

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Dean's Discipline

Dean's Discipline is the process used to investigate academic and behavioral misconduct for students in CC and SEAS. Dean's Discipline can be invoked for issues regarding academic dishonesty, housing issues, or drug/substance use, among others. According to their website, "The Dean’s Discipline process is not meant to be an adversarial or legal process, but instead aims to educate students about the impact their behavior may have on their own lives as well as on the greater community." Despite this claim, the sanctions imposed by Dean's Discipline can vary from a warning to suspension or expulsion.

Advisory Board

The Judicial Affairs Advisory Board (JAAB) is a newly-created student advisory board that works to make changes to the disciplinary process for CC and SEAS. The board was created out of a joint resolution by the Columbia College Student Council and the Engineering Student Council in 2008. The VP for Policy from each council sits on the JAAB along with a representative from the RA community, a representative from the Greek community, and two representatives from the general SEAS and CC populations.

Criticism

While the Office of Judicial Affairs has recently made many changes to its policies and procedures, it has still come under a great amount of criticism in recent years. One major criticism is the length of time it takes to resolve issues. This is due to the under-staffing of the department, which currently consists of only the Dean of Judicial Affairs and her assistant. Another criticism involves the lack of a student's right to any representation during the process. While OJA maintains that the hearings are not legal or adversarial, many students have complained that they feel personally attacked during the hearings and would like to have another student, parent, or representative to ensure their rights.

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