MEHLER | Further Detailing Cornell’s Restorative Judicial System 

In an article last week, Avery Bower ’23 expressed his frustrations with my recent column on Cornell’s judicial system. Those who disagree with what I write are always entitled to disagree, however, they are not entitled to lie, misrepresent and blatantly mislead the public about what is fact and fiction. After reading that article, I believe that more details of Cornell’s judicial system would better help characterize how this system sits in Cornell’s organizational structure as well as what actually occurs in mediations. Opinion columns, such as my own, are not places for line-by-line breakdowns of opposing viewpoints, however, some sentences in response to my article are outright false; those lines will be unraveled. Despite false claims, shared governance’s role in Cornell’s judicial system is alive and well with the University Assembly’s Codes and Judicial Committee actively participating.  As someone who sits on the UA’s CJC Committee, I can tell you that we are still involved in the judicial process and recently passed a resolution clarifying and affirming our role in this process.

MEHLER | Cornell’s Restorative Judicial System

On Aug. 2, 2022, the newly adopted Cornell Student Code of Conduct replaced the Cornell Campus Code of Conduct, significantly changing Cornell’s judicial system. While an article from The Cornell Daily Sun covered the changes before they actually occurred almost two years ago, there has been little coverage since due to the mostly private nature of student misconduct across campus. There were no articles about students being reprimanded for underage drinking and campus store theft then and there are no articles about it now. But for those who work directly with the new code, and for myself who has worked with both the old and new code, we have seen a dramatic and positive shift in how Cornell handles student misconduct.

I enrolled in ILRLR 4027: Campus Mediation Practicum in fall 2020, the first fully virtual semester and the third year of the CMP program. CMP trains undergraduates, graduate students  and law students to serve as peer mediators in judicial proceedings for students who have committed misconduct. The program has trained over 100 students in its seven-year lifespan and further trained dozens more to serve as mentors and handle more difficult cases in ILRLR 4029: Campus Mediation Practicum II: Advanced Issues in Restorative Justice.