SGA Judicial Branch Update

Chief+Justice+Joshua+D.+Wilkinson+said+that+there+were+no+official+SGA+cases+during+the+fall+semester+due+to+COVID-19+regulations.

Photo by DAVID OLARINAN/MANAGING EDITOR FOR VISUAL AND MULTIMEDIA

Chief Justice Joshua D. Wilkinson said that there were no official SGA cases during the fall semester due to COVID-19 regulations.

Christine Shelton, Editor-in-Chief

The Student Government Association’s (SGA) judicial branch has made some changes to accommodate the COVID-19 regulations and restrictions. Chief Justice Joshua D. Wilkinson was a product of that change, as he decided to work remotely last semester.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted my life and practically everyone’s life globally. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I chose to stay home last semester, as I felt it was the safest thing for me health-wise,” he says. “Transitioning to a virtual world was an adjustment for myself and the judicial branch. However, the branch continued to meet if any cases arose through Google Meets and Zoom.”

Although there were no official SGA cases, the associate justices did sit on three grade appeals in the fall semester. With all of the changes being made to the student government and university alike, the judicial branch still operates as usual.

“This semester, the judicial branch is continuing to handle cases, controversies, and violations brought to the court and working directly with the Office of Judicial Affairs to hear student cases,” Wilkinson said, explaining that regardless of the changes, the judicial branch is still fulfilling its duties. “Also, we plan to continue working directly with our adviser Mr. Bell in the Office of Judicial Affairs to serve as student representatives on Judicial Hearings.”

Wilkinson has served as the SGA Chief Justice for two years, and since he is a graduating senior, he will be passing the torch once the spring semester ends.

“Additionally, I plan on establishing justices to sit on grade appeal committees for each respective college. Since my tenure at Alabama State University is nearly complete, I am establishing a compendium to ensure a smooth transition for the next sitting Chief Justice,” Wilkinson said.

Even with the judicial branch essentially working virtually last semester, two new associate justices were sworn in along with a new administrative court clerk to add to the four preexisting justices—Xaviera Paige, Olivia Thomas, Avian Baker, and Syr’Victor Rozier. 

“Last semester, Associate Justice Eric Thompson, Associate Justice Alexis McDaniel, and Administrative Court Clerk Naveah Archer were sworn into office. There is currently an opening on the Judicial Bench, as Olivia Thomas no longer serves on the bench due to joining the National Guard.”

According to Wilkinson, the process for new justices will begin soon, but no date has been set just yet.