The Student Court
The mission of the Student Court of Justice is to enhance the general welfare of students at North Dakota State University by safeguarding the integrity of the Student Body Constitution and its subordinate statutes.
The Student Court is the judicial branch of Student Government and is empowered to interpret and enforce the Constitution and the Statutes of the North Dakota State University Student Government. The judiciary is responsible for hearing Election Code violations and serving as a resource for Student Government, its agencies, and Student Organizations. Members of the Court consist of 7 Associate Justices, an Assistant Justice, and a Chief Justice who is chosen by majority of the Justices. Justices are appointed by the Student Body President and confirmed by a majority of the Student Senate. Overall, the Student Court protects North Dakota State University (NDSU) students' rights and upholds the integrity of the Student Body Constitution.
Responsibilities of the Court
The Student Court of Justice plays an active role in Student Government through its handling of a myriad of responsibilities, most notably affairs relating to Cases and Appeals, the Student Body Constitution, and Elections.
Cases and Appeals
As per the Student Body Constitution, students shall have the right to present a case before the Student Court.
During a case hearing, the plaintiff and defendant shall plead before the Student Court - offering arguments, evidence, rebuttals, counter evidence, and cross-examination while also answering questions presented by the Court Justices. Following the hearing, the Court Justices shall deliberate in seclusion until they determine they are ready to make a decision on the case. A majority vote by the Court Justices is required for a decision, which subsequently shall be presented in writing and made available to the public.
The Student Court possesses final jurisdiction in cases involving the violation of the Student Body Constitution, Student Government Code, Student Senate legislation, and Executive Commissioner Guidelines. This jurisdiction is original except in cases involving residential areas.
The Student Court has final and original jurisdiction in cases pertaining to conflict involving any recognized Student Organization, excluding Fraternity and Sorority Life.
Student Body Constitution
The Student Body Constitution promotes the well-being of and provides opportunities to enhance the lives of students and NDSU. The Student Court of Justice is the guardian of the Constitution and possesses final jurisdiction on its interpretation.
The Student Court works with the other branches of Student Government to ensure their actions and motives support the Constitution and all other governing documents. This requires Court Justices to be well-versed in the documents and to frequently review their guidelines, rules, and procedures. Furthermore, the Court can be used as a resource during Student Senate meetings and other Student Government functions to clarify the language of governing documents.
If you as an individual or as a representative of a Student Organization feel that you are a victim of an action which violates the Student Body Constitution, contact a member of the Student Court.
The Student Court manages the Homecoming Elections in the fall and the Student Body Elections in the spring. The Court possesses final jurisdiction on cases involving Student Body Elections.
The Student Court works in conjunction with the Office of Public Relations to promote Student Body Elections to the public.
To protect the validity of the election process, the Student Court authors a Student Body Election Code. This document must be submitted to the Student Senate for approval at least two weeks before the end of the fall semester. The Student Body Election Code creates a good-natured and open environment for the elections by establishing rules, guidelines, definitions, a schedule of deadlines and events, and contingency plans in the event of irregular circumstances.
The Student Court validates the signatures collected for either an Amendment to the Student Body Constitution or a candidate running for elected office to appear on the ballot.
At the conclusion of the Student Body Elections, the Student Court certifies the election results, declaring them valid and free from any material distortion.
Sunday’s @ 4:30 PM in the Student Government Office. All meetings of the Student Court are open to the public.