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General Provisions for the Student Conduct Procedures

1.          Closed Hearing.  All hearings will be closed.

2.          Qualification and Responsibilities of Hearing Body Members.  Student members of hearing bodies must be currently enrolled and in good standing, that is, not on academic warning or currently under any University sanction.  All administrative and faculty members will be full-time employees of the University.  All members will be required to maintain confidentiality related to all aspects of the hearing process.  The Senior Associate Dean for Student Life is responsible for removing any member who violates confidentiality and may refer the matter for disciplinary action.  If the specific member(s) of a Peer Community Standards Board panel cannot be identified, the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life may dismiss the panel in question from the Peer Board.  If the specific member(s) of a Student Conduct Board panel cannot be identified, the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life may recommend to the President that the panel in question be disbanded.

3.          Disqualification and Exclusion.  Any member of a hearing body who believes that he or she is prejudiced by association with the case, the participants, or by information or belief will disqualify him or herself from hearing the case.  A respondent or complaining witness may request, in writing, that a member of a hearing body be disqualified from hearing a case.  The request will be made by 9:00 AM no more than two (2) days after receiving the charge letter and the Request to Disqualify Form and will include an explanation as to why the member is unable to render an impartial decision in the case.  In addition to ruling on such requests, the case administrator or the advisor to the Peer Community Standards Board will disqualify or exclude any hearing body member who is not able, in his/her judgment, to render an impartial decision in the case.

4.          Standard of Evidence.  In determining whether or not an offense has been committed, a hearing body or officer will base its determinations on the standard of preponderance of evidence.

5.          Multiple Students.  Cases in which more than one student is charged with violating the Code of Student Conduct and which depend on common facts or set of evidence may either be considered jointly in a single hearing or be assigned to separate, individual hearings as determined by the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life.

6.          Case Administrator.  A case administrator is a University official designated by the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life to manage these procedures.  The case administrator will conduct formal investigations when requested to do so by the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life.  Additionally, the case administrator will respond to requests from respondents and complaining witnesses during the pre-hearing phases of the student conduct procedures.

7.           Respondent.  The respondent is the charged student(s) and is entitled to be present during the course of the hearing.  A hearing officer or body may decide to proceed with a hearing if a respondent fails to appear despite proper notification.

8.          Complaining Witness.  The complaining witness(es) is the person who has filed a complaint.  The complaining witness is entitled to be present during the course of the hearing concerning his/her complaintFor matters heard by the Student Conduct Board or by an Administrative Hearing Officer in which there is no complaining witness, a University official other than the case administrator will serve in that capacity.

9.          Witnesses. Members of the University community, including respondents, are expected to appear at a hearing if they have knowledge or information regarding the incident in question and they have been notified to appear.  Failing to appear at a hearing as a witness constitutes an offense (see “Code of Student Conduct,” Offense XII), which is immediately actionable and for which the hearing body or officer may determine a sanction up to probation for three (3) semesters.  Individuals who are not members of the University community will generally be permitted to appear at a hearing only if they have direct knowledge or information regarding an incident.

10.       Appeals. Within five (5) days of notification of the hearing outcomes, the respondent(s) may appeal, in writing, the decisions in the case, setting out the reason(s) for the appeal.  Appeals from Peer Community Standards Board hearings will be submitted to the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life.  Appeals from all other hearings will be submitted to the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services or his/her designee.  Appeals will normally be considered only when: (1) relevant new evidence that was not reasonably available to be presented to the original hearing authority and that in the judgment of the Appeal Officer the introduction of the information may have changed the finding by the original hearing authority; or (2) when a substantial procedural error by the University or hearing body/officer is demonstrated and in the reasonable judgment of the Appeal Officer such error is sufficient enough that it may have affected the decision of the original hearing authority.   If the appeal officer determines that the appeal has merit, he/she may reduce the severity or terms of a sanction or may remand the matter to an appropriate hearing officer or body.

For hearings involving charges under Offense III and Offense IV for harassment based on sex/gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, the complaining witness shall have the right to appeal on the same terms as the respondent, provided however that if the Appeal Officer determines that the appeal has merit he/she may increase the severity or terms of a sanction, or remand the matter to an appropriate hearing officer or body.

11.        Timing and Deadlines. “Days” in these procedures refer to weekdays, not weekends or University holidays.  Any requirement in these procedures must be completed by 3:00 PM on the day specified, unless otherwise noted.  A hearing or deliberations may be conducted on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a University holiday.

12.       Scheduling of a Hearing.  Hearings shall be scheduled to commence within sixty (60) calendar days of the receipt of a complaint or a report of information that forms the basis of the charges against the respondent, provided however that this time frame may be extended by the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life upon a written petition by the Case Administrator, the charged student, or the responding student.  In determining whether to grant an extension, the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life shall consider the salient factors of the particular case, which may include items such as the complexity and/or severity of the matter to be heard, the number of individuals involved in the particular matter, or whether the academic calendar makes it impractical to commence a hearing within the prescribed sixty (60) calendar days.

A hearing panel is the subset of the hearing body that fulfills the quorum requirement (see “Peer Community Standards Board Hearings, Quorum” and “The SCB Hearing Process, Quorum”) and hears a particular case.