First Year Judiciary Committee

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What is the First Year Judiciary Committee (FYJC)?

The First-Year Judiciary Committee is a group of twelve first year students who sit as judges on cases of alleged violations of the Standards of Conducted committed by first-year students. This arrangement affords First-Year students a true trial by peers, ensuring that the individuals hearing the case can identify with the unique transition experience that is the first year at UVA. While it does serve as a subsidiary of the UJC, the FYJC is granted the same sanctioning latitude as the UJC and operates under the same by-laws and trial procedures. From among themselves, the FYJC elect both a chair and a vice-chair to lead the body. They are advised by UJC Vice Chair for First Years, Sam Powers.

Why Should You Join FYJC?

Being on FYJC affords first-year students a unique opportunity to directly affect the culture and direction of the University of Virginia. Those on FY regularly grapple with difficult issues facing a diverse range of student experiences and crafting thoughtful, educative sanctions can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Students from all over the university and from a variety of backgrounds join the FYJC each year. It is a misnomer to believe that an interest in politics or law is a prerequisite to joining; it is more about caring deeply about the community and desiring to make a difference.

How to Apply to Join the FYJC

The application process for the FYJC occurs in three stages. The written application will be released on Monday, August 27. It will consist of a few, short essay-type questions. This application is due by Wednesday, September 12. In this application for FYJC, your writing skills will not be evaluated; rather we are looking for candidates who have thought critically about being in the role of a judge on a trial panel. After the initial written application, we will extend offers for a group interview designed to evaluate your ability to think critically and work collaboratively in the context of a mock UJC case. Following, the final round will consist of an individual interview with VCFY Sam Powers and a member of a past FYJC. Individuals who are not invited to advance at any stage of the selection process may still apply to be a counselor, investigator, or educator.

What Makes a Good FYJC Candidate?

There is no ideal FYJC judge. We are looking for a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and philosophies. Every year, individuals join for a variety of reasons. However, common traits of successful pas candidates have included individuals who have a propensity for empathy and compassion, who can adeptly view an issue from multiple sides and actively seek to understand others’ perspectives, who have a strong willingness to work as team members, who are passionate about justice and education, and who care deeply about the UVA community. These qualities are by no means criteria for being a good judge and we always welcome a new outlook on UJC and its work!

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out to UJC Vice Chair for First Years, Sam Powers.