Georgetown’s Residential Judicial Council will hold its first-ever elections next week, aiming to transform the campus’ perception of the organization.

The council, which was put on hiatus this year but is slated to resume activities in the fall, will fill nine vacant seats with members of the rising sophomore, junior and senior classes.  Incoming freshmen will elect three more members after their arrival on the Hilltop in the fall.

Voting will be conducted exclusively online and is set to start at 9 a.m. on the morning of Monday, April 11 and conclude at 5 p.m. on April 13.  Eligible voters will have access to the platforms submitted by candidates outlining each person’s reasons for running.

On behalf of the RJC Steering Committee, Ed Gilhool, associate director of Residence Life, wrote in an email that the organization has received interest from members of the student body.

“Candidate applications for RJC council member positions have been coming in over the course of the past week,” he said, though he did not specify the number of applications submitted.

According to Gilhool, the RJC will not release the names of the candidates until April 11.

Elections form the first step in a plan created by the RJC Steering Committee, InterHall and the Office of Residence Life to revamp the council’s image in response to skepticism about its fairness and efficiency.

The council acts as a student-run panel that resolves minor infractions committed by university dorm and apartment residents according to the  Code of Student Conduct.

Since the council only judges residential disputes, just those students assigned to live in university housing during the 2011 to 2012 school year will be allowed to vote.

Former InterHall Vice President of Student Advocacy Shea Houlihan (SFS ’13), who helped to plan RJC’s return, believes that the council plays an important role on the Hilltop.

“RJC is really one of the few avenues where students can reach the administration in a meaningful way,” he said.  “RJC is unique. It is difficult to call a club. It serves a different function than most student groups on campus.”

Houlihan said that while he cannot predict students’ reactions to the RJC elections, he and his colleagues hope to receive positive responses.

“I think people should recognize RJC is one of the areas where students can not only build community but hold each other accountable,” he said.

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