Three new judges appointed to SGA Judicial Board

Judging by the looks of it, the SGA will be handling judicial matters under new management after three new justices were sworn in. The new justices – Taylor Allen, Stephen Walters and Kerri Westfield – were confirmed to the Judicial Board on Sept. 11 by a unanimous vote after being appointed by SGA President Jace Thompson.

Thompson said when appointing the justices he wanted someone that was not involved in everyday SGA and someone who would be able to judge cases fairly. He said he thought the people chosen would maintain fairness on the judicial board and handle matters objectively rather than based on popular opinion.

“It is important to have level-headed, involved people serving,” Thompson said. “These people have proven themselves to be level-headed and unbiased.”

Chief Justice Allen said he is looking forward to leading his team of justices and feels he is ready to handle the position.

“I was a house representative for several semesters and an associate justice last semester,” Allen said. “I have been on the board before and I feel like my experience is good.”

Allen, a senior entrepreneurial management major, said he is capable of holding the position because he remembers when the Judicial Board was being implemented in 2004 and has experience with this branch of student government’s growth.

“It is a fairly new board,” Allen said. “We haven’t had a whole lot of cases.”

Thompson said he was not troubled by the lack of cases, because according to the school code, justices are only called on when a case is brought before them.

“They don’t go out looking for violations,” Thompson said. “Their only role is to react to cases brought before them. It’s a completely reactive position.”

Allen agreed. He said the lack of cases can only mean everyone is doing their jobs in ensuring there are no problems to be handled. He said he looks forward to helping maintain stability in SGA and the community.

“We’re there to keep the integrity of the other branches,” Allen said. “I hope that we don’t change TCU. I hope we help maintain the principles that we were founded on.”

Fellow justice Kerri Westfield said she was excited and eager to hold the position because it meant getting to use her leadership skills in different ways in the community.

Westfield, a senior who has no prior involvement with SGA, said she is not worried about her lack of experience because she thinks her outside opinions will enhance the dynamics of the group and help her govern fairly.

“I hope to bring in my experiences and I think my outside opinion will bring a new frame of reference to the decisions we will make,” Westfield said.

Westfield said she was chosen as a justice because her different opinions would be good when dealing with cases. Westfield also said she thinks it is good for every organization to get an outside view once in a while.

Also joining the SGA ranks Sept. 11 were 39 freshman Frog Aides with no prior experience.

Frog Aides Director Lauren Nixon said Frog Aides is a freshman leadership program overseen by SGA. She said the 39 individuals who were chosen will get to see what goes on behind the scenes of student government and grow in their knowledge of leadership as they train to be better leaders throughout the TCU community.

When preparing the Frog Aides, Nixon shared Westfield’s mentality in that students should be involved in many organizations to help bring new ideas to the table.

“We encourage the Frog Aides to go out and be leaders in other organizations,” Nixon said. “We want to prepare them for future leadership roles.