Although the procedural requirements are not as formal as those employed in criminal or civil proceedings in courts of law, to ensure fairness, the following procedures will apply and, be included within the hearing notice:
- Attendance at hearings is limited to those directly involved or those requested by the Associate Dean or designee or panel to attend. The Associate Dean or designee or panel will take reasonable measures to assure an orderly hearing, including removal of persons who impede or disrupt proceedings.
- The accused student may have an advisor throughout the hearing. The advisor may only counsel the student and may not actively participate in the hearing, unless clarification is needed as determined by the Associate Dean or designee or panel.
- The accused may submit a written statement, may invite relevant factual witnesses to attend and answer questions, may invite character witnesses to submit written statements, may, as approved in advance by the Associate Dean or designee, invite character witnesses to testify in person, may ask questions of witnesses called by others, and shall be notified of potential witnesses to be called. The accused must also submit a list of potential witnesses, and identify those who are character witnesses only, to the Associate Dean or designee at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing. The College may present witnesses as well as question those presented by the accused.
- Written statements may be used only if a fact witness (i.e., not a character witness) cannot attend the hearing and the hearing cannot be postponed to accommodate the fact witness’s schedule.
- In cases requiring special expertise, the panel coordinator may appoint individuals with appropriate expertise to serve as consultants to the panel. The consultants may be present and provide information as called upon during the hearing but will not vote.
- Students are entitled to a presumption of innocence. Therefore, a student will not be found in violation unless a preponderance of the evidence supports the charge(s).
- At the conclusion of hearing and review of all the information, including testimony, the accused student will be given the opportunity to make a closing statement. After the closing statement, the Hearing Panel will decide, by majority vote, outside the presence of the accused student and any other non-Hearing Panel members, whether the student violated the College Student Code of Conduct. At that time the Associate Dean will provide information to the panel about any prior misconduct by the student. Based upon the panel deliberations and any additional information presented, the panel will decide on what appropriate sanctions will be imposed.
- Sanctions should be commensurate with the violation(s) found to have occurred. In determining the sanction(s) to be imposed, the Associate Dean or designee or panel should take into account any mitigating circumstances and any aggravating factors including, but not limited to, any provocation by the subject of the conduct that constituted the violation, any past misconduct by the student, any failure of the student to comply fully with previous sanctions, the actual and potential harm caused by the violation, the degree of intent and motivation of the student in committing the violation, and the severity and pervasiveness of the conduct that constituted the violation. Conduct, other than constitutionally protected expression, motivated by bias based on age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status may be considered an aggravating factor for sanctioning. Impairment resulting from voluntary use of alcohol or drugs (i.e., other than medically necessary) will also be considered an aggravating, and not a mitigating, factor. The Hearing Panel may recommend any of the sanctions set forth in the Potential Sanctions section of this Student Code of Conduct.
- A recommendation for suspension or dismissal of the student must be referred to the Associate Dean for approval and final disposition. The decision of the Hearing Panel shall be placed in writing, and the Associate Dean will provide documentation that due process has been followed. The Associate Dean will notify the student formally by registered mail of the decision. In the same notification, the student shall be informed of the procedure by which to appeal the decision.