The Peer Review Board (PRB) is a group of students who are trained to hear specific cases. The PRB includes the following members:
Board - Students are selected by a committee composed of the Vice President for Student Life/Associate Provost (VPSL)/designee, the Chairs of the PRB, and the Presidents of the University Student Senate, the Greek Council, and the Student Union Board.
Chairpersons - Two non-voting student members are selected annually by agreement of the President of the University Student Senate, and the VPSL/designee
Moderator - The Moderator is selected from the professional staff of Student Life by the VPSL for a term of at least two semesters. The Moderator shall advise the PRB on matters such as the type of information that may help in determining if Community Standards were violated and precedents in sanctions. The Moderator shall also facilitate the appropriate paperwork and record keeping, as well as reserve the hearing space.
When a hearing is necessary, the Moderator selects five student representatives (or four, with the agreement of the respondent and complainant) to serve on a hearing panel to hear the case. Board Members shall disqualify themselves from serving on a Peer Review Board case if they believe in good faith that they cannot be objective in the matter. The respondent and complainant may object to a member for cause in writing at least 48 hours before the hearing. The Moderator shall rule on all objections and replace any disqualified members.
Any student in good standing with the University is eligible to serve on the Peer Review Board. There is an application process during the spring semester and at the start of the fall semester each year (which includes freshmen). All Board Members receive extensive training at the start of each semester on the Community Standards process, and on improving skills in listening, questioning, and decision-making. All Board Members also attend in-services and Board meetings throughout the academic year.
Format of a Peer Review Board Hearing:
In most cases, the hearing starts with all respondents in the room together with the board for the chairperson's opening remarks and introductions. Then, each student will have an opportunity to review the information available and speak to the board individually. The board may ask questions of the student, and the student will have an opportunity to ask questions that they may have for the board.
After each respondent has appeared before the board, everyone will gather together again to hear from any witnesses and for concluding questions or remarks. The board will then enter a private deliberation on the decision and sanctions (if appropriate). Students will be notified of the decision, in most cases, within three business days.
If the case involves a number of students, it is best to dedicate the necessary amount of time so that you are available for the entire hearing.
*This format may change based on the facts and circumstances of each case. If you have any questions, you should contact the Board Moderator.
Preparing for a Peer Review Board Hearing:
Note: These are guidelines for preparation only. In some instances, there may be requirements and/or deadlines issued, to which you must comply.
1) Any questions or concerns can be directed to the Board Moderator or the Office of Community Standards.
2) The Peer Review Board will be respectful to you as a fellow member of the SJU community and will expect that you conduct yourself respectfully as well.
3) Dress appropriately for your hearing as a signal of the seriousness with which you are taking the proceedings.
4) Show up on time for the hearing. If you do not know where to go, find the hearing location beforehand. Be sure to give yourself enough time to make it, especially if you are coming from off campus and need to find a parking spot.
5) Do your homework before the hearing. Learn about the Community Standards process and standards. If you are a resident student, and if appropriate, talk to your Resident Assistant or someone in Residence Life. Consult with a Community Standards Advisor if needed.
6) You may want to visit the Board Moderator prior to the hearing to review the information. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure of something or need clarification. Email or call or stop by to set up an appointment. In some cases, a pre-hearing will be scheduled for you to review the information and ask questions you may have.
7) During the hearing, you are able to present pertinent information and testimony of witnesses to substantiate your case. If you are thinking about bringing a witness to the hearing, let the Board Moderator know.
8) If you would like to know who will be serving as board members for the hearing, please contact the Office of Community Standards. The respondent and complainant may object to a member for cause in writing at least 48 hours before the hearing. The Board Moderator shall rule on all objections and replace any disqualified members.
9) Finally, remember that the hearing is your opportunity to share your experience with regards to the incident. It is important to be honest and mature throughout the conversation. We do value this honesty and maturity in our process.