The First Five Years

At a convention at the University of Georgia, November 19-21, 1972, a small group of individuals, including Dr. Theodore K. Miller, discussed the need for a national clearinghouse on information concerning campus judiciaries.  This interest was communicated to many people in ACPA, and at an all-day meeting on April 3, 1973, the idea for the formation of Commission for Student Conduct and Legal Issues (formerly known as Campus Student Conduct Affairs & Legal Issues) was formalized.  This meeting was chaired by Dr. L. Sandy MacLean.  At the end of this meeting, a statement of purpose was composed and presented to the Executive Committee of ACPA the following day.

Statement of Purpose

Mediation and adjudication procedures have evolved on campuses to protect both the rights of individuals and the goals and objectives of the academic community.  Current procedures were often developed in response to court decisions of the 1960s.  Now comes the task of translating these procedures to reflect the student-institutional relationship of the future while at the same time balancing the rights of individuals and missions of the institution.  Professional student personnel staff must assume a central role in the future refinement and development of procedures to ensure that they are integrated into, rather than imposed upon, the educational environment.  To provide this leadership, the practitioner must constantly review and evaluate the appropriateness of the institution’s policies on academic and non-academic misconduct; and must be aware of recent student conduct decisions and their interpretations.

To aid professional staff in this responsibility, this Commission proposes to establish a clearinghouse of information, to supply appropriate publications in this area, to develop convention programs, regional workshops and training programs, and to prepare position papers and encourage original research.  Accompanying this Statement of Purpose was the following description of needs:

Statement of Needs

  1. A depository of information is needed on the types of campus judiciaries operating at private and public, large and small institutions; a mailing list of people involved in this area of work; and basic bibliographic information.  This depository could also serve as a clearinghouse for inquiries on these subjects.
  1. At present, there is no publication devoted to this area.  The College Law Bulletin is either highly irregular or out of print.  The Education Court Digest only offers briefs of cases and other publications are dedicated to use by practicing attorneys.  Therefore, a publication is needed that addresses itself to the work of the college student personnel people and students involved in this area.
  2. A professional home base is needed for student personnel workers and students in order to facilitate the development of convention programs, publications, newsletters, position papers, regional workshops and training programs and applicable research projects.

The Statement of Purpose and the Statement of Needs were adopted by the Executive Committee on April 4, 1973.  Mr. William R. Bracewell, University of Georgia; and Dr. Roger Peterson, Ferris State College; were elected chairman and vice chairman respectively.  The first mailing list contained 55 names and no members; but in the first year, the commission grew to have a mailing list of 131 names and 37 members.  The newsletter was mailed to all but 15 states and the members were from 19 different states.

In 1974, the commission sponsored four programs at the Chicago ACPA Convention and co-sponsored a regional workshop at the University of Georgia entitled, “Student Judicial Programs and Student Judicial Issues: The Case of the University and the Constitution.”  At the Chicago convention, the first directorate was elected and a new position, Vice Chairman-Task Forces, was created.

In 1975, the commission was renamed and a new statement of purpose was drafted.  The objective was to demonstrate that the concerns of the commissions went beyond campus judiciaries and student behavior.  The new Statement of Purpose read:

To encourage a commitment to the articulation and protection of rights and responsibilities within the academic community to explore and promote an awareness of alternatives in campus student judicial systems; to provide information on legal issues and court decisions affecting students and the campus environment; to suggest approaches which contribute to the development of individual and group responsibility; and to encourage implementation of a student judicial program consistent with educational principles.  In scope, the commission attempts to formulate practical applications of student development principles to campus student judicial systems and to those areas of law which have a significant impact on the student in the campus setting.

         The purpose of the commission will be carried out through the establishment and maintenance of a clearinghouse on judicially-related information and resource personnel; coordination and dissemination of research and information; newsletter and other publications; and initiation of, participation in, or support of, conventions and workshops.

At the Atlanta convention, six programs were sponsored by the commission.  In 1976, the commission embarked on its most ambitious project.  For the first time, a commission of ACPA assumed responsibility for the publication of a monograph.  Dr. Robert Shaffer and commission member, Ed Hammond, were selected as editors; and a group of contributors was identified.  Later in the year, the commission co-sponsored the first student legal services convention at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  At the Denver convention in 1977, the commission sponsored 5 programs.  Later in the year, the second student legal services convention was conducted.

The Legal Foundation of Student Services in Higher Education, the first ACPA publication sponsored by a commission, was published in 1978.

In 1979, the membership of the commission had grown to 182 members with an additional 205 individuals receiving the commission’s newsletter.