Student's death prompts call for access to campus courts

Officials review policy regarding disciplinary hearings after criticism

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Georgetown University officials are reviewing the school's current policy regarding the disclosure of campus court records after receiving criticism for refusing to release details about the outcome of a disciplinary hearing related to the death of a student.   The Georgetown University community and the family members of David Schick, a student who died in February from head injuries inflicted in a fight, demanded information from the administration about the punishments the other students involved in the fight received in campus disciplinary hearings. School officials refused to release any information related to the hearing, contending that confidentiality for all students was its main concern.   The Georgetown University Student Association passed a resolution in May that called for the release of general information about the hearings to the public, including the disciplinary action taken by the university with any identifiable information erased, and more detailed information released to the Schick family.   The resolution also asked the administration to "work with the disciplinary review committee to undergo a full and comprehensive review of disclosure policy for adjudication proceedings."   Juan Gonzalez, vice president for student affairs, has had several meetings with the student association and created a committee to review the current policy regarding the disclosure of disciplinary hearings, according to Julie Bataille, university spokeswoman.  She said Gonzalez expects some preliminary recommendations by December and more concrete recommendations in May.   Under federal law, universities are allowed, but not required, to release the names of students found responsible in campus courts for violent crimes as well as the violations they committed and the punishment imposed by the university.

reports, Winter 2000-01