In the event that a discipline hearing is necessary, the vice president of student services or designee will contact the chairperson of the discipline committee within seven business days to initiate the discipline process. The chairperson of the discipline committee will confer with committee members, set a hearing date, and notify the respondent and committee members in writing. The notification will include the specific violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
Discipline Committee Membership
The discipline committee will be formed at the beginning of each semester at the request of the vice president of student services or designee. The committee consists of, but is not limited to, five members, one of whom will serve as chair. A quorum consists of the chair and two members of the committee.
Members of this committee who do not feel that they can render an impartial decision in regard to a specific case may be excused if they give notice to the chairperson of the committee prior to the notification of the scheduled hearing of the respondent. The chairperson will contact the constituency for the selection of an alternate. The respondent or complainant may request the replacement of any member of the committee if evidence of personal prejudice is provided. Objections to a committee member must be stated in writing and submitted to the committee within five business days after notification. A decision will be rendered by the chairperson of the committee.
Discipline hearings will be closed. The assistant to the vice president of student services or designee serves as a recorder during discipline hearings. Hearings may be conducted in person, or by mail, telephone, or other electronic means. In the case of hearings conducted via mail, materials, statements, evidence, etc. would be sent to and from the respondent by mail. Once the file is complete, the disciplinary committee would still meet for a disciplinary hearing. Although the respondent would not be physically present, it is possible that witnesses or other persons presenting information, either on behalf of the respondent or the complainant would be present. Hearing proceedings will be recorded by and shall be the property of the college. Deliberations will not be recorded. The hearing recordings will be made available for review to the respondent or the complainant upon written request. Once all appeal deadlines have been met, hearing recordings will be disposed.
The chairperson of the committee will notify the respondent of all charges, membership, and hearing date in writing at least 5 business days in advance of the scheduled hearing.
Failure of the respondent to appear at the hearing, after proper notice, will result in the committee making a decision in the respondent’s absence.
Prior to the hearing, the respondent may be granted access to review photographs, documents, or other tangible objective evidence to be introduced by the complainant. If new evidence comes to light during the hearing, a recess may be granted upon request.
Both the respondent and the complainant have the right to be accompanied and advised by a person of his or her choosing. Only the respondent, the complainant, and witnesses can participate in the proceedings. Furthermore, legal representation is not permitted in college disciplinary proceedings, whether informal or formal. However, legal representation is permitted when the student faces concurrent criminal charges.
The committee may request the appearance of any person that each party wishes to have appear and testify. The committee has no authority to compel the appearance of any person who is neither respondent nor complainant. The chairperson of the committee will have the duty of maintaining order at the hearing and will have the right to exclude any party or witness from the hearing, temporarily or permanently.
Order of Presentation:
- Chairperson’s opening remarks.
- Opening statements of complainant and respondent, if desired by each.
- Presentation of evidence by complainant, then respondent.
- Questions by members of the hearing panel.
- Closing statement by the complainant and the respondent.
- Private deliberation by the committee.
- Committee decision.
At a discipline hearing, the technical rules of evidence applicable to civil and criminal cases shall not apply. Evidence will include all facts based on oral testimony of witnesses who are present before the committee and all tangible objective evidence including photographs, charts, papers, electronic or other recorded statements. Written statements by witnesses not present at the hearing may be admitted into evidence, but the committee will decide how much weight, if any, will be given to such statements.
Evidence of a student’s past record may be introduced if a pattern of similar behavior has been demonstrated. The sanction phase of the hearing will consider evidence of pattern behavior.
- Any party may present witnesses subject to the right of questioning by other parties.
- Witnesses are excluded from the hearing room, but brought in individually before the committee to provide testimony. (This provision does not apply to the complainant and respondent.)
- At the close of all testimony and after the admission of all evidence, the complainant and the respondent will be allowed a closing statement. Closing statements may include a summation of all evidence (as admitted) and arguments or theories behind the stated position of each side.
The committee will, after hearing all evidence and summations, retire for deliberation. The chairperson of the committee will announce the decision promptly. The committee will issue and make available a written report which is shared with all parties, including the complainant. The chairperson of the committee will notify the respondent of the decision in writing within two business days.