Board disagrees over nomination

By Jami Peterson

A resignation and disagreement about a judicial advisory board member replacement has left the board with one less member and no schedule.

Because of a tight schedule and a lack of time, Student Association President Preston Came resigned from the judicial advisory board about two weeks ago.

Came said he nominated Student Regent James Mertes to fill his shoes. “(Mertes) has thorough knowledge of the judicial system and how the judicial code works,” Came said. “He was the best advocate for student positions.”

However, Judicial Office Director Larry Bolles said placing Mertes on the advisory board would be against the judicial system bylaws.

Therefore, he said, the judiciary advisory board will not meet until the judicial office and the SA agree on a replacement. “I’m not going to schedule a meeting until we have student representation,” he said.

The bylaws require the SA to appoint 20 students to serve on the judicial hearing board. The board is a group of students and faculty members who determine sanctions in judicial hearings for disciplinary and academic misconduct.

Out of this pool of 20 students, the SA selects two students to also sit on the judicial advisory board, whose members review recommendations and changes made to the judicial code.

At the beginning of last fall, Came and SA Welfare Adviser

reg Leathers were appointed by the SA to serve as student representatives on the judicial advisory board. However, neither Came nor Leathers served on the judicial hearing board this year.

“I shouldn’t have let them (Came and Leathers) serve on the judicial advisory board without being members of the pool (of judicial hearing board members), but I did,” Bolles said.

But Came said he was not aware he had to be a judicial hearing board member in order to serve on the advisory board. “It was never brought to my attention I was violating any bylaws,” he said.

Because Mertes also is not a member of the hearing board, the judicial office would have to make another exception to allow Mertes to serve on the advisory board, Bolles said.

“If (Came) sends me any one of those 20 people (hearing board members), we’ll be off and running,” he said. “He needs to follow the policy.”

Bolles also said Mertes, who has been a student advocate in the judicial office, should not be allowed to make decisions about the judicial code. Allowing Mertes to serve on the board would be like allowing a lawyer to present a case and then sit on the jury to decide guilt or innocence, he said.

“He’s (Mertes) on the other side of the table (as a student advocate),” Bolles said. “Serving on the hearing board is doing something totally different.”

However, Came said Mertes should be allowed to serve on the advisory board because Bolles already has made two exceptions in the past. “There wasn’t a problem (with making exceptions) at the beginning of the year,” he said.

Mertes has been presenting recommendations to the judicial advisory board over the last three weeks, Came said. “The reason he’s (Bolles) not making an exception this time is because (Mertes) has been making proposals to change the judicial code,” he said.

Bolles said he made an exception at the beginning of the year because he believed it was important for the SA president to represent students’ views on the advisory board. “Sometimes you have to bite your tongue and swallow it,” he said.

Mertes said he agrees with Bolles’ decision to follow the bylaws. However, he said Bolles has made other exceptions in the past and is inconsistent.

“My concern is with (Bolles’) inconsistent application of the judicial code,” he said.

Mertes said he has a lot of experience in the judicial system and would be a good representative for students’ concerns. “I don’t think there is any question of my knowledge of the system.

“If any other student advocate was appointed to the judicial advisory board, Mr. Bolles would not have any concerns,” Mertes said.