Honor Principle

Judicial Board Frequently Asked Questions

Why is confidentiality important?
See the web page on Judicial Board Confidentiality.

What would happen if I filed a complaint during the summer, or over winter break?
Your complaint would be heard by a Temporary Hearing Board. See Other Judicial Boards.

Can I file a complaint against more than one person?
Yes. If the incidents are unconnected, however, we recommend that you bring separate cases against each individual.

What are the role and responsibilities of a second during a hearing?
A second is primarily a source of emotional support for the complainant or respondent. Both complainant and respondent are allowed one second, who must be a member of the Reed community. During a hearing they may pass written questions to the PA, but may not submit evidence or testimony. The same person cannot normally serve as both a witness and a second in the same hearing. And of course, like all other participants they must keep all aspects of the case completely confidential, although they may divulge that they are a participant in a case as long as they do not divulge their role or the identity of any other participant.

What is a Procedural Aide, and what role do they play in a J-Board case?
The Procedural Aide (PA) acts as source of information for the parties called to a case, and is responsible for communicating information between involved parties and the Board. The PA answers questions, informs participants of their rights and obligations, and maintains the organization/distribution of documents in the case file. They are present for the hearing, but do not play any role in the deliberations of the case (they are not present, and can’t vote). The PA gives all parties personal assistance during a case, but does not discuss these communications with the Hearing Board. In this way the Hearing Board only receives information that is on the record for both complainant and respondent to see, thereby reducing the potential for bias.

Can I bring a complaint on behalf of someone else?
If you feel that there has been a violation of the Honor Principle or of college policy, you may bring a case forward. However, you cannot explicitly bring a case on another person’s “behalf” because your testimony is your own, and does not represent another person’s viewpoint. Were you to bring a case forward as a complainant regarding an incident(s) in which you were not directly involved, any other people who were more directly involved in the incident can only participate in the case as witnesses.

Who is an “accuser” and who is the “accused” in a case of sexual assault and how does that relate to the terms complainant and respondent?
The phrases “accuser” and “accused” in the context of sexual assault comes from the terminology of the Clery Act.

  • Accuser: the alleged victim of an act of sexual assault
  • Accused: the alleged perpetrator of an act of sexual assault
  • Complainant: the person who brings a formal case to a Judicial Board; this person may or may not be the alleged victim.
  • Respondent: the person named in a formal case to a Judicial Board as having allegedly violated the Honor Principle or college policy. In a case of sexual assault, the respondent is the same as the accused.
  • Witness: the alleged victim of sexual assault (the accuser) may appear in a case as a witness rather than as the complainant, or may chose not to participate at all.

In the Clery Act, the accuser and the accused (respondent) are allowed to release a number of pieces of information regarding the case following the completion of the process. Please see the section on Sexual Assault on the Confidentiality page.

If I need further information, whom should I contact?
There are a variety of resources that can be accessed.  A great initial resource is the Honor Council, one of whose roles is to provide information about the Honor Process to the community.  The Honor Council generally has office hours Monday-Thursday in their office on the bottom floor of the Gray Campus Center (GCC 033A). To contact Honor Council use hc-students@lists.reed.edu, or look at the Honor Council webpage for current office hours hours. To contact the J-Board use j-board@lists.reed.edu. To contact the Sexual Misconduct Board use smb@lists.reed.edu. To contact the chair of a board or the advisors to the adjudicatory boards, see the Members of Judicial Boards page.