The Student Judicial Council, which investigates alleged instances of student misconduct that fall beyond the Executive Committee’s jurisdiction of lying, cheating or stealing, received two new executive representatives following an election on Tuesday, March 20.
Andrew Agrippina, ‘19, was slated as chairman, and Daniel Clark, ‘20, was elected secretary by a student body-wide vote. Both students ran unopposed and have been serving on the council since their respective freshman years.
Andrew Agrippina, ’19
Andrew Agrippina, a rising senior and Atlanta, Ga. native majoring in business administration and minoring in creative writing, said he entered his freshman year ready to get involved with the long legacy of student government on campus. He used the knowledge he obtained from his brother, a 2015 Washington and Lee alum, to get involved with the Student Judicial Council.
This is his third year serving on the council. He served as secretary during the 2017-18 school year and is now the chairman-elect.
Although the SJC secretary typically ends up taking over the chairman role as he or she moves into senior year, Agrippina said he took the time to make sure he wanted the position before deciding to run.
“Coming into this year, I definitely didn’t want to run for chairman just because there was that natural progression,” Agrippina said. “I wanted to definitely be intentional, and think about it.”
The secretary-elect Daniel Clark described Agrippina as “support staff” for the rest of the SJC and said he is always there for everyone on the council, especially with the 2017-18 chairwoman, Sara Jones, ’18.
Agrippina said his work this year with Jones has given him experience and perspective that he can take into his own term next year.
“I think Sara’s taken the council in a great direction, and we’ve kind of been on the same page with a lot of things,” Agrippina said. “And ultimately, what it came down to, I figured that I would be the best at this position, and it would be the best way for me to serve the school my senior year.”
Agrippina intends to draw inspiration from Jones’s time as chairwoman. He said he wants to continue her initiative to speak to freshmen during orientation week and meet with each fraternity to help demystify the SJC’s purpose.
But he also has his own ideas.
Agrippina wants to coordinate with the administration to address some policy discrepancies between how the administration handles some first-time offenses, versus how the SJC addresses them.
Currently, the administration handles certain first-time offenses with accompanying sanctions, which includes fines.
“The SJC has kind of phased out monetary fines throughout the years,” Agrippina said. “It used to be a part of the sanctions, but then we kind of found that fines will affect different students disproportionately, based on socio-economic background and other factors.”
Agrippina would like to see fines phased out permanently from the administration as well and hopes to speak with the deans about making that happen. He wants to replace the monetary component with a “reasonable service hours alternative.”
Overall, Agrippina said he feels the SJC is where he can make the biggest difference within the community and is excited for the upcoming year.
Daniel Clark, ‘20
Daniel Clark, a rising junior from Brookhaven, Miss. majoring in physics and religion, said his love for his community motivated him to get involved with the Student Judicial Council. Now, he is gearing up for his third year of service and entering as the new secretary.
“I really do love this community, I love this campus,” Clark said. “I feel like we have a real culture of not just really great, impressive people but good people.”
Clark wanted a hand in making sure the campus remains safe and comfortable, as well as the chance to represent campus values. He said he felt he could achieve that as a part of the SJC.
He felt he was the most qualified person to advance from a justice to the secretary position, as he had the most SJC experience as a rising junior to handle a lot of the hands-on components that the position demands. He was also the only justice rising to the junior level, and typically a junior holds the position.
Clark admired the previous secretary, Andrew Agrippina, for his capabilities as both a support system and a communicator for the rest of the SJC.
What is most important to Clark is emphasizing the “good” of the W&L community. He feels that some of the new sanctioning the SJC introduced this year helps draw that out.
“We’ve actually introduced some pretty cool new stuff this year, I think, with some new creative sanctioning that really doesn’t punish for the sake of punishing but rather creates sanctions that really encourages people to correct their behavior, and allow them to continue contributing to this community,” Clark said. “Because they wouldn’t be here if they didn’t have some potential to really help out this community.”
He wants to make sure students in hearings understand which behaviors are not acceptable, while also knowing that they can continue to be valued members of the community.
Clark said it has been tough for him to spend long nights judging people for their mistakes, especially because so many are good people who messed up or “fell into a bad pattern of behavior.”
But he also believes his time on the SJC has been rewarding and that he has been able to make a positive impact in the community by “taking a hard line against things like drugs, assault, vandalism and drinking and driving.”
“In a lot of ways, being on the SJC has kind of been the defining aspect of my time here,” Clark said. “But I think really the biggest impact it’s had on my career here and my time here has been that when I’m doing the things I do outside of SJC, I can kind of have a greater pride in this community, because I see the people; they own their mistakes, and they are trying to improve their behavior. This is a community of honestly, I believe, good people, and I can believe in that, and I can rely on that.”
Student elections have now filled all vacancies for both the Executive Committee and the Student Judicial Council for the 2018-19 school year, until the Class of 2022 arrives on campus in the fall. The undergraduate class representatives for the EC are Gus Cross and Anna Daccache (Class of 2019), Will Bolton and Hannah Archer (Class of 2020), and Chase Calhoun and Graysen Doran (Class of 2021.) The SJC class reps are Joelle Simeu (Class of 2020) and Ryan Fulton (Class of 2021).
Molly Bush, ‘19, was elected to serve as the senior class justice. However, on March 29, the Student Election Commission emailed the current junior class informing them that Bush’s seat had been “vacated.”
Paige Williams, ‘19, was voted in to fill the seat in a special class election on April 5.