Student-Wide Judiciary

The Student-Wide Judiciary (SWJ) is part of the University conduct process and is made up of Hearing Representatives and Student Justices.

On this page:

The Student-Wide Judiciary Process

Here, you will find a brief overview of the Student-Wide Judiciary process. For a more thorough explanation, please refer to the full Student-Wide Judiciary Rules of Procedure.

If you do not comply throughout the process, a disciplinary hold may be placed on your student account.

Step 1. A report is filed

If you are accused of violating one of the University’s rules and regulations, you may be officially charged with a violation. Charges may be brought by anyone, but are commonly based on University Police reports. Only students can be charged with a violation.

Step 2. A complaint will be drafted

An official complaint will be drafted by the Hearing Representatives who are part of the Student-Wide Judiciary. Complaints are based upon the reports that we receive and will contain the campus charges alleged against you. You will have an opportunity to talk about the charges with the University Hearing Representatives.

Step 3. You will be notified to appear for a Student-Wide Judiciary hearing

You will be notified to appear at the Student Conduct and Advocacy office for a hearing. You will receive notification through an appearance referral, which is typically issued by University Police in person at the time of the incident, or by e-mail. You must contact Student Conduct and Advocacy within the dates stated on the appearance referral to schedule your hearing.

If you are unsure when your hearing will be, contact Student Conduct and Advocacy. You are responsible for ensuring the completion of your hearing and other obligations.

Step 4. Attend your hearing

Your initial hearing will be a meeting between you and a University Hearing Representative. At the hearing, you will be informed of the charges against you, learn about your rights, and discuss the incident. You and the Hearing Representative will also discuss your responsibility in the incident and what an appropriate outcome should be, including any sanctions. You may have the opportunity to reach a plea agreement during your hearing.

If you accept “responsibility” for the campus charges

  • You may be assigned sanctions
  • You will have the opportunity for a justice review, during which a student justice will explain the sanctions, and make sure you understand what you have accepted

If you cannot come to an agreement with the Student-Wide Judiciary

  • You can plead “not responsible”
  • You can choose to appear before a panel of student justices or have an administrative hearing

Step 5. Appeal your decision (optional)

You can appeal a decision from the Student-Wide Judiciary. However, please note that appeals are only granted on the basis of procedural error and must be filed within a specific timeframe. You can find more information about appeals in the Rules of Procedure.

Step 6. Complete your sanctions (if applicable)

You may be assigned sanctions as part of your case. Sanctions are not meant to simply punish you. Instead, they are designed to help you learn and grow, while providing justice to the University community. Sanctions are usually determined by agreement between the student and University Hearing Representatives, but can be assigned by the Student-Wide Judiciary. While sanctions are determined on a case-by-case basis, some examples of common sanctions include:

  • Warnings
  • Alcohol and other drug education classes
  • Restitution
  • Community service
  • Loss of privileges
  • Counseling
  • Probation
  • Other sanctions as may be deemed appropriate

Jurisdiction

The Student-Wide Judiciary may have jurisdiction over numerous University-related issues, including:

  • Violations of the Student Code of Conduct and other University rules and regulations
  • Student elections
  • Disputes between student governments

An Alternative to the Student-Wide Judiciary

If you prefer not to meet with the Student-Wide Judiciary, you can request an administrative hearing. In an administrative hearing, campus administrators would decide your case. You can ask about this option in your initial meeting with the Student-Wide Judiciary, or contact the director of Student Conduct and Advocacy.

Get an Advisor for Hearings

A University hearing is a student conduct matter, not a criminal proceeding. You are not required to have an advisor or lawyer, but you have the right to be assisted by an advisor of your choosing throughout the conduct process. An advisor can help you prepare for your hearings, and may also attend the hearings with you. You are not required to have an advisor — it’s your choice.

Who Can Be My Advisor?

The advisor can be anyone of your choosing, including:

  • Another student
  • Faculty member
  • Staff member
  • Parent or family member
  • Friend
  • Lawyer

How to Get an Advisor

If You Know Who You Want to Advise You

If You Do Not Have an Advisor

You can contact your preferred advisor directly, and ask them to help you.

SBI Legal Assistance will provide an advisor upon request. SBI Legal Assistance Advisors are law students trained in dispute resolution and familiar with the procedures of the Student-Wide Judiciary. In addition, SBI Legal Assistance provides free legal services to all university students.


> Contact SBI Legal Assistance

The advisor may not represent you or speak on your behalf during any step of the process, as all students are expected to represent themselves.

For More Information

University at Buffalo
9 Norton Hall, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: (716) 645-6154; Fax: (716) 645-3376