Judicial Hearing Boards
Under Article VI of the Student Handbook, every student has the right to appear before a hearing board if they choose to exercise it. Students may also elect to be adjudicated through summary action. In this case, the accused party and the adjudicating judicial officer can come to agreement on the violation of the Code of Student Conduct and an appropriate disciplinary sanction. The agreed-upon disciplinary action is written up and both parties sign agreeing to the resolution. In so doing, the offender is relinquishing all rights to appeal once the summary action form is signed.
Failure to meet with the judicial officer to discuss a disciplinary matter is in itself a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and subject to disciplinary action.
For students attending a hearing board, the Office of the Dean of Students offers this resource as a printable download. It can also be found in the Office of the Dean of Students, located at 229 Miller Campus Center.
The Student Faculty Hearing Board will hear disciplinary cases and/or cases involving violations of the Code of Conduct. The Board has the following responsibilities: hears all evidence related to the case in question; seeks answers to all questions pertaining to statements and evidence presented; reaches a finding regarding responsibility for charges against the student after full discussion of the case in closed session and presents the finding to the Dean of Students within 24 hours after the hearing concludes, or the next business day if the hearing concludes on a Friday.
The Student Faculty Hearing Board has the authority to impose all the sanctions listed in Article V. The Student Faculty Hearing Board also acts as a hearing body of first jurisdiction at the request of the President or the President’s designee in cases where the safety of persons or property of the College community is believed to have been threatened. In appeal cases heard by the Student Faculty Hearing Board, their decision is final except when suspension or dismissal from College is recommended.
The Student Faculty Hearing Board is comprised of:
- Students - provided by SGA, one of which will serve on each hearing. They are appointed for a one-year term; one will be assigned or selected by the chairperson for each hearing as available.
Students must be full-time matriculated students, must have cumulative honor point indexes of not less than 2.00, except for first- semester freshmen, and must not have incurred a penalty for campus misconduct other than admonition.
- Faculty - provided by the Faculty Assembly, one of which will serve on each hearing. Each will serve a two-year term; one will be assigned for each hearing as available. The faculty members must be employees who must have worked at the College for at least one year.
- Administration- non-teaching professional staff, one of which is assigned to each hearing as available and will serve as the chair of the Board for that hearing. They are appointed by the College President for three-year terms. The professionals must be employees who have worked at the College for at least one year.
The Student Faculty Hearing Board, by two-thirds vote of all members, may remove any student or faculty member from office for just cause, in accordance with Board due process. If a representative is removed from office, the vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original office holder.
There shall be a standing central Residence Hall Hearing Board (RHHB) composed of six students, one from each of the residence halls who are nominated by the hall staff and one Resident Assistant nominated by the Resident Assistants who will serve as Chair of the Board. The Director of Residence Life or his/ her designee will serve as the advisor to this Board. The RHHB will provide resident students with an opportunity to present cases before their peers, thus giving residents a greater degree of autonomy and "hands-on" judicial experience in communal living. When dealing with a disciplinary matter, students are afforded the right to appear before a Hearing Board (of the Judicial Officer's discretion) or the opportunity to accept summary action wherein they waive their right to appear before a Hearing Board. The Judicial Officer can also elect to present a case to the Hearing Board even if it is against the wishes of the student being charged. In accordance with the Code of Student Conduct, appeals of the RHHB's decision(s) will be heard by the Dean of Students or his/her designee. The RHHB has the authority to impose all official sanctions listed in Article V except dismissal or suspension from the College.
- Charges of alleged misconduct (under Article IV) may be brought against any student or organization.
- Before a student’s/organization’s case is presented before a campus Judicial Board (except when the Maintenance of Public Order Board has jurisdiction), the procedures below must be followed: A student/organization must be:
- Given written notice of the charges and access to all written statements expected to be used during the hearing;
- Notified of the right to obtain an advisor and the right to refuse to answer questions;
- Notified of the time and place of the hearing and given at least four calendar days from the time the student receives their charge letter and notice of hearing date and time, as well as access to all written statements to be used at the hearing in order to prepare a defense. The student/organization may waive, in writing, the right to a four-calendar day waiting period.
- The College recommends that all students and organizations adhere to the following procedures:
- Take four calendar days to prepare their defense; and
- As an option, bring one advisor with them to the hearing. An advisor may be any individual that the student designates, such as a parent/legal guardian, or member of the faculty, staff, or student body. Advisors may not actively participate in the hearing or they will be asked to leave. Students are required to submit the names of advisors and/or any witnesses to the Dean of Students or adjudicating officer at least 24 hours in advance of the start of the hearing via email. Only those on the official list will be permitted to attend the hearing.
NOTE: Attendance at hearings is limited to those directly Involved or those requested by the hearing officer or Board to attend. The hearing officer or Board will take reasonable measures to assure an orderly hearing, including removal of persons who impede or disrupt proceedings.
- A student/organization who fails to appear before the judicial Board as requested forfeits the opportunity to present their case to the Board. The hearing will be conducted as scheduled and the judicial Board will act on information, material, and testimony presented to the Board.
- A hearing body shall not be bound by the strict, technical rules of judicial evidence, but may hear or receive any testimony or evidence which is relevant to the charges and will contribute to the rendering of an impartial and fair judgment by the hearing Board.
- The accused may submit a written statement, may invite relevant witnesses to attend, and may ask questions of witnesses called by others. The College may present witnesses as well as question those presented by the accused. Further, victims of any alleged violation (but especially those covered under Title IX) may be permitted to give testimony from a remote location.
- At the conclusion of the review, the Student Faculty Hearing Board shall determine (by simple majority vote) whether the student has violated each section of the Student Code of Conduct, which the student is charged with violating. The hearing board can impose all sanctions listed in Article V. Any sanctions issued will be provided in writing within 5 business days.
- The Dean of Students shall keep record of the substance of the hearing. Such records remain the property of the College. Only college judicial affairs staff may record judicial meetings or proceedings. No other recordings are permitted. Such records often contain personally identifiable and sensitive in- formation about participants. Further, the names of specific members serving on a hearing board are to remain anonymous, with the exception of the judicial officer conducting the process. The Dean of Students may report the findings to the College community without revealing personally identifiable information.
- Adjournments: The chairperson shall have the authority to adjourn or post- pone hearings if, in his/her opinion, extenuating circumstances are justifiably raised by the accused student(s), the Dean of Students or designee or individual judicial Board members. Requests for such adjournments must be made in writing with justification at least 24 hours before the scheduled hearing. The Judicial Hearing Commit- tee may adjourn the hearing, imposing temporary sanctions, and schedule sanctioning for a later date.
- In extenuating circumstances, or when the College is in recess, the Dean of Students or designee has the authority to convene an emergency Student Faculty Hearing Board; similarly, the Director of Residence Life or designee has the authority to convene a temporary Residence Hall Judicial Board. This Board may be composed of one faculty and one staff when a student representative is not available.
A request for an appeal may only be submitted when the student believes:
- A procedural error occurred during the process, which had a direct impact on the finding.
- That new information has come to light, which has a direct impact on the finding.
- The finding or sanction imposed is unfair or inappropriate.
Appeals of a decision of SFHB shall be directed in writing (by using the form below) by the respondent to the Vice President for Student Affairs within four class days of the respondent's receipt of the written decision. Only appeals submitted on the official form (found below) will be reviewed.
Appeals of the decisions of the RHHB shall be directed in writing (by using the form below) by the respondent to the Dean of Students within four class days of the respondent's receipt of the written decision. Only appeals submitted on the official form (found below) will be reviewed.
Appeals are final within the campus judicial system.