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Video Transcript

Judicial Council Hearing*
Office of Judicial Affairs

(View Video)

*Note:  This hearing was filmed in the Spring 2011 semester. The rights and sanctioning descriptions were correct at that time but may be different at the time of your viewing.

 

Chair:  I’d like to let everyone know that these proceedings are recorded so the tape recording is now running.  This is a hearing of case number 10-0123 against Ivan Dabrowski for the judicial charge of Alcohol.  We do have a student rights form in our possession.  Ivan, is that your signature?

Student:  Yes, sir.

Chair:  Thank you.  At this point, let’s introduce the council and the accused.  We’ll start down here.  Please state your name and your role in the hearing please.

Board Member #1:  Daniel Dales, graduate student board member

Board Member #2:  Sam Wendels, student board member.

Board Member #3:  Erin Conley, faculty staff board member.

Chair:  Kurt Johnson, staff member, and I’ll be chairing the hearing.

Board Member #4:  Lorie Miller, faculty staff board member

Board Member #5:  Stuart Broughton, faculty staff board member

Board Member #6:  Jaclyn Pedini, student board member.

Student:  Ivan Dabrowski, accused student.

Advisor:  I’m Brandon Cline, faculty staff advisor

Chair:  Thank you very much.  I would like to remind everybody that this hearing board is a neutral, fact-finder.  We are not siding with anybody in this dispute and we will base our decision solely on the evidence that is presented to us.  The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether a violation of university policy has occurred and, if so, what should be done about it.  In a nutshell, here’s how the hearing is going to go.  The university will present its case and any witnesses for it.  At that point, the council will have an opportunity to ask the witness any questions and, Ivan, you will have an opportunity to ask the witness any questions as well.  Once that individual has had a chance to say what he or she needs to say and you have had your chance to ask questions, they’ll be excused.  At that point you’ll have an opportunity to state your case, what you know to have happened that night.  We will have an opportunity to ask you any questions regarding that.  If you have witnesses they will then be called.  According to the information I have you will not have any witnesses today, is that correct?

Student:  Correct.

Chair:  Thank you.  So then you will have an opportunity to present any concluding remarks that you would like us to hear or know about.  Once we have had an opportunity to finish asking any questions we may have you’ll be excused and then the council will go into closed deliberations where we determine whether or not you are responsible for the charge against you.  If you’re not responsible, that will be the end of it.  If you are responsible, then we will sanction and we will announce that sanction at that time.  Any questions about the procedures or what’s going to happen?  Everybody good?  You good, Ivan?

Student:  Yes sir.

Chair:  Okay.  You do have an advisor present.  I just want to let you know that you are not to address the board directly but feel free to confer with Ivan at any point and I will give you as much time as you need to talk to him.  Any questions about that?

Advisor:  No.

Chair:  Okay.  Here’s the applicable charge as the handbook states.  It is J38-101, Alcohol.  101.1 states that individuals must be 21 years of age to buy, possess, or drink alcoholic beverages and I believe that’s the most applicable alcohol charge in the book for this proceeding.  Any questions, council?  Ivan?

Student:  No.

Chair:  Okay.  Will you please get the witness for the university, please?  Okay, Katie, just to let you know these proceedings are all tape recorded so if you would please announce your name and your role in this hearing.

Witness:  My name is Katie Gee and I am a witness for the university.

Chair:  Okay, Katie, what can you tell us about the evening in question?

Witness:  I believe it was a Sunday night.  I was on my regular duty tour and I was walking around the dorm.  I heard some loud noises coming from section 2C so I proceeded to go in that section and they seemed like they were coming from Ivan’s door.  So I knocked and it took a while for anyone to open the door.  Finally, Ivan did open the door.  I explained to him that I had heard some loud noises and I just wanted to see what was going on.  As soon as I opened the door I could smell some alcohol coming from him so I asked if I could go in the room to check things out and he agreed.  So I walked in and I immediately noticed three other students sitting in the room along with some open containers of alcohol.  I asked if I could look in the fridge.  They agreed.  Everyone was pretty decent about letting me walk in the room and look around.  They opened the fridge and there were more cans of beer sitting on the shelves.  I asked if they could bring all the beer that they had in the room out and put it in the center.  They finally did do that and I asked if they had been drinking and they all admitted to have been drinking.

Chair:  Okay, council, any questions for Katie, please?

Board Member #1:  So Ivan was cooperative with you?

Witness:  He was.  Except for the little bit that it took him to open the door but that wasn’t necessarily uncooperative it just wasn’t timely.

Chair:  Katie, you mentioned that you smelled alcohol.  Are you certain that it was coming from Ivan’s person?

Witness:  Yeah, when I opened the door he was the only one in front of me at that point, I hadn’t even noticed there were other people in the room so when he opened the door I just smelled it right off of his breath.

Board Member #4:  Was Ivan the only resident of that particular room that was in there?

Witness:  I actually didn’t recognize the three other students in the room so I’m not sure if they were from another section within the same dorm or if they were even JMU students.

Board Member #5:  Was he slurring his speech any?

Witness:  To be honest, I didn’t notice any outwardness of being drunk but I did smell the alcohol pretty heavily coming from his breath though.

Chair:  Council, any further questions for Katie?

Board Member #3:  Were there any empty containers in the room already?

Witness:  I didn’t notice if any of them were empty.  There were several that had been opened.  I didn’t actually check the quantities as to whether they were fully gone or whether there was some in there but the ones in the fridge were also opened so whether or not they had…I can’t tell you how much they had, I do know that there were several open containers

Board Member #5:  Did you find out who purchased the alcohol or where it came from?

Witness:  I didn’t.

Chair:  Did anybody claim responsibility for all of the alcohol or did they just say that they all had been drinking?

Witness:  No one claimed direct responsibility.  When I did ask for all of the containers to be brought to the center of the room, they all took part in getting the containers.  I don’t know if they all belong to one person or not but they did all claim to be drinking.

Chair:  Council, anything else for Katie?  Okay, Ivan, do you have any questions for Katie?

Student:  Yeah.  Did I appear stable on my feet or were there any other signs that I was severely intoxicated?

Witness:  Like I said, I didn’t notice any drunken behavior other than the strong smell of alcohol coming from your breath.

Student:  Okay.  No more questions.

Chair:  Okay.  Council, any reason why we think Katie should stay on for the rest of the hearing or do you think she should be excused?  I don’t see any reason why she would need to stay.  Okay, Katie, thank you very much for your time, you are excused.

Witness:  Thank you.

Chair:  You’re welcome.  Okay, Ivan, at this time it is your opportunity to tell the board what happened.

Student:  Okay.  Well, like she said, it was a very accurate report.  I was just sitting with my friends, we were watching a football game.  I had a beer, that’s what she smelled, I take full responsibility for it.  I had a beer that night.

Chair:  Council, any questions for Ivan?

Board Member #3:  How often do you drink?

Student:  Honestly, I’m not a big drinker.  It was not even my beer.  I honestly don’t know whose it is.  I just, I come from Poland and I did drink there, often, but usually it’s like a casual drink, you know, with my family, my friends, something like that.  But here, in the United States, before I came I wasn’t aware that it’s under 21 years old and then you can’t drink so I don’t find alcohol to be a part of my life.  It’s just sometimes I feel alone and, not like I’m depressed or anything, I’m just trying to fit in with the group and a lot of students here do engage in drinking so I just kind of tag along with them and same thing happened that night.  I mean it was already at the end of the football game and we were just cheering for the team and they brought beers into my room.  I was not aware they were going to do it, I don’t know who brought it, they just brought a case and they were drinking and I was like, you know, I’ll just have a beer.  So I was just trying to fit in.  Not really a big part of me.

Board Member #1:  Do you ever drink by yourself or is it just with your friends?

Student:  No.  Not in the United States.  In Poland I used to.

Board Member #4:  Ivan, you had stated that you just had one beer.  Had you intended to drink more that night?

Student:  No, ma’am.  I did not intend to drink at all.  They didn’t pressure me to drink, I just wanted to fit in and I felt a little bit awkward.  So I had the one.  It wasn’t even finished, I almost finished it.

Chair:  Ivan, are you involved in any activities or clubs or anything at JMU?

Student:  I’m actually quite busy because I’m a pre-med student so I’m part of the med club, the pre-medicine club.  I went a couple times to the salsa dance, it was fun, but again I was a freshman so it was hard to fit in, but it was fun.  There’s a lot of things, I play sports, I play soccer, so I did intramural soccer.  I try to do the rock-wall climbing, it’s fun.  I never got to climb walls and I can do that here on campus so it’s fun.  I feel like I’m busy.  I don’t ever have free time.  If not, I sit in the library and study because I came here for a degree and that’s my number one thing.

Board Member #4:  These friends you were hanging out with that night, are they friends you usually hang out with, that usually do drink?

Student:  I guess.  I mean, they’re my friends but they’re not my best buddies that I can really trust.  I just tag along because I’m a social person, I like to talk to somebody about politics and stuff like that.  And usually, when I’m hanging out with them, they do drink.

Board Member #4:  Do you usually drink with them?

Student:  Honestly, I don’t think so.  I mean, yes, I have drank with them before but not all the time.  I think the majority of the time I don’t drink with them.

Board Member #5:  Do they usually try to convince you to drink?

Student:  No, they never pressure me.  They’ll offer me a drink, just “come on, fit in!” but they never pressure me.

Chair:  So, if you declined they would back off.

Student:  Yeah, I mean, they’ll be like “come on, come on” and then they’ll say “fine, whatever” and that will be it.

Board Member #2:  How has your transition been between Poland and the United States?  How is that going for you?

Student:  This is the difficult part, probably the reason I’m trying to fit in with a group.  I used to have a lot of true friends in Poland and I was very close with my family, still am.  But the physical distance plays a big role in it.  So I’m trying to fit in but I don’t think in Poland I had problems with drinking or anything like that.

Board Member #4:  How is school going for you?  You’ve talked about some of the things that you’ve tried to do and that you’re involved with, how’s your academics?

Student:  I honestly think it’s going all right.  Polish schools are a little more advanced in high school so the transition was not that bad.  It’s only the language barrier but work load I feel it’s the same.  My grades are okay.  I make mostly A’s.  I got a B in U.S. History because I just don’t know it.

Chair:  Anything else for Ivan?

Board Member #5:  Do you think you’ll still drink after this whole event?

Student:  Oh, no.  I already talked to my parents about it.  Before I came here I told you I didn’t know that you can’t drink under 21.  I’m really happy being here at the university because I feel like this is my opportunity to learn and to change and stuff.  I’m glad I don’t have any criminal record so I don’t get deported from the country.  So, this is going to change.  I don’t need alcohol in order to survive.  I mean, it can be part of my life once I come back home or once I turn 21 here in the United States.

Board Member #4:  Can you tell us some of the things you’re going to do differently now so this won’t happen again?

Student:  I already made plans.  It happened a long time ago so.  I do still go out.  I’m a student, I get frustrated with school work and stuff like that so I want to relax.  But I’m always safe about it.  I always have a safe ride or a bus.  And if I do go out, I stay away from alcohol and that’s my number one rule, even if somebody asks me, “can you hold my cup?” I say “no.”  I stay away from alcohol because I actually read clearly that anything, my body is a container and also I can be in possession holding it so I’m staying away from it.

Chair:  Anything else guys?  Okay, Ivan, normally at this point we would offer any witnesses you may have but since you don’t have any witnesses, is there anything else that you would like the council to know?

Student:  I’ll just sum up my whole story.  I just want you to know that I don’t have any drinking problem and I’m not depressed here at the university at all.  I feel that JMU is a great thing that happened in my life.  It just, I feel a little bit separated from my family and my friends, that’s why this incident occurred but I guarantee it won’t happen ever again.

Chair:  Ivan, at this point the council will go into closed deliberations and we will determine your responsibility for this charge.  So you can head back out that way and then when we’re ready for you, we’ll call you back in.

Student:  Okay.

Chair:  Okay?  Thank you.

Chair:  Okay, this a resumption of case number 10-0123 for the charge of alcohol against Ivan Dabrowski.  Ivan, I want to let you know that the council has found you responsible for alcohol and the following sanctions will apply.  You will be on probation through the end of the Fall semester 2011 and additionally you have been assigned to Civic Learning Mentor Experience.  That is to be completed by the end of the Fall 2011 and that will be a fifteen hour requirement.  So you have the rest of this year and the entire fall semester to complete those hours.  And you’ll need to contact the Judicial Affairs office, the office that you’ve been working with through this entire proceeding, to schedule the Mentor Experience.  If you choose to appeal this decision, you will have until 5 pm on Wednesday, February 16 and you will come to this office to do that.  Here’s a copy for your records and again you do have an opportunity to appeal.  That information is on the back page and you would need to contact the Judicial Affairs office for that.

Student:  Okay.

Chair:  Okay?  All right, that concludes these proceedings.  Thank you, Ivan.

Student:  Thank you.
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