Peer Review Board

The Peer Review Board (PRB) is a unique leadership opportunity that enables members of the residential community to positively influence their living environment through active participation in the Residential Conduct process.

To find out how to participate on the Peer Review Board, or to learn more, contact: prbconduct@berkeley.edu.

Roles in the Peer Review Board

Board Member

The Peer Review Board was established to provide the UC Berkeley residential community with a means to address inappropriate behavior. To fulfill their roles, PRB members are open and responsive to new and changing situations and ideas. They respond positively to ideas and viewpoints different than their own. Board members address the behavior, not the person. They are sensitive to students from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. They assure students of their rights and let them exercise those rights. Board members hold students accountable for their actions. They use creativity in determining meaningful sanctions that fit behavior. Board members make a sincere effort to teach students mutual respect and consideration for the rights of others. Board members maintain a high level of professional confidentiality.

Coordinator

The role of the coordinator is to receive referrals of incidents and complete the administrative tasks involved in the residential conduct process.

Advising the Board includes:

  • Training the Board to fulfill its roles
  • Helping to facilitate the process, maintaining consistency in each meeting
  • Interpreting residential policy
  • Providing support for the students involved in or affected by the incident
  • Maintaining files on Advocate and completing the administrative functions
  • Aiding in decision-making by helping to provide alternatives
  • Encouraging a thorough discussion of an incident
  • Asking pertinent questions to clarify issues
  • Following up afterwards with the person who reports the incident
  • Following up with the person who appears before the Board to make sure that the assigned sanction has been completed 

Professional Staff Adviser

The adviser has two main roles: to provide support for the Coordinator, and to help promote the leadership and professional development of both the Board and the Coordinator. The adviser will help develop leadership workshops that aim to help the Board members develop useful interpersonal skills that will remain invaluable throughout life. This role also consists of supporting the Coordinator in their efforts to maintain fairness and consistency in the conduct process. This will include, but is not limited to, providing constructive feedback to both the Board and the Coordinator regarding their performance, giving guidance on difficult or unclear situations that may arise, and with some level of frequency, observing the hearing process.

History of the Peer Review Board

Before the Peer Review Board existed, the residential staff handled conduct in the halls. Students who violated a rule or policy could expect to be referred to the Resident Director. With a growing interest in applying the concept of responsible freedom, a new approach was desired. A group of staff and students met and recommended changing the method of handling discipline in the residences.

After corresponding with other institutions and reviewing the needs of the university, a Peer Review Board process was created in 1989. The PRB gives students an opportunity to directly participate in the governance of their living community.

Philosophy of Responsible Freedom

Peer Review was created from the concept and principles of responsible freedom. According to this philosophy, meaningful participation is important in order for students to realize and explore personal values. The individual who is personally involved in decisions concerning their own education is apt to develop a far deeper sense of responsibility than one who is merely held responsible for someone else's decisions. For this reason, student participation in the conduct process is a significant part of residential life.