The Student Judicial Board, known as the J-Board for short, is the official body that holds hearings to decide the outcome of conflicts between Reed community members if they cannot come to an agreement themselves. The J-Board hears complaints brought to them concerning violations of the honor principle as well as college rules and guidelines, then submits recommendations to the Vice President of Student Life, Karnell McConnell-Black, who approves the recommendation or makes changes. This process, in addition to outreach and education in the student body, makes the J-Board an essential part of campus life, but it also doubles as the Sexual Misconduct Board, hearing complaints regarding sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and relationship abuse. This side of the J-Board uses the same procedures mentioned prior with the additional ability for the accuser and the accused to share the name of the accused, the college’s verdict, and any sanction imposed against the accused, information that is not shared in normal J-Board cases unless everyone agrees.
Given the recent incidents of sexual assault that have shaken the Reed community, the existence and role of the J-Board are as vital as ever; however, there have recently been some shake-ups to the structure of the body. Typically, the J-Board consists of co-chairs Anoushka Goenka and Sage Curry-Wynne, Riley Ellis, Quin Evans, Alondra Loza, Kenneth Vounzi, Iris Zhang, Natasha Cruz, Kiana Fields, and Nicole Chan, all of whom are students, as well as Keith Karoly, Claudia Ramirez Islas, Cameron Tanner, and Lucas Illing, who serve as faculty and staff advisors to the body. Normally, the Judicial Board Code requires six faculty/staff members and twelve student members, consisting of at least one-third of students and one-third of staff. However, as of this year, only two of the faculty/staff advisors of the J-Board, Claudia Ramirez Islas and Cameron Tanner, will also serve as advisors on the Sexual Misconduct Board, as well as the twelve students, although there are only ten as of right now.
The Quest reached out to co-chairs Goenka and Curry Wynne to discuss these changes. “It is difficult to recruit staff members to this position, as it requires them to take on a lot of additional work beyond their regular duties, without any additional compensation. We felt that we needed to update the (Judicial Board) code to reflect the reality of the situation. This decision was not just made by student members, but was instead made collectively by the student J-Board chairs, our staff and faculty advisors, and members of the administration.” Regarding the outcome of this decision, the co-chairs stated that “this is not meant to be a permanent solution, but will allow the code to accurately reflect the way our process is currently operating, while we consider long term options which support the needs of the Reed Community and the things they want to see from our Sexual Misconduct Board process.”
Despite these changes, how one can utilize the resources of the J-Board remains the same. When submitting a complaint, it must contain these six aspects: a brief description of the actions that the complainant(s) believes do constitute a violation, a list of the names of the persons believed to have committed a violation, if the names of such violators are known to the complainant(s), a list of witnesses with information pertinent to the case, a statement of why informal mediation was unsuccessful or did not occur, and lastly statement that consents to the disclosure of the complaint to the respondent(s). A complaint can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Specifically, Sexual Misconduct complaints can be sent to the previous two emails as well as firstname.lastname@example.org.