Seven students were chosen to join the Judicial Board (J-Board) for the 2013-2014 school year last week. J-Board advisor Dean Laura Lee notified the Bowdoin community of the new members via email on February 25.
The J-Board selected Maggie Acosta ’16, Kendall Carpenter ’15, Lonnie Hackett ’14, Margaret Lindeman ’15, Christopher Nadeau ’16, Ujal Santchurn ’15 and Duncan Taylor ’14 from a pool of 39 applicants.
Next fall’s Board will be composed of 13 students. Five senior J-Board members will graduate in May, and three rising members will be abroad in the fall, so seven new members were selected to ensure that there were enough members on the Board on campus at any given time.
Hopefuls submitted a written application comprised of four essay questions, along with a recommendation letter from a member of the Bowdoin community. Members of the J-Board then individually interviewed all of these candidates to see how their personalities, general disposition and judicial ideas correspond to those of the board.
The next round consisted of group interviews for 27 of the applicants, in which they were given hypothetical cases—one social and one academic—to deliberate in groups of four or five under the observation of the J-Board.
“In the group interview, we’re more interested to see how they work in a group, which is sort of a different skill than presenting your own thoughts,” said Parker Towle ’13, student chair of the J-Board.
Carpenter said she enjoyed the group interview more than the individual one, even though, she said it was “a little nerve-wracking.”
After the group interview, the J-Board voted on which candidates to select. And although the selected students had the opportunity to turn down the offer, all candidates accepted their positions and will now serve on the board for the remainder of their Bowdoin careers.
“We definitely look for students who are mature and thoughtful, but not judgmental. There’s a high emphasis on being able to work collaboratively. It requires a certain level of patience; it can be a long process” said Towle.
Most of the applications come from first years, continuing a growing trend in recent years. However, according to Laura Lee upperclassmen theoretically are prefered candidates when it comes to applying.
“Upperclass students have an advantage,” said Lee. “They are generally more mature, they’ve had more experience on campus, they’ve been able to be in leadership positions, and prove themselves, and so that’s very valuable for the board.”
In selecting new members, the J-Board makes sure that the board reflects the diversity of the student body. According to Towle, it’s crucial that all groups on campus feel that they are represented on the board.
This year, athletes were underrepresented in the application pool even though they make up a large portion of the Bowdoin community. The board made a conscious effort to include athletes among the new members, and three were selected.
The newly selected members will go through a multiday training session at the beginning of Senior Week in May. In addition to sitting in on a case this semester, they will look into previous cases and meet with important figures on campus.
Nadeau said he applied for the J-Board to help reinforce the values of hard work and integrity among members of the Bowdoin community.
“The J-Board promotes a strong work ethic and dedication without cheating yourself and cheating everyone else,” he said. “People will get more out of [Bowdoin] when they’re not taking the easy way out.”