Learn About UVA’s Judiciary Committee in President Ryan’s Latest Podcast
Audio: Inside UVA With Lauren Kim(13:58)
Lauren Kim has a lot of responsibility for an undergraduate student. She chairs the University Judiciary Committee. It is an entirely student-run body responsible for upholding the University’s Standards of Conduct. In this episode, she talks about how the judiciary body operates, how it differs from the Honor Committee, and how she choose her unusual double major in medieval studies and global security and justice.
Lauren Kim 0:00
I took this class, the first semester of college, it was this God and Nature class. And I found this really old documentary from the 80s. And...
President Jim Ryan 0:10
Wait, did you say from the 80s?
Lauren Kim 0:12
President Jim Ryan 0:14
For those of us who are a little older, that doesn't seem "really old!" I just want to say that.
Hi, everyone. I'm Jim Ryan, President of the University of Virginia. And I'd like to welcome all of you to the 11th episode of Inside UVA. This podcast is a chance for me to speak with some of the amazing people at the university and to learn more about what they do and who they are. My hope is that listeners will ultimately have a better understanding of how UVA works, and a deeper appreciation of the remarkably talented and dedicated people who make UVA the institution it is. Today's guest is Lauren Kim, a fourth year student at the University and current chairwoman of the University Judiciary Committee. Thanks for being here. Lauren. I'm delighted to have you on the show.
Lauren Kim 1:06
Yeah, thank you for having me.
President Jim Ryan 1:08
Totally my pleasure. So I would like to talk to you about the University Judiciary Committee. But first, I'd like to hear a little bit about what brought you to UVA. If I understand you came to UVA via Singapore, and then Sudbury, Massachusetts, where in a small world story, you attended the same high school, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, that my sons attended. And so tell us a little bit about your journey to UVA.
Unknown Speaker 1:35
Yep, small world! But I did grow up in Singapore and I attended an international school there. And having classmates from every corner of the world really made me realize that I want to pursue something that affects the global scale. I love understanding and immersing myself in different cultures. And I was a big Model UN kid growing up. In fact, I did Model UN from elementary school to high school. So honestly, that's probably why UVA accepted me. I bet admissions couldn't believe that I stuck with the same club for that long.
President Jim Ryan 2:10
That's a lot of determination. And what was attractive to you about UVA? If I remember correctly, I had this conversation with my sons, not a lot of students from Lincoln-Sudbury end up at UVA. Is that right?
Lauren Kim 2:23
Yeah, I was one of two people in my grade. I always thought I would stick around New England because most people do. But I applied kind of on a whim at the last second. I was like, this location is so pretty and the academics look really good. And I was looking at photos and I'm a very visual person. So I was like, the rotunda looks so nice. So I applied. And UVA is one of those places where you fall more and more in love with it each year. And I'm glad I'm here.
President Jim Ryan 2:52
Yeah, I feel the same way, even after being here off and on for more than 30 years. So you have been incredibly busy since you've been here and an unbelievably engaged student. You also are double majoring in Global Security and Justice and Medieval Studies. Is that correct?
Lauren Kim 3:12
Yes. It's a very unconventional combo.
President Jim Ryan 3:14
I was going to ask you, is there anyone else at UVA currently double majoring in both of those?
Lauren Kim 3:20
No! If there are I haven't found them yet!
President Jim Ryan 3:23
So what got you interested in those two subject matters? And do they relate to one another at all?
Lauren Kim 3:30
Um, tangentially, yes. Growing up, I was a very big history and art fan. I was that weird kid that was obsessed with reading about knights and royalty and chivalry. And I was also a big artist growing up, I paint and draw, and I have this deep appreciation for material culture. And with medieval studies, I get to explore like almost a fantastical reality through artwork, which is really eye opening. And so I created this database of medieval manuscripts, pulled from different museums across the country, and also from my own, our own UVA collection as well. So I think appreciation for artwork. And Global Security and Justice, it comes from a lot of things. Mostly my background, growing up abroad in Singapore and going to international school, learning different languages and meeting different people made me realize I wanted to be in something a little bit more large scale, and also my specific interests are in justice and restitution, so Security and Justice ties perfectly into it.
President Jim Ryan 4:35
Right. So let's talk about the University Judiciary Committee or otherwise known as UJC. So what got you interested in it in the first place?
Lauren Kim 4:45
Yeah, it's been four years, almost four years. I can't believe it. But I really just joined by accident. So my friend from first year, he dragged me to an info session for UJC and I had no idea what UJC was. I heard about honor before. So I was like, oh, it's probably like Honor. But I was listening to the info session. And I was like, wow, this is something that I really might enjoy. So I applied and I got in eventually. And the reason I stayed is because I really believe that the UJC inspired a heart for restorative justice within me. And it also taught me that accountability and compassion go hand in hand.
President Jim Ryan 5:26
Right. And now that you're Chairwoman, what is it day in the life of the Chairwoman of UJC look like?
Lauren Kim 5:35
I joke that I wear many hats, and I don't wear one at a time I wear all of them at once. So a typical day for me is waking up, drinking way too much coffee, playing tennis, or running. Going to class. Obviously, I'm still a student. Going to the UJC offices, working on UJC things, working on school things, going to club meetings, and taking a lot of meetings with different administrators, alums, and students, a lot of real adults! And afterwards, I work my job. And when I get home, I hang out with my residents. So as a Chairwoman, student, an intern, an RA, a Club member, and a human being like, my day is pretty packed.
President Jim Ryan 6:19
It sounds like it!
Lauren Kim 6:20
I'm proud to say that I at least get eight hours of sleep every night. That's a big one.
President Jim Ryan 6:24
That's impressive. So in terms of the the work of the UJC and your role as Chairwoman, what are the most rewarding parts of it, and what are the most challenging parts of it?
Lauren Kim 6:37
The rewarding part is definitely the people that I get to work with. I, and the other UJC officers work to steward our grounds. And for me personally, that means I'm going out into the community, meeting all different types of students and building friendships. And I have so much love and respect for my exec team. They're my dream team. And it's a group of 12 people, including myself, we meet twice a week, every week, working with them is such a joy, each vice chair and senior officer constantly inspire me and challenge me, and they're the best part of my college experience. But that's not saying that being chair doesn't have its own challenges. You can definitely relate to this. But the most challenging part for me is the influence of a chair role. And as a Chairwoman, I have to be incredibly intentional about my words, my actions, my plans, because what I can say can literally affect dozens of cases, student anxieties, and even outside legal action. By nature, I'm a very careful person. I've gotten better at asking for help from my exec team to help craft language, but it's something that I struggled with.
President Jim Ryan 7:55
Right. For people who don't understand already. Can you talk a little bit about the jurisdiction of UJC, on the one hand, and the jurisdiction of the Honor System and The Honor Committee?
Unknown Speaker 8:07
Yeah, absolutely. So honor is lying, cheating, or stealing, very clear cut. UJC we have 12 Standards of Conduct. I'm not going to go into each one of the twelve. But very broadly, it's promoting a community of safety, respect and freedom. That's our mission statements. So we're a little bit different in terms of our jurisdiction and also outcomes. So where Honor has a single sanction, UJC is multi-sanction. So you go through a trial for guilt, and then a trial for sanctions. And with sanctions, you can get anything from community service to an essay.
President Jim Ryan 8:45
I imagine figuring out the appropriate sanction can be a complicated task.
Lauren Kim 8:52
Yes, it's definitely a complicated task. And I have a lot of faith in the judges and also our training program. We recruit a very diverse set of judges. And when they're deliberating during trial, we ask them to really like dig deep inside and be like, what is the hurt? What community did this person hurt and how can this person mend or restore trust back? It's a lot of thinking, it's a lot of deliberation back and forth. And sometimes judges will deliberate for hours. That's not an exaggeration, literally hours.
President Jim Ryan 9:28
So he must have some perspectives given your involvement in UJC and now your leadership of it about student self governance, and I wonder if you could share your thoughts about that and how UJC advances student self governance at UVA?
Lauren Kim 9:46
Yeah, absolutely. So the UJC is completely student run. Each of our representatives and our support officer body are students from every single school at the University. So we have first years to graduate students, we have law students, we have engineering students, and they really reflect the diversity of experience and interest of the student body. And I think this is really helpful because it's not just administrators making the call. Its students. It's people who look like you, who think like you, who share interests with you, supporting you, whether it's a counselor, helping craft your argument, or an investigator who's looking for the truth, or a judge who's crafting a sanction all these people know you in some aspect and can help you with mending whatever hurt that you created in the community.
President Jim Ryan 10:41
I'm curious if you know, what's next for you, you'll be graduating this spring. Do you have plans for the immediate future after you graduate?
Lauren Kim 10:51
I want to be a lawyer. But I don't want to go to school back to back. So I'm going to take a year off and have a job see what's out there in the world?
President Jim Ryan 11:02
Well, I think that's a really wise thing to do. I mean, I'm a big fan of law school having attended one. You know, there's a pretty good one here! And having taught at one but I also took a year off between graduating from college and starting law school and was glad that I did.
Lauren Kim 11:17
Yeah, exactly. Who knows. Maybe I'll be back.
President Jim Ryan 11:20
Well, I hope so. It also gives you more perspective, I think once you start law school. So I have one final question for you, which is that I have heard through the grapevine that you have an Instagram account about mac and cheese. Is that correct?
Lauren Kim 11:33
Yes, that's true.
President Jim Ryan 11:36
What is that about? And how many followers do you have?
Lauren Kim 11:39
Oh my god. Well, my follower count is embarrassingly low. So I'm not revealing that to you! But if you're listening and you want to follow it, the handle is @leakednoods, "noods" like "noodles." So I'm a big cheese and pasta fan. It's a big comfort food for me. And in the summer of 2018, I was nervous about going to college and I was a little anxious to go to state so I started this food account to feel at home. It's like taking a little piece of home wherever I go. So I've reviewed mac and cheese from restaurants in DC, and restaurants in Boston, and I've even reviewed Mac at the Newcomb Dining Hall. So really everywhere.
President Jim Ryan 12:25
So where where in Charlottesville, can you get the very best mac and cheese?
Lauren Kim 12:30
Oh, okay. This is very controversial, but the Nook.
President Jim Ryan 12:34
Lauren Kim 12:35
Yes. A lot of people say it's the Virginian. The Virginian mac and cheese is good. I like it. But The Nook... it just hits different.
President Jim Ryan 12:43
Okay, I'm gonna have to try it.
Lauren Kim 12:44
You'll have to try it.
President Jim Ryan 12:46
Well, Lauren, thanks so much for your time. And more importantly, thanks for all that you do for UVA and your service and leadership on UJC and best of luck with the rest of your semester.
Lauren Kim 12:59
Thank you President Ryan.
Mary Garner McGehee 13:04
Inside UVA is a production of WTJU 91.1 FM and the Office of the President at the University of Virginia. Inside UVA is produced by Mary Garner McGehee, Brooke Whitehurst, Matt Weber and Nathan Moore. We also want to thank Lauren Kim, Monica Shack, Athena Hanny, and McGregor McCance. Our music is Turning to You from Blue Dot Sessions. Listen and subscribe to Inside UVA on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. We'll be back soon with another conversation about the life of the university.
Lauren Kim grew up in Singapore and finished high school in New England before matriculating at the University of Virginia in 2018. Now a fourth-year student, she chairs the University Judiciary Committee.
Kim is the featured guest on UVA President Jim Ryan’s latest “Inside UVA” podcast episode, which is available now.
A member of the University Judiciary Committee since her first year at UVA, Kim oversees the committee’s work to investigate and adjudicate alleged violations of UVA’s Standards of Conduct, which includes things like physical assault and unauthorized entry.
Kim, who is double-majoring in medieval studies and global security and justice, said working with the University Judiciary Committee has “taught me that accountability and compassion go hand-in-hand.”
One thing Kim explains on the podcast is the distinction between UVA’s student-run Honor Committee and the student-run University Judiciary Committee.
“So, honor is lying, cheating or stealing. Very clear-cut,” she said. “[For the University Judiciary Committee,] we have 12 standards of conduct. I’m not going to go into each one of the 12, but very broadly, it’s promoting a community of safety, respect and freedom. That’s our mission statement.
“We’re a little bit different in terms of our jurisdiction and also outcomes. So, where honor has a single sanction, [the University Judiciary Committee] is multi-sanction. So, you go through a trial for guilt, and then the trial for sanctions. And with sanctions, you can get anything from community service to an essay.”
Ryan launched the “Inside UVA” podcast last semester, hosting people from a range of roles at UVA to share with listeners how the large public university operates. You can listen to his conversation with Kim and previous guests on most podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.