Steps in the Panel Hearing Process

Resolution Process (Policy 2011.1)

  1. Scheduling and notice of hearing

    a. A hearing will be scheduled no less than five and no more than 20 calendar days from the date the respondent is notified of allegations of Code violation

    b. Notice for the date, time and location of the hearing will be provided in writing to the respondent, victim (if different from the respondent), and reporter

    c. If the respondent or the reporter cannot attend the hearing, they must notify the Student Relations office at least two calendar days before the hearing date

    d. Except in cases of grave or unforeseen circumstances, the hearing will proceed if the respondent fails to give the minimum two-day notice or does not appear for the hearing

    e. In cases where the reporter fails to appear at the hearing, the College may drop the allegations or pursue the allegations on its own behalf, as determined by the Associate Dean of Student Relations

    f. No respondent may be found “responsible” for a Code violation solely as a result of his or her failure to appear for a hearing, with one exception: When the alleged Code violation is failure to comply with a summons from the College

    g. Respondents who fail to respond to a hearing notice will receive a “no response” letter and may be administratively withdrawn from classes and/or have a registration hold placed on their student account

  2. Preparing for the hearing

    a. At least four calendar days before the hearing, the respondent will deliver to the Student Relations Office a written response to the allegations

    b. At least four calendar days before the hearing, the respondent and the reporter will deliver to Student Relations:
    1. A list of witnesses they want to appear at the hearing.
    2. Physical evidence they possess and intend to use during the hearing
    3. A list of physical evidence items that they intend to use but don’t have in their possession; this will allow the College time to arrange for those items to be present at the hearing
    4. The name of the advocate, if any, who will accompany them at the meeting

    c. At least four calendar days before the hearing, the College will provide the respondent and the reporter with:
    1. Written documentation about the hearing and the allegations
    2. A list of hearing panelists
    3. If the respondent or reporter objects to any panelist, they must raise all objections in writing to the Student Relations Office immediately
    4. A panelist may be unseated only if the Associate Dean of Student Relations concludes that a conflict of interest or bias prevents them from being impartial
    5. Panelists who feel that they cannot be impartial must recuse themselves from the panel
  3. The hearing

    a. Hearings are closed to the public

    b. Admission to the hearing of persons other than the parties involved will be at the discretion of the panel chair

    c. If there is more than one respondent, standard procedure is to hear the case jointly

    d. The panel chair may decide to allow each respondent to present their case separately

    e. Regardless of how respondents present their cases, the panel must deliver separate findings and sanction(s) for each respondent

    f. Respondents may have an advocate of their own choosing present. The advocate may not make a presentation or represent the respondent

    g. They may confer quietly with their advisee, exchange notes, clarify procedural questions with the chair and suggest questions to their advisee

    h. The respondent, reporter and panelists may question witnesses and the other parties involved, either directly or through the chair, at the chair’s discretion

    i. Unduly repetitive witnesses can be limited at the discretion of the chair

    j. Procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chair.

    k. There will be a verbatim recording, such as an audio recording, of the hearing. The panel’s deliberations will not be recorded

  4. Exhibits, records, and written statements

    a. Pertinent items may be accepted as information for consideration by the panel at the chair’s discretion

    b. Formal rules of evidence applicable in court proceedings are not observed

    c. The panel chair may limit the number of character witnesses presented or may accept written affidavits of character instead

  5. Deliberation, finding, and sanction

    a. After the hearing, the panel will deliberate in private and determine by majority vote if it is more likely than not that the respondent violated the Code

    b. The Associate Dean of Student Relations will be available as a resource during all deliberations

    c. For respondents found responsible for violating the Code, the panel will determine the sanction(s) to be imposed on the student

    d. Within two business days of the conclusion of deliberations, the chair will provide the Associate Dean with a written report describing the finding, how each member voted, information cited by the panel to support its finding, and any information the panel excluded from consideration and why. This report should conclude with the sanctions

    e. The report should not exceed two pages

  6. Notification of finding and sanction(s)

    a. The Associate Dean of Student Relations will notify the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer of the finding and the sanction(s), and will ensure that respondent and reporter are informed within three business days of the hearing

    b. Notification to respondent and reporter will be made in writing by mail to the local or permanent address on record for the student and to the student’s College email address

    c. The notification will include a rationale for the finding and sanction

    d. In cases of sexual misconduct and other crimes of violence, notice of the outcome will be delivered to all parties simultaneously

  7. Special hearing provisions for sexual misconduct, discrimination and other sensitive allegations

    a. These provisions will focus on making the alleged victim more comfortable without working to the disadvantage of the respondent

    b. For example, the alleged victim and respondent could be allowed to testify separately

    c. The past sexual history or sexual character of a party will not be admissible by the other parties in hearings unless such information is determined to be highly relevant by the panel chair

    d. All such information sought to be admitted by a party or the College will be presumed irrelevant until a showing of relevance is made, in advance of the hearing, to the chair

    e. Demonstration of pattern, repeated, and/or predatory behavior by the respondent, in the form of previous findings in any legal or campus proceeding, or in the form of previous good faith allegations, will always be relevant to the finding, not just the sanction

    f. The parties will be notified in advance if any such information is deemed relevant and will be introduced in the hearing

    g. The party making any report alleging sexual misconduct, other behavior falling within the coverage of the federal law known as Title IX, and/or a crime of violence as defined by the Federal Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) will be notified in writing of the outcome of a hearing, any sanctions assigned and the rationale for the decision