Judicial Affairs

Sara Wray, Staff Writer

The office of judicial affairs at Texas A&M University-Commerce strives to oversee student conduct on campus.

The goal for the office is to address behavioral misconduct in a way that will educate students toward civility and upholding ethical ideals. The office also handles student concerns as well as the Behavior Intervention Team.

“Ideally, the office is on this campus as well as other campuses, too,” Robert Dotson, assistant dean of campus life and student development, said. “They oversee student conduct, assist in making sure that students are safe, comfortable, and have a place to go to school, while also upholding the standards of whatever the university’s code of conduct dictates.”

Dotson has been at A&M-Commerce since 2005, and has served as director of diversity and cultural affairs then oversaw the Greek system.

He is a hearing officer, which means he is primarily responsible for updating and making sure that the student code of conduct is updated and in compliance each year. He also works closely with A&M-Commerce’s Title IX coordinator.

“When I came, even back in 2005, the assistant dean position at that time was transitioning, and as that person was being pulled in other directions, I was the only other person that had a background in judicial affairs,” Dotson said. “At the school that I came from, I was the associate director of judicial affairs and Greek life, so it was a smooth transition. I transitioned out of student programming and specifically into student conduct, behavior intervention, and trying to mitigate student concerns.”

Dotson also serves as the chair of the behavior intervention team, established five years ago by Dotson, on an idea he got from a school where he use to work.

“Anyone can report an incident to the behavior intervention team,” Dotson said. “If there’s something that a student is doing that just doesn’t quite seem right, and you don’t know what to do with the information, we prefer you make a report. The behavior intervention team is comprised of 20 people from all across campus, and we meet every other week to discuss the students that have been reported on, and sometimes you do find that there are people that are aware of this student and we devise an action plan to best assist the student in being successful.”

The office of judicial affairs gets the majority of reports from university police department, residential living and learning, and reports from other areas of campus with 275-300 cases usually reported on average.

The office of judicial affairs is located in the Halladay Student Services Building in Room 201. To contact the office, call 903.886.5195 or email Robert Dotson at [email protected].