How Does a College Disciplinary Hearing Work?

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How College Disciplinary Hearings Work

Schools have different procedures just as each has their rules and punishments, but most use a rough version of the following.

  • A complaint is made to the School
  • The School will investigate and request statements from all parties
  • The school will make one of the following decisions
    • That the evidence warrants no further action
    • That a Notice of violation goes out and the student is required to attend a disciplinary conference
  • A Notice of violation goes out directing the student to appear at a hearing
  • The student may then proceed to the hearing or they may have the option of mediation or some other form of alternative dispute resolution.

Proceeding to a Hearing.

If you received a notice of violation, then your school believes you have violated their Code of Conduct and is formally charging you. You will have the option to accept responsibility for the charges or choose to proceed to a hearing. Again different schools have different procedures but this is what you can generally expect the procedure to be at a hearing

  • You will receive written notice at least 5 business days in advance
  • You will have the right to submit evidence to be used at the hearing
  • You have the right to request witnesses to testify at the hearing
  • Upon denying responsibility of the charges the school will present their case
  • You have the opportunity to make an opening statement, ask questions of the witnesses and make a closing statement (again many of these are limited by schools)
  • You are notified of the panels decision usually within 5 business days.

The Appeal Process

If you are found responsible for violating your schools code of conduct, an application for appeal may be filed based on…

  • Procedural Error: Procedural error occurs when the policies outlined in the schools code of conduct are not followed, and as a result, the outcome of the case was significantly impacted.
  • New Evidence: This refers to new evidence that was unavailable during the original hearing or investigation that could significantly impact the original finding or sanction.
  • Sanction Severity: A sanction imposed as a result of a student conduct hearing that is significantly outside of the parameters of the schools Sanction Guidelines may be appealed. Evidence must show that the sanction is inappropriate based on the infraction.