The Hearing Board Process
What is a formal hearing?
Every student has the opportunity to have a formal hearing before the student conduct board. For each student conduct hearing, the board is composed of a minimum of three (3) student members and/or administrators who are trained and selected at the beginning of each academic year. A formal hearing before a board typically happens if the information concerning the violation is sufficient to meet the standard of proof but the student denies responsibility.
What happens at a formal hearing?
In general, the student conduct board will determine if you are responsible for violating the Student Conduct Code. If you are in violation of the code, the appropriate sanction(s) will be issued.
Here is what the process looks like (for detailed information, please see the Student Conduct Code):
- The student charged will be called and the alleged violations will be stated
- The student charged will be asked to enter a response of "responsible," "not responsible," or "no response" to the charges as read
- Parameters for discussion shall be established by the hearing body
- Opening statements by the student charged and the party bringing the charges
- Presentation of witnesses and evidence by the party bringing the charges and the student charged
- Recall of witnesses
- Closing statements
What happens after the the hearing concludes?
After the closing statements are made, the student conduct board will go into closed deliberations to review the information and determine if the student is responsible or not responsible for violating the Student Conduct Code. If the hearing body needs more information, it may reconvene the hearing and seek necessary clarification.
The hearing body shall send its rationale for finding the student(s) responsible for a violation to the student conduct and mediation board procedural advisor or designee. The student conduct and mediation board procedural advisor or designee shall consider all pertinent information prior to deciding on an appropriate sanction for the offense. Written notification of the sanction imposed will be sent to both parties.
How can I prepare for a formal hearing?
To prepare for a hearing, a student could take the following steps:
- Write down the recollection of events as completely as possible
- Gather any information to be presented during the formal hearing
- Inform the student conduct and mediation programs office of any witnesses who need to be present at the hearing
- Make an outline of information to present and questions to ask during the hearing
While there is not a specific dress code, business casual attire is suggested.
Can I appeal a student conduct board decision?
Any recommendation of a hearing body which affirms the charges against a student may be appealed to the associate vice president and dean of students or designee by the student found responsible by the board, including those cases where it has been recommended that a student be suspended. For cases where it has been recommended that a student be dismissed or expelled from the university, the student found responsible by the board may appeal to the president or designee. In all cases, the request for appeal must be submitted in writing to the student conduct and mediation programs office within five (5) business days of the date of receipt of the original written decision by the student. The original decision of the hearing body shall be final and conclusive, if no appeal is made within the prescribed time.
Your Right to an Advisor
Please be aware it is your right to have an advisor (i.e. family member, friend, etc.) present at all student conduct proceedings. If you choose to have an advisor present, that person is not permitted to speak on your behalf during the hearing process. The advisor is only to serve as support and give you advice as you respond to the allegations.