Office of Student Affairs
P.O. Box 5
Hampden Sydney, VA 23943
Based on endowment per student, Hampden-Sydney is in the top 25% of institutions of higher education.
The judicial power of Student Government is vested in the Student Court, a body composed of members elected by classes. The Court tries cases arising from breaches of the Code of Student Conduct and Honor Code violations, assisted by a corps of student investigators and advisors (see precise descriptions below).
Brandon A. Long '14
Luke C. Driscoll
Jackson M. Riley
Dylan S. Schlaak, alternate
Peter W. Dooley
Maxwell R. Zbinden
Michael E. Mey, alternate
Travis B. Goodloe
The Role of the Student Court Investigator
The duties of the investigator are to collect facts from the accused, witnesses, and the person(s) making the charge and to prepare a coherent, balanced account of same for presentation before the Court at the trial. He should bring in the accuser and pertinent witnesses to give first-hand accounts and to be questioned by the accused, the student advisor, and members of the Court. Then, of course, during the trial, the investigator has a moderately prosecutorial role in that he is obligated to point out discrepancies, to push for clarifications, and to make sure all the facts are presented. He also should keep the President of Student Government (for Honor cases), the Chairman of the Student Court (for Judicial cases), and the Dean of Students informed daily on the progress of the investigation.
Student Court Investigators
Matthew Kyle Davis
Role of the Student Advisor in Student Court Cases
The Student Advisor should understand the philosophy of the Honor Code and the Code of Student Conduct and the principles on which they are based. The Codes are means to an end of developing a responsible, honest person--a good man and a good citizen.
His role is much like that of the Investigator in that he should try to bring out the facts, understandably from the perspective of the defendant, but he in no way should attempt to undermine the Honor Code or Code of Student Conduct to which both the defendant and the advisor have obligations and loyalties. He is not to be an advocate any more than the Investigator is to be a strong prosecutor.
He should understand the role of the Investigator, the Student Government President (if an Honor case), Court procedures, and the proper way to conduct his business in the pre-trial and post-trial stages, as well as during the trial itself.
There is no privileged communication between advisor and defendant or advisor and witnesses. The advisor and the defendant are under the Honor Code at all times, and an advisor may not hold back, for instance, a private admission of guilt by a defendant who is maintaining his innocence before the Court or during the investigatory phase of the case. Also, an advisor may not knowingly participate in the presentation of a false-story defense before the Court or in the investigatory phase without himself violating the Honor Code.
The advisor may certainly discuss the range of penalties possible in a given case with a defendant or other Student Government officials, but he should not engage with the defendant or other persons in trying to predict what penalty a defendant may get if he pleads innocent and is found guilty, versus pleading guilty. In other words, his role is to try to ensure a fair trial and a balanced and honest defense for the defendant. He is not there to undermine the very Honor System he himself has sworn to uphold, in order to "get someone off."
Student Court Advisors