/ Student Life

Greek Judicial Board

The Hope College Greek Judicial Board offers students the opportunity to develop self-discipline and responsibility in coordination with their peers.

The responsibility of holding organizations accountable for their actions has been given to the Greek Judicial Board with the idea that self governance would be the healthiest form of accountability. This board allows students and Greek organizations to be aware of college policies and their impact on the campus and themselves. The board also allows students who serve the opportunity to handle the responsibilities of adjudicating violations campus policies.

The board approaches each organization in a positive manner. It is the goal of the board to instruct students on the responsibilities involved with being a member of both the Hope and Holland communities. The sanctions that follow a group being found in violation are not intended to punish, but to educate. This allows the involved student an opportunity to understand the consequences of their behavior, foster respect for the rights of others and encourages self-discipline. All members of the Greek Judicial Board should strive to discover the educational significance of the board's actions.

Table of Contents

  1. Constitution
    1. Preamble
    2. Board Membership
      1. Participants
      2. Membership Selection
      3. Chair and Vice-Chair
      4. Faculty Membership
      5. Advisor
      6. Board Vacancies
    3. Judicial Board Member Responsibilities
      1. Member Responsibilities
      2. Judicial Board Chair Responsibilities
      3. Vice-Chair Responsibilities
      4. Judicial Board Advisor Responsibilities
      5. Terms for removal of Judicial Board Member
    4. Complaint Procedure
    5. Judicial Process
  2. Judicial Board Hearing Procedure Outline
    1. Initial Judicial Review
    2. Pre-Hearing
    3. The Hearing
    4. Deliberation
    5. Post-Hearing
    6. Appeal Process



The mission of Hope College is to offer with recognized excellence, academic programs in liberal arts, in the setting of a residential, undergraduate, coeducational college, and in the context of the historic Christian faith. The rules and regulations at Hope are agreements among the members of the College community. The Campus Life Board, composed of faculty, staff, and students, has the responsibility for creating and changing the standards, which govern campus behavior. Students at this college who are members of Greek organizations are obligated to follow the same rules as all other students. Furthermore, students who are members of Greek organizations are subject to a unique set of guidelines that do not apply to the independent student. These guidelines are consistent with what Greek organizations hold as ideals and values of their organizations and the Greek community. For this reason, it is necessary to establish the Greek Judicial Board to serve the purpose of Greek organizations holding each other accountable to these standards. This Greek Judicial Board was designed to be fair, consistent, and allow for peer review of allegations of irresponsible behavior.

The tenets of the Greek Judicial Board are as follows:

  • To consider the facts fully and carefully before resolving any case.
  • To speak candidly and honestly with each student.
  • To hold each organization to a high standard of behavior, both to protect the campus community, and to promote student moral development.
  • To recognize the reality of human fallibility, as well as the stresses associated with collegiate life, and to demonstrate compassion and understanding.
  • To support the mission of Hope College through the practices of the Greek Judicial Board.

Board Membership

  1. The membership of Greek Judicial Board will be obtained from the participants of the Greek community and faculty appointments.
    1. Representation will be as follows: One delegate and alternate from each organization, one Chair, one Vice-Chair and four faculty members.
    2. The advisor to the Board will be designated by the Student Development Office and will not have a voice in vote.
  2. Membership Selection
    1. Students must have an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5or above.
    2. Students must be free of any judicial probation during the time of application and during the term of service.
    3. Membership on the Board is for one academic year.
    4. Students selected to serve on the Board must attend the training sessions coordinated by the Board's advisor.
    5. Every Greek organization must submit at least three potential candidates for the Greek Judicial Board. Each candidate will complete the application and interview process.
    6. The interview process for selection to the Board will be coordinated by the advisor to the Board and the Presidents of Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils.
    7. Selection to the Board will be determined by the advisor considering information collected during the interview process, letters of recommendation and application.
    8. Every effort will be made to have a representative and an alternate from each Greek organization on the Greek Judicial Board. However, if there are not enough qualified or interested members from one or more Greek organizations then the board may not have representation from each group.
  3. Chair and Vice-Chair
    1. The Chair and Vice-Chair will be selected to serve in their respective capacities by the advisor and the Presidents of the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils from the pool of selected applicants.
    2. The alternates of the Chair and Vice-Chair's organizations will replace their position on the board.
  4. Faculty Membership
    1. Faculty members to the Board are selected through the Provost's Office.
    2. Notification will be sent to Student Development about Faculty appointments at the beginning of the academic year.
  5. Advisor
    1. The advisor to the Board will be appointed by the Greek Coordinator.
    2. Concerns about the appointment of the advisor may be brought to the Greek Coordinator by the Chair of the Board.
  6. Board Vacancies
    1. If a vacancy appears on the Board, the organization may present candidates for membership.
    2. Any vacancies that may occur on the Board will be filled through the normal selection process as soon as possible.
    3. If two representatives from a single organization are expelled from the Greek Judicial Board, the Board by two-thirds (2/3) vote may deny representation to that organization.

Judicial Board Member Responsibilities

  1. Member Responsibilities
    1. Members are responsible for understanding Hope College and Greek policies and procedures.
    2. Members must attend all scheduled training sessions and meetings of the Greek Judicial Board.
    3. Each member must be willing to sign a form of confidentiality prior to serving on the Board. If confidentiality is broken, the member will be subject to dismissal and further judicial action.
    4. Members must remove themselves from a hearing if they feel they cannot work with the case in an unbiased manner. Members of organizations who are involved in hearings will remove themselves from the hearing.
    5. Members are responsible for reading all incident reports and supporting documentation before hearing the case.
    6. Members are responsible for establishing lines of questioning appropriate to the case at hand in an attempt to best clarify the facts.
    7. Members are responsible for listening to all parties involved with the incident.
    8. Members are responsible for understanding the educational purpose of the Greek Judicial Board and to implement this purpose through all decisions.
    9. Members are responsible for rendering decisions as to whether or not a violation has occurred and to recommend appropriate sanctions for violations.
    10. Members should regard the confidentiality of all judicial hearings. Information should not be disclosed to any person, other than board members or College employees designated as participants in the College conduct system. This includes any deliberation or the votes of individual members.
    11. Any member who is placed on probation, withheld suspension or suspension status as a result of a violation of college policy must resign from his/her Judicial Board position.
  2. Judicial Board Chair Responsibilities
    1. The Chair is primarily responsible for administering and overseeing the hearing process.
    2. He/she will start the hearings and oversee their orderly and fair progression.
    3. The Chair is also an active member of the Board in that he/she may ask questions and participate in the voting in the case of a tie.
    4. He/she completes the required paperwork at the conclusion of each hearing.
    5. The Chair is responsible for meeting with the advisor to review upcoming hearings.
    6. The Chair, supported by the advisor, is the primary person who speaks directly to the alleged violator outside of the questioning process.
    7. The Chair can relate relevant events of the proceedings at a later date if necessary (i.e. appeal hearings).
    8. The chair notes the existence of any prior violations after the Board has made the current determination of violation.
  3. Vice-Chair Responsibilities
    1. The Vice-Chair will work closely with the Chair and advisor in keeping accurate records of each hearings proceedings.
    2. The Vice-Chair ensures that written notes are being taken during hearings.
    3. The Vice-Chair will assume the role as Chair in the absence of the actual Chair of the Board.
  4. Judicial Board Advisor Responsibilities
    1. The Advisor is responsible for the overall selection and training of the Judicial Board members.
    2. The Advisor is responsible for supervising the Chair in assuring that due process and that the Board maintains fairness.
    3. The Advisor serves as a College official at the proceedings to answer any questions regarding policies and sanctions.
    4. In the event of an unusual situation, the Advisor may assume control of the situation by suspending the hearing for a brief time, suspend the hearing until a later date and/or have the case be heard by an administrative officer.
    5. The Advisor can facilitate the Board in its decision making process by remaining bias and relaying precedents in regards to sanctions. The Advisor may not recommend sanctions.
  5. Terms for removal of Judicial Board Members
    1. A member of the Judicial Board is subject to dismissal for failure to comply with any of the responsibilities outlined in "Judicial Board Member Responsibilities."
    2. All suspected violations of the responsibilities as listed must be submitted in writing to the Advisor. All letters must be signed by the person bringing forward the violation. The accused will have the opportunity to speak to the allegations in a conference with the Greek Coordinator and Greek Judicial Board Advisor.
    3. If a person is dismissed, he/she will be informed verbally and by letter.
    4. Furthermore, if a Board member is allegedly involved in a violation of College policy, that member may not go before the Judicial Board. An administrative hearing officer will resolve the member's case.
    5. If two representatives from a single organization are expelled from the Greek Judicial Board, the Board by two-thirds (2/3) vote may deny representation to that organization.

Complaint Procedure

There are three categories of infractions: violations exclusively of Greek rules, violations of both Greek and College rules, and violations of exclusively college rules. Student violations are directed to the appropriate judicial committee or board. Each individual case is evaluated on its own, and then the option is selected.

  1. Any violations of exclusively Greek rules, as previously determined by Greek Council, may be reported directly to the Chair or Vice-chair of the Greek Judicial Board. In addition, the advisor may receive complaints from members of the Hope College Community. The Chair of the Greek Judicial Board, the Presidents of Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils and the Advisor to the Greek Judicial Board will review the alleged policy violations and determine if the case will be heard by the Greek Judicial Board or other judicial avenues at the College when appropriate. The Greek Judicial Board will inform the Student Development Office of its actions.
  2. In cases where there is shared jurisdiction between the Greek Judicial Board and the Student Judicial Board then the chairs of the respective boards, with both advisors, will meet to discuss where the case should be heard. If a decision cannot be reached, the group may consult with the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or agree that both bodies should hear the case.
  3. Any violation exclusively involving College policy should be reported directly to the Student Development Office. The Chair and Vice-Chair of Greek Judicial Board will be notified; however, the case will remain in the Student Development Office.
  4. During Rush and New Member Education, if a complaint is taken which violates the Rush and New Member Education Guidelines, the Chair and/or Vice-Chair and Advisor must be notified immediately. They will determine the severity of the complaint and act accordingly.
    1. If the complaint is an emergency, the Chair and Vice-Chair will immediately act to set a hearing. The hearing will be held as soon as possible, preferably within seventy two hours of notification of the incident.
    2. If the complaint is not an emergency, the Chair and Vice-Chair will follow the same procedure as above, but the hearing will take place within a week of notification of the incident.
    3. If the Student Development Office feels the need for immediate, direct intervention, they should attempt to notify the Chair or Vice-Chair prior or soon after of the action taken.
  5. If the person filing a complaint wishes to remain anonymous, he or she must submit a written document to the Advisor. His/her identity will be known only to the Chair or Advisor. If the Chair feels as though relevant, the relationship to the incident will be made known to the Greek Judicial Board. If the Board feels it is necessary, the relationship of the accuser to the incident shall be made known to the accused.
  6. If a complaint is made against the Chair and/or Vice-Chair's organizations, another Board member or members will be randomly chosen to conduct the hearing.

Judicial Process

  1. The Greek Judicial board must have at least five members of the board in order for a hearing to take place.
  2. The hearing will follow the general outline below. The actual format for the hearing can be found in the "Format for Conducting a Judicial Board Hearing."

Judicial Board Hearing Procedure Outline

All hearings are closed and confidential. Hearings will follow this general outline.

INITIAL JUDICIAL REVIEW (Accused, Chair and Advisor)

  1. The accused will meet with the Chair and Advisor to review their rights, review the charges and outline the judicial process.
  2. The organization is notified of the date, time and location for the hearing.

PRE-HEARING (Board only)

  1. Read the charge letter, initial judicial review and incident report.
  2. Check the sequence of events.
  3. Identify any nebulous areas or possible discrepancies in the incident report.
  4. Establish major areas for questioning both the witnesses and the alleged violator.
  5. Check recording quality of tape recorder.
  6. Any members who feel they are unable to hear the case based on the incident report should excuse themselves at this time.

The Hearing

  1. Introduction of everyone present.
  2. Philosophy of the Greek Judicial Board.
  3. Check to see if the student(s) or organization understands her/his rights.
  4. Review the Incident Report(s).
  5. Review the charge(s) and plea(s).
  6. The accused responds to the incident.
  7. The Board asks questions of the accused.
  8. The author(s) of the incident report responds to the incident.
  9. The Board and accused asks questions of the person(s) filing the incident report.
  10. Witnesses may be brought forward.
  11. The Board and accuser ask questions of the witnesses.
  12. Any member of the Board may ask either party any questions.
  13. After all questions have been asked the Chair ends the hearing, turns off the tape recorder and excuses everyone except for Board members.

Deliberation (Board only)

  1. Decide whether the information is clear and conflicts are resolved.
  2. Call for more testimony if needed.
  3. Make a decision based on the information you have (responsible or not responsible).
  4. Check for previous violations.
  5. The organization may be called back in to make a statement regarding previous violations.
  6. Determine the appropriate sanction.
  7. If the accused has been given proper notice and does not appear for the hearing, collect all the facts and make a determination as to whether a violation occurred and if so, the appropriate disciplinary sanction. During such a hearing, assume the organization did not commit a violation until the witnesses and/or documentation convince you otherwise. The burden of proof of misconduct will be on College bringing the charges before the Board.


  1. The decision of the Board is communicated to the organization by letter prepared and signed by the Chair. If found responsible, the letter will also explain any sanctions and outline the appeal process.
  2. All records and recorded tapes are to be kept in the Student Development Office.

Appeal Process

  1. The organization has the right to appeal the decision of the Greek Judicial Board. There are two means of appeal for students; one is the Student Standing and Appeals Committee and the second is the Dean of Students. Appeals to the Student Standing and Appeals Committee are only for disciplinary decisions or unsatisfactory academic progress that results in the suspension or expulsion of a student or organization. All other decisions are appealed to the Dean of Students. Both the Student Standing and Appeals Committee and the Dean of Students will review appeals on three criteria:
    1. The evidence did not warrant a finding of responsibility.
    2. The sanction was too severe.
    3. Due process was not followed.
  2. The organization is responsible for complying with the guidelines through which to submit appeals. This process is outlined in the Hope College Handbook of Selected College Policies.