PC Student Denied a Judicial Advisor
Editorial printed in the October 26 issue of The Cowl
A few weekends ago, following a write-up, a student contacted the Student Advocacy Organization (SAO) seeking counsel after learning of his right to a judicial advisor. Upon receiving an email regarding the date of his judicial hearing, the student’s advisor from the SAO informed him that due to a time conflict he would not be able to attend. The student contacted the Office of Student Conduct in a timely fashion and informed them of this legitimate conflict that would prevent his advisor from being present during proceedings. In his email, he asked if the hearing could simply be pushed forward a mere fifteen minutes so that the timing would no longer be an issue. The Office of Student Conduct then denied this perfectly reasonable request stating that they had back to back hearings all day and were therefore too busy to change his time. After personally contacting the Office of Student Conduct, I was informed that the student’s advisor could join the proceedings when he was finally available but that the times would not be changed. Surely fifteen minutes could not have presented that significant a time burden, especially if it was in the best interest of a student. By denying his advisor this ability, it surely impeded with this student’s right to an advocate.
A student should certainly be entitled to have an advisor present during ALL proceedings, to ensure that he/she is being supported from start to finish. I fail to see a significant reason why the Office of Student Conduct cannot be more accommodating, especially when it concerns a fundamental right afforded to a student as set forth in the College’s handbook. The denial was not only a disservice to him, but also illegitimizes the judicial process and compromises its overall message of fairness. Perhaps this Office needs to be reminded that their primary role is to justly administer the judicial process and that they should reevaluate methods if they cannot carry out their responsibilities effectively. Certainly, this injustice does not coincide with the mission statement, supposedly familial atmosphere, and Christian values promoted by Providence College. Being “too busy” for a student should never be the answer.
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