Shafinaaz Kamrul / Roundup
Starting this semester, the Associated Students Organization (ASO) will be re-establishing its judicial branch, the student court.
The student court has not been in session for more than 4 years.
“The court would be there to decide how to moderate student issues and grievances,” said ASO president Abraham White.
“It will give the students a chance to be judged by their peers and to have their issues decided by other students,” siad White.
For example, if a student has an issue with a teacher or with a class, they can go to the student court, which will be moderated in the ASO trailer.
The meeting times have not still been decided.
Disputes between the clubs that are under the ASO jurisdiction and issues of the ASO general elections will also be handled by the student court.
“Sometimes what happens is that during the elections of ASO presidents there may be accusations against the presidents which need to be verified,” said Brad Saenz, the ASO advisor.
“Or when a student wants to leave a club and still has dues to pay, an issue arises,” said Saenz.
Usually, what happens is that such disputes are handled by the ASO advisor or the vice president of student services.
“We are glad to do it, but it’s better to have the students handle their own issues rather than have the administration do it.”
The ASO president and the senators decided on the justices. They will serve for one school year until new officials are appointed.
It is still a new concept and the ASO members are working on refining the program.
“At this point we would probably make recommendations instead of having punishments for the students,” said White.
“We cannot fine the students or suspend them,” added Saenz.
The student court would not be handling issues as grade disputes, or academic problems that students may have. “The student court is really the ASO and the clubs policing themselves,” said Saenz. “Grade disputes and problems with the administration are much bigger than that.” Even though decisions are made by the school administration heads, the ASO student court can help the students represent themselves whenever such an issue arises.
“Whenever there is a big dispute involving students and the administration, usually it’s required that a student sits in the committee that oversees the dispute and whoever is in charge of the committee would come to us to ask if there is a volunteer or if we know anybody,” said Saenz.
In that way the student court does have a bigger role than just involving the ASO and clubs.
The justices met on Oct. 18 for the first meeting. The dates for the upcoming meetings are not yet set.
The justices elected were Adam Wade, Shareen Nizami, Farbod Fazlollohi, Sharnaz Sedghipour and Alexandra Balta.