Hearing Process

Hearing Process / Appeal Process / Complainant's Bill of Rights / Respondent's Bill of Rights

1. Pre-Hearing Submissions:

The complainant and respondent will provide the Deputy Title IX Coordinator (or designee) with a list of witnesses they propose to call, and copies of documents and a description of any other information they propose to present at the hearing, on or before a date set by the Deputy Title IX Coordinator (or designee). Evidence of the complainant’s past sexual history will not be permitted at the hearing unless it is relevant to the complaint. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will provide each party with a copy of the list of witnesses, and identification or copies of documents or other information submitted by each party. In the absence of good cause, as determined by the Deputy Title IX Coordinator (or designee), the parties may not introduce witnesses, documents, or other information at the hearing that were not provided to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator (or designee) by deadline.

2. Pre-Hearing Meeting and Determination of Complaint and Witness

The Deputy Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will schedule a pre-hearing meeting prior to the hearing date. At the meeting, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will review hearing procedures with the parties separately. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will review the complaint of alleged Sexual Misconduct (and related misconduct, if applicable), and review the complainant/respondent respective lists of proposed witnesses to assist them in eliminating redundant information. The University reserves the right, through the Deputy Title IX Coordinator (or designee), (a) to add to or modify the alleged violations specified by the Fact Finders.

3. Pre-Hearing Discussion

Once a Board member has been named to the Disciplinary Board, she/he may not publicly or privately discuss the merits of the complaint with anyone not involved in the proceedings, with the complainant/respondent themselves, or with anyone acting on the behalf of the complainant/respondent. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will provide disciplinary board members with a copy of the Notice of Hearing, the Fact Finding Report, and a list of witnesses submitted by the complainant and the respondent. Prior to the hearing the complainant and respondent will receive copies of the investigators report, a list of witnesses & their statements, as well as any other pertinent information, as designated by the Disciplinary Board.

4. Conduct of the Hearing

the hearing will not follow a courtroom model, and formal rules of evidence will not be observed. Accordingly, for example,

a. The parties (complainant and respondent) will be allowed to make opening statements followed by questions posed by the Disciplinary Board from the Fact Finding Report and written statements made by the parties pertaining to the incident.

b. Parties may not directly question each other and will be advised to direct their questions to the Chair (Deputy Title IX Coordinator or designee) of the Disciplinary Board.

c. The parties may elect to rely upon the statements of witnesses contained in the Fact Finding Report if such witnesses are unavailable to attend the hearing.

d. In consultation with the Disciplinary Board the Chair will determine the order of the witnesses and resolve any questions of procedure arising during the hearing

e. At the appropriate time the parties may ask questions of the witnesses.

f. The Dean of Students Office will provide witnesses with the date, time, building and room number of the hearing. The Dean of Students will, as a matter of routing, notify witnesses of the impending judicial action, up to the day of the hearing.

g. Disciplinary Board members will review, in advance of the hearing, all the written materials provided to them by the Chair.

h. Both parties may ask the Chair to pose additional questions or inquire further into specific matters by submitting these requests in writing or orally, at the discretion of the Chair. If necessary, a brief break may be granted to allow both parties an opportunity to prepare and submit such requests.

i. The Chair is empowered to disallow or reframe any questions that are irrelevant or redundant.

j. After all witnesses have been questioned, each party may make a closing statement.

k. If the Disciplinary Board determines that unresolved issues exist that would be clarified by the presentation of additional information, the Chair may suspend the hearing and reconvene it in a timely manner to receive such additional information.

l. A delay may not be based on the failure of witnesses to appear without good cause or on the proposed introduction of documents or other information that should have been presented at the pre-hearing meeting.

5. Testimony or Participation by the Accused

The accused student has the option not to testify; however, the exercise of that option will not preclude the Disciplinary Board from proceeding and determining the complaint on the basis of the Fact Finding report and other available information. In addition, if the accused student fails to appear at the hearing, after being duly notified of its place and time, the Chair may postpone the proceedings or direct that the Disciplinary Board proceed and determine the complaint on the basis of the Fact Finding Report and other information.

6. Testimony by Closed-Circuit Technology

Upon timely request by a party or witness, the University may be able to provide for testimony by closed-circuit technology in appropriate circumstances, including where parties or witnesses are otherwise unable to participate in the hearing. The availability of testimony by closed-circuit technology will be at the sole discretion of the Chair.

7. Recording

The Chair will arrange for the hearing to be recorded.

8. Standard of Proof

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has interpreted Title IX to require schools to evaluate evidence of alleged Sexual Misconduct under a “preponderance of the evidence” standard and that is the standard adopted by this Policy. A preponderance of the evidence means that the information shows that it is “more likely than not” that the accused student violated this policy. In the context of a hearing hereunder, the accused student will be found to be responsible for the alleged Sexual Misconduct if the Disciplinary Board, by unanimous vote, concludes that such Sexual Misconduct more likely than not occurred based upon careful review of all information presented. In making its determination, the Disciplinary Board shall carefully consider all of the evidence presented and follow the procedures stated in this Policy in order to ensure as fair a hearing as possible for all parties.

9. Sanction

The Disciplinary Board is required to consider suspending or expelling any student found responsible for Sexual Misconduct; however, that Disciplinary Board may impose any sanction that it finds to be fair and proportionate to the violation. In determining an appropriate sanction, the Disciplinary Board may consider any record of past violations of the Student Code of Conduct, as well as the nature and severity of such past violation(s). The Disciplinary Board will also consider, as part of its deliberations, whether the sanction will (a) bring an end to the violation in question, (b) reasonably prevent a recurrence of a similar violation, and (c) remedy the effects of the violation on the complainant and the University community. The sanction imposed will be explained or supported in the written decision of the Disciplinary Board.