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Meeting Information


Saturday, March 28, 1998
8:30 - 9:45 a.m.
East Oval Room, The Rotunda

Committee Members:

C. Wilson McNeely, III, Chair
Franklin K. Birckhead
Charles M. Caravati, Jr.
Champ Clark
Elsie Goodwyn Holland
Kristine L. LaLonde
Walter F. Walker



A. Adjudication of Sexual Assault Cases
(Mr. Harmon to introduce Ms. Sisson; Ms. Shamim Sisson to report)

B. Alumni Association Support for the Honor System
(Mr. Harmon to introduce Mr. Syer; Mr. Jack Syer to report)

C. Introduction of Student Leaders
(Mr. Harmon to introduce newly elected student leaders and scholarship recipients)

D. Academic Performance of Student Athletes
(Mr. Harmon to introduce Mr. McGuire; Mr. Richard McGuire to report)


A. Adjudication of Sexual Assault Cases

BACKGROUND: The University of Virginia has had procedures for the adjudication of sexual assault cases in place since 1983. Since that time, these procedures have been periodically reviewed and updated. With the passage of the Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 1992, a federal mandate requires campuses to develop and distribute a statement regarding the institution's sexual assault programs that are aimed at the prevention of sexual offenses and the procedures followed once a sexual offense has occurred. In 1994, as part of the last institutional review, the University Committee on Sexual Assault and Judicial Review (UCSAJR) met with various University of Virginia faculty, administrators and students to evaluate and propose modifications to the existing policies and procedures.

The motivation for updating the procedures was rooted in the fact that students were not reporting their assaults, and were not availing themselves of any avenue for redress, including the criminal and civil courts as well as the University's adjudication proceedings. The suspicion on the part of survivors toward the system as a whole continues to be a problem; however, the UCSAJR believes these modifications will have a positive impact on the University's handling of sexual assault cases even as students are encouraged to use the civil and criminal courts.

The following changes are being proposed:

Revised Board Structure: The current UCSAJR will be divided into a Sexual Assault Board and a Judicial Review Board. This change will allow better training for board members and will allow each board to narrow the focus of their mission and responsibilities.

Advisors to the Parties: The Sexual Assault Education Coordinator will serve as an advisor to the survivor. The accused student will similarly be supported and advised by the designated faculty-level staff member in a unit of Student Affairs. If these advisors are unavailable, the Vice President for Student Affairs may appoint another faculty-level substitution. This addition provides important support for each party throughout the process.

Hearing Procedures: The hearings will not utilize a legal model of adversarial representation and witness examination. The Chair of the hearing calls the witnesses, presents the evidence and determines the hearing protocol. The Chair and the panelists will question the parties and the witnesses. Following the questioning of a witness by the panel, the parties' advisors may also ask questions of a witness, but the Chair may disallow questions that are irrelevant, improper, or redundant. After all witnesses have been questioned, each party may make a written or oral closing statement.

Appeals: Appeals will go to the Judicial Review Board (which will hear all Judiciary Committee appeals). Presently cases may be appealed to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

DISCUSSION: Copies of the Procedures for Adjudicating Sexual Assault Cases and the University Judicial Review Board Procedures for Appeals are attached.


B. Alumni Association Support of the Honor System

BACKGROUND: In recent years, the Alumni Association has provided financial support for many of the Honor Committees programs and activities. For example, the Parents Program, an Alumni Association sponsored organization, has provided significant support for the development and production of the Honor System video which is now in its third year of production.

DISCUSSION: This presentation will briefly describe the Alumni Associations on-going support for the Honor System.


C. Introduction of Student Leaders

BACKGROUND: The election of officers in most of the student organizations has been completed. These students play an important role in the day to day functioning of the University.

The Honor Committee is responsible for the overall administration of the honor system. It is composed of elected representatives from each of the ten schools of the University. The Committee selects a Chairperson, Vice-chairperson for Trials and Vice-chairperson for Advisors from the elected representatives.

The Judiciary Committee is the student-run branch of the administration that adjudicates cases of alleged violations of the University Standards of Conduct. The committee includes judges elected from each school, counselors, investigators and educators.

Resident Staff is lead by co-chairpersons who oversee five program coordinators and over 200 resident staff members. The Resident Staff program develops and maintains an environment in University Housing which facilitates the well-being of students and their academic, social and emotional growth.

Student Council is the representative body of the entire University. It is Council's responsibility to ensure that the concerns of all students are heard and addressed. Student Council also manages the process for allocating the student activity fee to eligible student organizations.

DISCUSSION: Student leaders introduced to the Board.


D. Academic Performance of Student Athletes

BACKGROUND: Many universities share the concern that commitment to a high level of athletic competition will not compromise the academic integrity of the institution. The University of Virginia's Athletics Department is committed to the successful academic and athletic performance of all student athletes. To help student athletes meet their academic goals, an academic support system assists and works with these students. Despite the pressure of competition and demands on their time, student athletes graduate at a rate that is comparable to that of the University's overall student body.

DISCUSSION: This presentation will focus upon four objective measures that indicate no significant erosion in academic standards: NCAA Graduation Rates, Team Grade-Point Averages, ACC Honor Roll Figures, and Distribution of Majors. The presentation will also contain brief comments on the philosophy and operation of the academic support system for student-athletes. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the evolving relationship between Academic Affairs-Athletics and the other academic and student support resources of the University.




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