Six underclassmen will fill spots vacated by the five graduating seniors on the Judicial Board (J-Board) in the upcoming year. Tom Capone ’17, Natalie Kiley-Bergen ’17, Hunter Moeller ’17, Michael Pun ’17, Carolyn Veilleux ’16, and Alexandra Mathieu ’15 were selected out of an application pool of 50 students.
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Lesley Levy announced the new members in an email on Monday, bringing the multi-week Judicial Board application process to a close. According to Judicial Board Chair Chelsea Shaffer ’14, every student offered a position for next year accepted.
The incoming members’ motivations for applying to the positions varied. Mathieu, for example, was inspired by her experience abroad in Japan, a country that introduced trial by jury in 2009.
“After learning and coming face to face with a system that didn’t have a jury like organization to listen and to be more sympathetic to those being tried, it made me realize that I very much value that,” said Mathieu. “Since to me that’s what J-Board is, that link between the people and administration, I wanted to very much be a part of that.”
The new members bring the J-Boards total membership for the 2014-2015 academic year up to 13. The board is traditionally composed of approximately 12 members and selects new members based on merit, not to reach a certain number.
“I think that we are really interested in making sure that the board is representative of the whole campus,” said Shaffer, “and there are a lot of athletes on campus, there are a lot of women on campus, there are different class years, so those are all things we take into consideration when we’re selecting people.”
Shaffer also noted that having more than 12 students can help alleviate the issue of members studying abroad, or members needing recusal from a particular case.
“We never want to be in a situation where we can’t hold a hearing because we don’t have enough members to sit on it,” said Shaffer.
According to Shaffer, new members will not sit for hearings this year or participate in the selection of the next year’s J-Board Chair. New members will train in May, and begin sitting on hearings. Both excitement and respect for the position are high among the new members.
“The pressure of upholding the Bowdoin standard and serving the Bowdoin community may be too much weight for one person, and that’s why we have a board,” said Capone.
“Recognizing that these are your peers, and that even though you see them in a hearing, you just have to be very sensitive to that. You’ll see them around on campus because Bowdoin is a small campus. So I think that’s something that I’m apprehensive about,” said Veilleux.