Hearing Venue Information

I. Integrity Code Board
The Integrity Code Board is a three-person panel (one student, one faculty member, and one staff member) with members drawn from the Honor Court.  The Integrity Code Board provides a setting to hear and establish the facts of the case, determine responsibility for alleged violations, and recommend sanctions, if appropriate, to a member of the Dean of Students staff.  Following the conference, a member of the Dean of Students staff imposes appropriate sanction(s) for the violation of the Student Integrity Code if the student is found responsible.  No witnesses may be called at the conference (it is a closed meeting), but the student may submit written character references or other written materials pertaining to the circumstances relevant to the incident and/or charges.

The student may have an advisor, who is not an attorney, present during the Integrity Code Board conference.  The student is responsible for presenting their own case, and therefore the advisor is not permitted to prepare or submit documents, present arguments or participate actively in the hearing; the advisor’s sole role is to advise the student.

The conference may be recorded for the protection of all parties and the recording becomes part of the record.  The recording is confidential and is used only for the purpose of this conference and any resulting appeal.  No copies may be made.  If the student wishes to listen to the recording for an appeal, the student must do so in a setting arranged by a member of the Dean of Students staff. The recording is destroyed immediately after an appeal has been exercised or within 30 days, whichever comes first.

II. Administrative Hearing
The administrative hearing is a meeting to establish the facts of the case.  No witnesses may be called (it is a closed hearing), but the student may submit written character references or other written materials pertaining to the circumstances relevant to the incident and/or charges. Both the student and the hearing officer may have an advisor present during the hearing.  The student is responsible for presenting their own case, and therefore, the advisor is not permitted to prepare or submit documents, present arguments or participate actively in the hearing; the advisor’s sole role is to advise the student.  Following the administrative hearing, and when all relevant information has been collected and reviewed, a member of the Dean of Students staff makes a determination of responsibility for any violations of university policy and, if the student is found responsible, a determination of sanctions to be imposed.  The student is notified in a decision letter. The conference may be recorded for the protection of all parties and the recording becomes part of the record.  The recording is confidential and is used only for the purpose of this conference and any resulting appeal.  No copies may be made.  If the student wishes to listen to the recording for an appeal, the student must do so in a setting arranged by a member of the Dean of Students staff. The recording is destroyed immediately after an appeal has been exercised or within 30 days, whichever comes first.

III. Peer Board

The peer board is a panel of at least three students, chaired by a student member of the Honor Court. The Peer Board provides a setting to hear and establish the facts of the case. The student may have an advisor, who is not an attorney, present during the hearing. The student is responsible for presenting their case, and therefore the advisor is not permitted to prepare or submit documents, present arguments or participate actively in the hearing; the advisor’s sole role is to advise the student. No witnesses may be called to the conference (it is a closed hearing), but the student may submit character references or other written materials pertaining to the incident and/or charges. If the student is found responsible, sanctions and educational requirements may be imposed. The student is notified in a decision letter. 

IV. Honor Court
An orderly hearing is essential to ensure fairness to all parties. The following procedural guidelines govern Court hearings:

A. The Honor Court shall consist of three students (one of these students serving as the Honor Court Chair), one faculty member, one staff member and the faculty advisor to the Court.

B. The Honor Court meets on a scheduled basis; a student who chooses the Honor Court as a hearing venue for a conduct case is expected to make arrangements to attend at a regularly scheduled time (see section III.D).

C. Notice to Court: The Chairperson of the Court shall receive a copy of the charges if the student has elected a hearing by the Court.

D. The Chairperson of the Honor Court shall exercise control over the hearing. Any person, including the student charged, who disrupts a hearing or who fails to adhere to the rulings of the Court may be excluded from the proceedings.

E. Hearings may be recorded or transcribed at the discretion of the Court. The decision of the Court must include a summary of the testimony and shall be sufficiently detailed to permit review by the Dean of Students.

F. The hearing shall ordinarily be closed. The Court shall determine the persons allowed at a closed hearing. All testimony heard and sanctions determined in a closed hearing shall be kept in strict confidence by all parties and by the members of the Court. An open hearing may be held, at the discretion of the Court, if requested by the student charged, and if acceptable to the complainant.

G. Where multiple parties are being charged, the Court has the authority to conduct separate hearings.

H. Adherence to legalistic court procedures, advocacy techniques and formal rules of evidence are not applicable in Honor Court hearings. Both the student charged and a member of the Dean of Students staff may have an advisor, who is not an attorney, present. The student’s advisor is not permitted to prepare or submit documents, present arguments, or participate actively in the hearing; the advisor’s sole role is to advise the student.

I. The purpose of the hearing is to arrive at the truth.  Statements to the Court are to be candid, cogent and objective.

J. Any party may challenge a member of the Court on the grounds of personal bias, conflict of interest, or prejudgment on the merits of the case. A member of the Court may recuse him- or herself for any of the above reasons. Members may be disqualified from participation in a hearing by a vote of the remaining members of the Court.  If the Court members are disqualified, the hearing must be rescheduled.

K. If the student does not appear at the hearing, the hearing proceeds.  If the student appears, but decides to leave the hearing without having requested and received permission from the Court to do so, the hearing continues. In any case of absence of the charged student from the hearing, no inference of guilt or innocence is drawn from such absence.

L. The members of the Court play an active role at the hearing, asking questions of witnesses, seeking clarification of issues that are unclear, and participating in deliberations on all matters of procedure and substance at both open and closed portions of any hearing.

M. The Court determines how the hearing will proceed in order to fulfill its purpose most fairly and expeditiously.  Hearings normally proceed as follows:

1. Ruling by the Court on preliminary matters as set forth above.

2. Opening statement by a member of the Dean of Students staff and presentation of evidence in support of the statement of charges.

3. Student’s opening statement and evidence in answer.

4. Member of the Dean of Students staff response.

5. Student’s response.

6. Closing summaries of all parties. *With multiple parties, the Court determines necessary modifications to the above.

N. The guidelines as to witnesses are:

1. The Court admonishes all witnesses that their testimony is to be truthful.  This information of past abuse will be taken into account if any future information is provided by that witness and the university may consider in its discretion appropriate legal and other actions.

2. Parties to the case and the Court may request witnesses to testify at the hearing.

3. At the discretion of the Court, prospective witnesses may be excluded from the hearing during the testimony of other witnesses.

4. Parties are accorded an opportunity to question witnesses.

5. If necessary, in order to ensure relevance or to avoid harassment or intimidation of a witness, the chairperson of the hearing may intervene in any questioning.

6. In instances where a university neighbor is a witness, information regarding previous complaints from this individual will be included in the preliminary report, solely for the purpose of judging witness credibility.

7. A member of the Dean of Students staff will make all reasonable efforts to obtain relevant reports from the police or other community agencies. 

O. If a hearing is disrupted or, at the discretion of the Court, entails sensitive matters, the Court may close a hearing and shall determine those persons who may be present.

P. Details concerning the Honor Court’s operation are contained in the Honor Court Guide, available from the Office of the Dean of Students.

Q. Decision Process
After all evidence has been presented by all parties and closing summaries have been given, the chairperson recesses the hearing and the members of the Court meet privately to determine whether or not the student has violated the Student Integrity Code and to decide on the appropriate sanction.  This process is subject to the following guidelines:

1. All parties, the witnesses and the public are excluded during the decision process.

2. Five voting members of the Court must be present to constitute a quorum necessary to render a decision, at least one of whom must be the university faculty member. A simple majority of those not abstaining must concur in order for the Court to render a decision.

3. A finding that the student has violated the Student Integrity Code must be supported by a preponderance of the evidence.

4. When individuals are collectively charged, determinations of responsibility of each individual must be separately made.

5. If the Court finds a student responsible for the charges, it shall undertake the following actions:

a.  the Court must review those sanctions that have been imposed by the Court in the past for violations similar to the present one.  (This review emphasizes the importance of consistency in decision-making.)

b. the Court must obtain information about the student’s past disciplinary record of proven violations and any sanctions imposed. (The Court takes into account the severity of any prior violation(s) in determining the proper sanction to impose in any present case.)

c. in situations where a complaint involves a request for restitution of property damage, monetary sanction will be limited to reasonable and verifiable out-of-pocket expenses for repair and/or an insurance deductible.  Costs for improvement or upgrade of facilities, property, etc. will not be levied in conduct sanctions.  Other financial arrangements can be made in mediated settlements provided that all parties involved are in agreement.

6. The chairperson prepares a statement of specific findings of fact supporting its decision on each of the stated charges. This statement is sent to all parties and to the Dean of Students and the file is retained with a member of the Dean of Students staff.

V. Sexual Misconduct Board

The Sexual Misconduct Board is utilized in formal resolutions of cases alleging sexual misconduct, and consists of a three-person panel (one student, one faculty member, and one staff member) with members drawn from the Honor Court who have received additional training to hear cases involving sexual misconduct. Both the complainant and respondent are invited to participate in the hearing.  The board determines responsibility for alleged violations, and recommends sanctions, if appropriate, to a member of the Dean of Students staff.  Following the hearing, a member of the Dean of Students staff imposes appropriate sanction(s) for the violation of the Student Integrity Code if the student is found responsible.  The following guidelines apply to the Sexual Misconduct Board procedures:

A. The complainant and respondent may have an advisor, who is not an attorney, present during the hearing; however, the advisor is not permitted to prepare or submit documents, present arguments or participate actively in the hearing; the advisor’s sole role is to advise the student.

B. Witnesses may be called by the Sexual Misconduct Board.

C. The hearing may be recorded for the protection of all parties and the recording becomes part of the record.  The recording is confidential and is used only for the purpose of this hearing and any resulting appeal.  No copies may be made.  If the student wishes to listen to the recording for an appeal, the student must do so in a setting arranged by a member of the Dean of Students staff. The recording is destroyed immediately after an appeal has been exercised or within 30 days, whichever comes first.

D. The Sexual Misconduct Board
The Sexual Misconduct Board will issue two documents to the respondent and the complainant: a determination letter and memorandum opinion. The determination letter will contain only the following information: the name of the respondent; whether the respondent has been found responsible or not responsible of the charges of sexual assault or sexual misconduct; and the sanction imposed, if any. As guaranteed by federal law, both the respondent and the complainant have a right to this information. University policy neither encourages nor discourages further disclosure of the determination letter by either student. The university encourages a student who wishes to disclose the determination letter to consult with legal counsel before doing so. The memorandum opinion will contain an explanation of the panel’s reasoning for its determination. The memorandum opinion is both an educational record and confidential record of the hearing and may not be disclosed except as authorized or required by law.

E. Impact Statement
The complainant may present the panel with a statement recommending a sanction. The student found responsible will be provided an opportunity to respond to the statement. The panel shall not be bound by these statements in determining a sanction. Witnesses other than the parties normally are not permitted at the Impact Statement phase of the hearing; however, the Chair reserves discretion as the presiding officer to determine the presence of other persons.