After a year-long hiatus, the Residential Judicial Council is back in action after undergoing a series of revisions designed to make it more accessible to the student body.

According to Ed Gilhool, associate director of the Office of Residence Life, the year-long break was time well spent.

“Now, there are more opportunities for student investment and an increase in the number of cases that will go before the council,” he said.

The RJC was originally created in 1999 as a way for students to have a hand in dealing with the student conduct issues that arose during that school year. The body hears student code of conduct cases of category A and some category B violations, doling out sanctions and punishments. Operating similarly to the Honor Council, the RJC is meant to encourage an atmosphere of student responsibility, accountability and trust around campus.

In recent years, however, after lack of student interest and falling case rates, in 2009 the university announced that the organization would cease to operate for a year while structural changes were made. A steering committee held town halls and created a plan for a new council, which was approved at the end of last year.

In order to increase student involvement, the council introduced elections for the student-held positions on the council, which is composed of 12 student representatives along with administrative officials, residential administrators and hall directors. Until this year, the student seats on the council were filled on a volunteer basis.

“I’m excited to see how RJC will operate with its new structure. While the intention of the council was always good, it clearly needed to operate under a different format,” said Tyler Sax (COL ’13), a former Georgetown University Student Association senator.

Dalvin Butler (COL ’13), Interhall’s vice president of external affairs, said the elections represent a shift for the council.

“There will definitely be more student input that will provide a different approach to the system, but I think the disciplinary actions that the RJC will take will be practically the same as it has been in the past,” Butler said.

According to Gilhool, the council is still working on a recruitment plan to select three freshmen to serve this year. Applications will soon be posted on the Office of Residence Life’s website.

For sophomores and freshmen who entered the university while the council was not operating, the RJC may be an unknown entity.

“After taking a year off, RJC definitely has some work to do before they become a ‘household name’ around campus again,” Sax said.

But some students see promise in the new, revised council.

“Anytime there is a democratically elected group of students who are motivated and responsible, there are definitely going to be positive results from that,” Jack Miossi (COL ’15) said. “I’m excited to see what happens.”

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