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JudComm Rules

Please note: These rules are the most accurate that we can find. They appear to have been last revised in 1997. If a more recent version is found, these rules will be updated.

Article I: Preamble

This code is to be used as a guideline and statement of principles for residents of Burton-Conner. It is written with the intention of being flexible and responsive to the needs of future Burton-Conner residents. However, we are all, in a larger sense, members of the M.I.T. Community and residents of Cambridge, and so must recognize these jurisdictions. Members of the Burton-Conner Judicial Committee have the responsibility to notify the Dean's Office in all matters which extend beyond the scope of this document. Burton-Conner is a communal living group. Although it is true that sometimes residents use the House as merely a room in which to sleep and study, it is our hope that people will create a sense of community, at least within the suites and floors. For Burton-Conner to function as a communal living group, people must communicate and strive for understanding with fellow residents. Hopefully, in this way, unnecessary referral to the Judicial Committee will be avoided. In all situations, it is the responsibility of all residents to respect the individual rights of others. This code exists as a directive on how to deal with conflicts.

Article II: Principles

The following principles are only to be used by the Judicial Committee to aid in the interpretation of the rules in Article III of this document:

  1. Every individual has the right to:
    1. treatment with dignity due him or her as a human being;
    2. his or her own beliefs;
    3. personal safety and security of personal property;
    4. privacy;
    5. reasonable sleep, study and living conditions;
    6. a hearing of personal grievances;
    7. due process and a speedy trial.
  2. In accordance with the above rights, every resident in a suite also has the right to:
    1. reasonable living conditions in his or her suite; and
    2. free use of its facilities.
  3. In accordance with these rights, every floor has the right to:
    1. control the access of non-floor members to floor functions; and
    2. formulate policy to insure the security of the members and property of the floor.

Article III: Rules

The following are the rules of Burton-Conner. Any violation of these rules constitutes an offense which may be brought before a Judicial Committee hearing.

  1. No student residing in Burton-Conner can conduct a business operation from his or her room or use his or her Burton-Conner address for commercial purposes.
  2. Pets - the term pets includes mammals, birds, and reptiles. Possession of pets is a violation of the Basic Regulations of the Institute Houses. Because of this, a pet may be removed at any time by the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs, or by the Housing and Food Services Office. Ownership of a pet will be condoned by Burton-Conner only if the pet creates no nuisance, inconvenience or hardship to any resident and if the owner agrees in writing with the Judicial Committee to pay for any damages caused by the pet. This may include a complete cleaning renovation of the areas in which the pet lived due to the presence of the pets dander, hair, etc.
  3. No person may intentionally, or through negligence, cause damage to the House, its property, its rented gaming or vending machines, or the grounds of Burton-Conner.
  4. Any acts which are harmful to the well-being and/or personal property of residents are forbidden.
  5. Tampering with the Burton-Conner electrical equipment is forbidden.
  6. Deliberate misuse of House equipment and facilities is forbidden.
  7. Quiet hours shall be as follows: midnight through 10:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and 2:00 a.m. through 10:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. During Finals week, quiet hours shall be: 10:00 p.m. to noon except on Saturday evening, when they will not begin until 2:00 a.m. Sunday.
  8. Excessive noise disturbances are forbidden at all times.
  9. Presence on fire escapes is forbidden except in the case of an emergency.
  10. Exiting through an alarmed door is prohibited except in the case of an emergency.
  11. Presence on the roof is forbidden without the permission of the House Manager.
  12. Willful damage to the pinball and vending machines or snackbar is forbidden.
  13. Phone-hacking is forbidden.
  14. No resident or group of residents may allow their room or suite to become so filthy as to constitute a health hazard.
  15. Persons in a room or suite not their own must leave upon request of a resident of that room or suite unless invited by a resident of that room or suite then present.
  16. Any person or group that uses a lounge will be held responsible for its being left in good condition. Any large group using a lounge must have it signed out.
  17. Any item signed out from the desk and kept overnight must be returned within two hours after the desk opens the following morning.
  18. Unauthorized possession or use of keys to the rooms, suites or lounges of Burton-Conner is forbidden.
  19. The manufacture, storage, or use of dangerous or flammable chemicals, explosives, or ammunition in the House is forbidden. Detonation of firecrackers or other explosives from or within the House is forbidden. The use of gasoline is forbidden and gasoline engines may be brought into the House only with the approval of the Manager and only if safety guidelines are observed.
  20. Storage of firearms, air rifles, air pistols, and ammunition for them is not permitted in the House.
  21. Setting things ablaze inside the House is forbidden.
  22. Missilery: the throwing or propelling of missiles of any kind within, into, or out of Burton-Conner, which constitutes a danger to life, body, or property is prohibited.
  23. Drugs: the posseession, use, knowledge, or sale of certain drugs is illegal. Burton-Conner makes no attempt to regulate the private use of drugs within the building; however, such an offense is liable to prosecution under state and federal law.
  24. Smoking of tobacco products is prohibited inside of Burton-Conner.

Article IV: Hearings

A. Convocation

The Judicial Committee may conduct a hearing. Such a hearing shall be convened by the Chairman of the Judicial Committee at the request of any member, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The Judicial Committee Chairman shall receive from the plaintiff a letter outlining the facts of the incident that precipitates the request for a hearing and the rules of Burton-Conner that the plaintiff believes were violated.
  2. The Chairman shall provide written notice of the hearing to the parties involved at least 48 hours prior to the hearing.
    1. Notice to the plaintiff shall include:
      1. the time and place of the hearing; and
      2. the right of the plaintiff to bring witnesses to the hearing.
    2. Notice to the defendant shall include:
      1. the time and place of the hearing;
      2. the right of the defendant to bring witnesses to the hearing;
      3. a copy of the letter received by the Chairman from the plaintiff outlining the case; and
      4. the caveat that the failure to appear without the prior permission of the Chairman shall not prevent the Judicial Committee from rendering a decision.
  3. Notice of the hearing shall be posted in the House twenty-four hours before the time of the hearing.
  4. If the Judicial Committee Chairman is a party to an incident that a resident of Burton-Conner brings to the attention of a Judicial Committee member, that member shall convene a meeting of the Judicial Committee. Said meeting shall exclude the Chairman and shall elect an Acting Chairman, to be chosen from the Judicial Committee, for all affairs pertaining to said incident.

B. Procedure

  1. If a Judicial Committee member is a party to a hearing, that member may not serve on the Judicial Committee at that hearing.
  2. Any member of the Judicial Committee deemed by the majority of the Judicial Committee to have a significant personal interest in a case shall be disqualified from the hearing. The member in question may participate and vote in the decision to disqualify.
  3. All hearings shall be open to spectators unless the Judicial Committee unanimously votes to close the hearing.
  4. The Chairman shall cause the removal of any disorderly, unruly, or contemptuous person from the hearing and maintain strict order and decorum.
  5. A majority of the members eligible to vote shall conduct hearings. There shall be no proxies.
  6. Before admitting evidence, the Chairman must announce the following regulations:
    1. Only pertinent testimony will be permitted. The Chairman shall be the judge of pertinence.
    2. Lying before the Judicial Committee is a serious offense and is sufficient grounds for disciplinary action.
    3. No witness is required to answer a question, and such refusal will not be considered by the Committee in reaching a decision.
    4. No charges other than those specified in the letter of notification may be considered.
    5. Only evidence presented at the hearing may be considered by the Committee in reaching a verdict. If, however, the Committee renders a verdict of guilty, the Committee, in imposing penalties, shall take into consideration all relevant factors known to it.
  7. The Judicial Committee Chairman shall read the complaint brought to the Committee and allow the defendant to enter a plea.
  8. The defendant will be allowed to respond to all evidence presented at the hearing.
  9. Following the hearing of all evidence, the Judicial Committee shall go into private deliberation until a decision is reached.
  10. The Judicial Committee may decide to acquit the accused, refer the case to the Dormitory Council Judicial Committee, or find the accused guilty and impose any combination of penalties listed in Article V.
  11. Written notice shall be given the accused. Such notice shall include the procedure of appeal, where applicable.
  12. Written records of all hearings shall be kept in confidential form by the Judicial Committee Chairman, who shall file a statement with the Dormitory Council Judicial Committee listing charges, parties involved and the decision rendered, within one week of the hearing. Unless the hearing committee unanimously agrees that the release of the information would do irreparable harm, notice of the decision shall be posted in the House. The Judicial Committee shall keep a file of such statements, together with similar records of its own hearings. These files and matters discussed in closed hearings and private deliberations shall be treated as confidential and no member shall disclose them.

Article V: Possible Judgments

  1. Judicial Committee reprimand.
  2. Judicial Committee probation (terms for the satisfactory completion of the probation may be stated).
  3. Withdrawal or suspension of certain privileges and/or the assignment of appropriate and reasonable duties in and around the House.
  4. Recommendation to the Dean's Office for Dean's Office probation (entered upon the student's Dean's Office file but removed two years after graduation).
  5. Recommendation of permanent probation (permanently entered upon the record with the approval of the Dean for Student Affairs and the Faculty Committee on Discipline).
  6. Payment of damages, including those damages not directly assessed to Burton-Conner.
  7. Extension of a fine assessed to Burton-Conner to those individuals responsible.
  8. Removal from office in the dormitory system, or permanent barring from office.
  9. Recommendation to the Dean's Office for removal from Burton-Conner. Dormitories receiving applications from an expelled member of Burton-Conner will be provided with the full particulars of the judicial action by the President of Burton-Conner.
  10. Recommendation to the Dean's Office for expulsion from the undergraduate dormitories.
  11. Recommendation to the Faculty Committee on Discipline to recommend to the President of the Institute to suspend or expel the student from the Institute.
  12. Judicial Committee fine. This fine shall not exceed $500 per student per term. Finable offenses are vandalism, physically dangerous acts and excessive noise, as listed under Article III (Rules). The minimum fine in all cases shall be $10.

Article VI: Amendments

An amendment to this Judicial Code may occur at any House Meeting. It must be presented in writing on the agenda to the meeting in the exact wording in which it is to be debated. The amendment shall be posted. A simple majority of those voting shall be required for passage.