Students accused of having violated the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy may be referred to the Student Conduct Hearing Board (SCHB).
The purpose of the hearing is to provide an opportunity for both the accuser and the accused to give a full account of the circumstances and facts involved. Generally, a hearing will take place prior to the University enforcing any disciplinary action; however, if the student is accused of a violation that results in criminal prosecution or is of a nature that may endanger or disrupt the well-being of the University community, the student may be suspended from the University or residence halls on an interim basis (interim suspension) until the hearing can be scheduled.
The SCHB shall have full authority to determine the disciplinary sanction, if any, to be imposed upon a student found responsible for a violation. The SCHB is chaired by the Director of Judicial Affairs and Community Responsibility (or designee).
Composition of the SCHB and responsibilities of the Chair
1. Student Affairs administrators serve as standing members of the SCHB. A hearing board shall be comprised of the Chair and three standing members. The responsibilities of the Chair, who is not a voting member, shall include:
a. Protecting the students’ rights throughout the judicial process.
b. Contacting the standing members of the SCHB to notify them of the date, time, and location of the hearing.
c. Notifying the Vice President for Student Affairs of the SCHB’s decision and recommendations. In those cases in which a student is suspended or expelled from the University, the Registrar, Office of Business & Finance, and Admissions Offices shall also be notified (to the extent allowed by FERPA).
d. Taking all responsible steps to ensure that any imposed sanction is carried out by the student.
2. The Chair of the SCHB shall arrange for the proceedings of the hearing to be recorded solely for the purpose of providing the Vice President for Student Affairs, the accused student, and the accuser with a record of the hearing in the event either of the students appeal the decision. No recording of the hearing shall be made by other persons. The Chair shall maintain the recording for the period of time the students are allowed to make an appeal. In the event of an appeal, the recording shall remain in the possession of, and under the control of, the Vice President until final disposition of the appeal. The student shall be provided reasonable access to the recording for purposes of review, with the understanding that no duplication of the recording shall be permitted.
Student Conduct Hearing Board procedures
1. The Chair of the SCHB will notify the students by email and campus mail of the date, time and location of the hearing. This notification will be at least 72 hours prior to the hearing.
2. The accuser and the accused student shall each be entitled to have one advisor appear with them at the hearing. This advisor must be a member of the student body, faculty, or staff of the University. If a student elects to have an advisor, it is his/her responsibility to locate an advisor. Students are requested to contact the Chair about the identity of their advisor at least one day prior to the hearing. The advisor does not play an active role in the hearing, nor may s/he serve as a witness. The role of the advisor shall be to:
a. Support the student in preparing for the hearing.
b. Assist the student in preparing his or her statements and responding to questions
c. Advise the student in questioning others present at the hearing
d. Assist in the preparation of an appeal, if appropriate.
3. Any documentation (including, but not limited to, personal statements and witness statements) that the accuser or the accused wish to have presented during the hearing must be submitted to the Office of Judicial Affairs a minimum of 48 hours prior to the start of the hearing. In part, this is to allow the other student (and his/her advisor) the ability to review the material. Available documentation provided by third parties (including, but not limited to, incident reports written by staff members or other students) to be introduced during the hearing also will be made accessible for review by the accuser and the accused (and their advisors) at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. Some documentation – police reports, for example – may not be available for review, however.
a. The Chair calls the hearing to order.
b. All involved parties (the accused student, advisors, accuser, and witnesses) are present.
c. All are reminded of the Honor Code.
d. Introductions are made.
e. All witnesses exit and are called when needed.
f. The Chair states the charge(s).
g. The accused student is given the opportunity to respond either responsible or not responsible to the charges.
h. When recognized by the Chair, the accused student, the accuser, and members of the SCHB may ask questions at the conclusion of each statement and presentation of evidence. Questions directed to the accuser by the accused, or vice versa, will be asked through the hearing chair.
i. The evidence supporting the charge(s) is submitted by the accuser. The accuser may make a statement concerning the impact that the incident had on him or her.
j. Witnesses supporting the charges are called in and asked to share what they witnessed that directly relates to the incident being reviewed during the hearing.
k. The accused student is asked to relate the circumstances surrounding the incident.
l. The witnesses supporting the accused student are called in and asked to share what they witnessed that directly relates to the incident being reviewed during the hearing.
m. The accused student and the accuser will have the opportunity to make a final statement before the deliberation of responsibility.
n. All are excused except SCHB members who stay for deliberation. Deliberation ends with a decision regarding responsibility for the charge(s).
o. The accused student(s), advisors, and accuser are called back in, at which time the Chair informs all persons present of the Board’s decision. If the accused student is found not responsible, the hearing ends. If the accused student is found responsible, the hearing continues.
p. The accused student and the accuser will have the opportunity to make a final statement before sanctioning. The SCHB may question both students, both students may question each other, indirectly.
q. All are excused except SCHB members who stay for sanctioning.
r. The accused student(s), advisors, and accuser are called back in, at which time the Chair informs all persons present of the Board’s decision regarding sanction(s). The Chair reminds the accused student and accuser of their right to appeal. If the hearing just concluded was held to appeal an earlier sanction, no further appeal can be made.
s. The accused and the accuser are reminded that they may appeal the case to the Vice President for Student Affairs, in writing, within five business days from the time the sanction is imposed. This appeal must be based on violation of judicial process rights, upon the presentation of evidence not available at the hearing, or upon the penalty being inappropriate for, or inconsistent with, the violation. In the case of new evidence or violation of judicial process rights, the Vice President may direct a new Student Conduct Hearing Board to rehear the case.
t. Unless there is any further discussion, all are dismissed and the hearing ends.