Nov 282011
Authors: Keith Patton

Although many students are unaware of its existence, there is a Judicial Branch within the Associated Students of CSU that has real judicial authority over CSU students. Not only does ASCSU have a Supreme Court, but it also has actual jurisdiction over the student body and many responsibilities. The ASCSU Supreme Court has judicial authority over every member of ASCSU (that means you!), including Senate and all other administrative boards.

The Supreme Court must interpret and enforce the ASCSU constitution (yes, we have one of those too!), perform judicial review of the Senate, set its own bylaws and procedure and hear cases involving constitutional amendments, senate bills, inter-branch disputes and election appeals.

An ASCSU Supreme Court Justice must also serve on the All University Hearing Board (AUHB), which is responsible for conducting hearings for sports clubs, student organizations and Greek chapters if they have violated any university policy.

They also work hand-in-hand with Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services, must attend four ASCSU events and four non-ASCSU events, hold office hours every week (four for associates justices, 10 for the chief justice), and serve on a committee like Elections Task Force, Ramride Task Force, Off-Campus Life Advisory, Student Advisory Board and Student Fee Review Board.

As you can see, the Supreme Court is a time-consuming position that goes beyond being a figurehead and resume builder.

The ASCSU Supreme Court consists of six associates justices and one chief justice. Kellen Wittkop is a junior economics and English double major, and is the Chief Justice. Sofiya Kostareva is a freshman economics major, and is one of the associate justices. Kelsey Hall is another associate justice, who is a political science and French double major.

Cherica Stigall is a junior economics major, and is also an associate justice. Matt Delong is an associate justice who is a sophomore psychology major with a neuroscience concentration. Cassandra Vodraska is an associate justice who is a senior business and philosophy major. John Dietrick is a junior sociology-criminal justice major and an associate justice.

And finally, I am Keith Patton, a junior business major and the Supreme Court liaison. My position was created this year to serve as a liaison between the court and ASCSU and also to advocate and assist students filing appeals and going through university disciplinary process in conjunction with Student Legal Services.

The liaison position was created because of limitations faced by Supreme Court justices, leaving them unable to provide students with information about the judicial process. An ASCSU Supreme Court Justice must first be impartial and diligent in all of their rulings, and are expected to step down from a case if their ability to be impartial is jeopardized.

They must also avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety, which is a fancy way of saying that a justice must avoid anything that would damage their image. Justices must avoid any extra-judicial activities that might create a conflict of interest and refrain from all ASCSU political activity, and must especially avoid showing support for any political campaigns.

If anyone in the student body wants to know more about the court or is going through any sort of disciplinary process within the university and needs assistance, you are more than welcome to contact me by sending by an email at or stopping by the ASCSU Supreme Court office in the LSC Tuesdays 10 to 11 a.m.

_Keith Patton is a junior business major. _

 Posted by at 4:59 pm

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