The Judicial Board (J-Board) heard seven cases in the 2012-2013 Academic Year according to its annual report released Wednesday. Of these cases, five were connected to violations of the Academic Honor Code, and two dealt with violations of the Social Honor Code. Additionally, the Student Sexual Assault and Misconduct Board heard  two cases.

This marks a significant decrease from the 18 cases heard during the 2011-2012 year, and 15 cases during 2010-2011. 

The report, which can only be accessed online by members of the College community, lists the violations and the subsequent punishments handed down by the Board.

In one instance, a student was found to have plagiarized portions of an application for a national fellowship. This posed a initial challenge to the board, who ultimately decided that fellowship applications were considered “academic work.” The Board recommended that the Academic Honor Code should be altered to include fellowships as part of academic work.

The names of the accused in each case are kept private in all instances.

J-Board Chair Chelsea Shaffer '14 explained that the report is intended for the Bowdoin community to familiarize itself with the issues that Board is responsible for overseeing.

“The reason that we have the annual report is so that students have an understanding of what the Judicial Board does, and what kind of violations bring you before the Board,” Shaffer said. “It’s so that we can be as transparent as we can while protecting students' privacy.”

After the hearing takes place, the Board determines whether or not a violation of either the Social or Academic Code has occurred. The Board’s determination once made cannot be overruled by the Office of Student Affairs.

While twelve members make up the full Board, only five members hear each case. In cases of Academic Code violations, the Board is made up of three students and two professors whereas in Social Code violations, five students hear the case.

After the Board determines that a violation has occurred, members deliberate further on the appropriate sanctions for each ruling. Shaffer explained that while the Board does try to adhere to precedent as much as it can, the individual circumstances of a case will have an effect on the outcome.

“There are so different many factors that go into the deliberation and sanctioning process and we as a Board want to make it as fair as possible,” said Shaffer.