Most cases that come through the Office of Community Standards are considered “non-suspendable.” This means that the outcome of the case will not include suspension or dismissal.
A student with a non-suspendable case will receive a Notice of Alleged Violation informing them of the Code of Conduct policies that are alleged to have been violated. The notice will also contain information about the date, time, location of their hearing, and the person who will be serving as the hearing officer.
When a student’s case is “non-suspendable,” they will have an Administrative Hearing.
After your hearing has occurred, you will receive an outcome letter that will include the finding, corresponding sanctions (if applicable), and appeal instructions.
A smaller group of cases come through the Office of Community Standards every year that are considered “suspendable.” This means that suspension or dismissal are potential outcomes of the hearing.
The biggest difference between non-suspendable cases and suspendable cases is that students involved in a suspendable case attend a Procedural Review prior to their hearing.
Students are notified of the date and time of their Procedural Reviews from the Office of Community Standards.
In the Procedural Review meeting, an Office of Community Standards staff member will review the alleged violations of the Code of Conduct, along with options available to the student.
Students can accept responsibility for the alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct in their Procedural Review, or they can request an Administrative Hearing or a Community Standards Board Hearing to determine responsibility.
Administrative Hearings are held between one professional staff member and the student(s) involved in the case.
Hearing officers primarily consist of staff members in the Office of Community Standards, or other trained campus professionals.
Community Standards Board
Community Standards Boards are trained decision-making panels composed of two faculty or staff members and one student.
How to Prepare for a Hearing
Although nothing is required prior to the hearing, below is a list of things you may consider to help you feel more prepared for your hearing:
- You will be given the opportunity to indicate whether you believe you are responsible or not responsible for each individual alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct. It is a good idea to reflect on your behavior beforehand to determine whether you believe you are responsible or not.
- You may want to gather any “evidence” you may have that would provide the hearing officer(s) with additional information about your case. This might include text messages, pictures, or any other materials that provide context to the incident report.
- All students will be given the opportunity to make introductory remarks to share their perspective on the events in question. Some students choose to prepare a statement to ensure they cover everything they want to discuss. The Office of Community Standards asks that any opening remarks are under 10 minutes.
- Similarly, students will be given the opportunity to make closing remarks prior to the conclusion of the hearing. If you would like to prepare closing remarks prior to the hearing, you may do so.
- In some cases, witnesses may be called to discuss the case. As a party, you may call witnesses or the Office of Community Standards may call witnesses. For cases in which suspension or dismissal are possible outcomes, witnesses must be "live," meaning that they must provide their testimony in person, via web conference, or by telephone; in such cases, written witness statements are not permitted. If witnesses are participating in your hearing, you will have the opportunity to ask them questions. You can come with a list of questions to ensure everything you’d like to ask the witnesses is addressed.
- The hearing officer(s) may ask you about sanctions that you feel would be appropriate if you are found responsible for the alleged violation(s). You may wish to reflect on how you might answer such questions if they come up during your hearing.
If you have any further questions about how to best prepare for your hearing, please contact the Office of Community Standards.