hearing process

Hearings provide the forum where parties to an allegation are afforded the opportunity to present information for review by a Student Discipline Committee presided over by the chair of the Committee and moderated by the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students is an ex-officio member of the committee. A time shall be set for a Student Discipline Committee hearing, not less than five (5) nor more than 15 calendar days after the student has been notified. The maximum time limit for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the Dean of Students or designee.

Hearings shall be conducted by the Student Discipline Committee according to the following guidelines, except as provided by article J below:

1. In cases in which the Student Discipline Committee has been authorized by the Dean of Students to conduct a hearing, the recommendations of the members of the Student Discipline Committee shall be considered in an advisory capacity by the Dean of Students in determining and imposing sanctions.

2. Composition: The Student Discipline Committee is composed of 15 members. Recommendations for membership on the Student Discipline Committee from the deans of each academic college, the faculty, the administration and staff of the University, and the executive committee of Student Government will be sought by the Dean of Students on an annual basis, or more frequently as needed. At the discretion of the Dean of Students, general solicitation of the student body for participation may be made. Based upon these recommendations and/or solicitations, candidates who meet eligibility requirements will be invited to apply and interview for participation on the Student Discipline Committee.

3. Term of service: Students shall serve for one academic year and may continue to serve at the discretion of the Provost and the Dean of Students.

4. Student eligibility: All students, full- or part-time, shall be eligible for recommendation to the Student Discipline Committee provided they have maintained a 2.30 cumulative grade point average, are not currently on disciplinary probation, and have not been suspended from the residence halls or the University.

5. Training: All members of the Student Discipline Committee, upon receiving notice of appointment, shall be given all necessary information about their responsibilities and the means for carrying them out.

6. Five students from the Student Discipline Committee will be chosen by the Dean of Students to hear a proceeding.

7. Hearings normally shall be conducted in private.

8. The Complainant, the Accused Student, and their advisors, if any, shall be allowed to attend the entire portion of the Student Discipline Committee hearing at which information is received (excluding deliberations). Admission of any other person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the Student Discipline Committee and/or the Dean of Students or designee.

9. In the case of Student Discipline Committee hearings involving more than one Accused Student, the Dean of Students or designee, at his/her discretion, may permit the Student Discipline Committee hearings concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.

10. The Complainant and the Accused Student have the right to be assisted by any advisor they choose, at their own expense. The advisor may be an attorney. The complainant and/or the accused are responsible for presenting his or her own information and, therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearings before the Student Discipline Committee. A student should select as an advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the Student Discipline Committee because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor.

11. The Complainant, the Accused Student, and the Student Discipline Committee may arrange for witnesses to present information to the Student Discipline Committee. The University will try to arrange the attendance of possible witnesses who are members of the University community, if reasonably possible, and who are identified by the Complainant and/or Accused Student at least two (2) business days prior to the Student Discipline Committee hearing. Witnesses will provide information to and answer questions from the Student Discipline Committee. Questions may be suggested by the Accused Student and/or Complainant to be answered by each other or by other witnesses, with such questions directed to the chairperson, rather than to the witness directly. This method is used to preserve the educational tone of the hearing and to avoid creation of an adversarial environment. Questions of whether potential information will be received shall be resolved at the discretion of the chairperson of the Student Discipline Committee, in consultation with the Dean of Students or designee.

12. Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements (including Student Impact Statements) may be accepted as information for consideration by the Student Discipline Committee, at the discretion of the Dean of Students.

13. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Dean of Students.

14. After the portion of the Student Discipline Committee hearing concludes in which all pertinent information has been received, the Student Discipline Committee shall determine by majority vote whether the Accused Student has violated each section of the Student Code that the student is charged with violating.

15. The Student Discipline Committee's determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the Accused Student violated the Student Code.

16. Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in Student Code proceedings.

17. There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a transcription or tape recording, of all hearings before a Student Discipline Committee (not including
deliberations). Deliberations shall not be recorded. Transcriptions and/or tapes made during Student Discipline Committee hearings shall be the property of the University. These materials are confidential. They are made available in case of appeal and, upon request, to the Discipline Appeals Committee hearing the appeal.

18. If the Accused Student, with notice, does not appear before a Student Discipline Committee hearing, the information in support of the charges shall be presented and considered even if the Accused Student is not present. If the Accused Student fails to attend the hearing, it shall be deemed that he or she denies all allegations. When appropriate, a sanction will be determined and the student will be notified in writing.

19. The Student Discipline Committee may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the Complainant, Accused Student, or other witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, videotape, audio tape, written statement, or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the Dean of Students to be appropriate.