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Hearing Preparation (2023 Charter)

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Hearing Panel Overview 

The number of panelists for a hearing is dependent on the level of review. Mid-Level Review Panels have two students and one faculty/staff; High-level Review Panels have three students and two faculty/staff. At least one faculty Panelist will be present for an alleged Honor Code violation. At least one student Panelist will match the status (undergraduate/graduate) of the Responding Student (RS). Panels make decisions by a vote of 2 out of 3 (Mid-Level Review) or 4 out of 5 (High-Level Review) on whether a student is responsible. If a Responding Student (RS) is found responsible, panels will make decisions by the same vote (2 out of 3 for Mid-Level Review or 4 out of 5 for High-Level Review) to determine appropriate sanctions. The Student Panel chair has the duty to ensure that participants in the hearing act with courtesy and civility and avoid any intimidation or harassment.

Scheduling a Hearing

If the RS contest the charge, the Conduct Advisor (CA) will arrange a hearing date, after consultation with the RS and the Reporting Party (RP). The RS may choose to attend and participate actively in the hearing, participate via a telephone/video conference call, or simply rely on their written statement and written documentation.

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If the RS has questions about forms of participation, the can speak with their Conduct Advisor or a Conduct Counselor. 

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Additional Hearing Preparation 


If witnesses are required or requested, the CA will also try to accommodate their schedules. 

Witnesses generally are limited to speaking to the facts and issues of the case, and may submit a pre-hearing statement to the Conduct Investigator (CI) about the general nature of their intended testimony before the hearing.


The CI has the responsibility to present evidence that supports the charges, evidence of an exculpatory nature and evidence of extenuating circumstances. This is why it is important for the RS to tell the CI about or bring to the CI’s attention any evidence that supports theiryour defense, as early as possible, so that the CI has time to verify or corroborate that evidence before the hearing. All evidence and written documentation must be submitted before the hearing.

Oral Presentation

Both the RP and RS will have the opportunity to make a brief oral report highlighting significant evidence and written documentation. The panel has the option to limit the presentations to 15 minutes. The RS should prepare for this possibility as they compose their oral statement.

Conduct Counselors / Support Persons 

All parties choose to have any support person with them at the hearing. If they intend to bring such a support person/Conduct Counselor/Personal Adviser, please let the Office of Community Standards know as soon as possible. Release of Information (ROI) forms must be completed for each support person and/or Conduct Counselor. 

Note: Advisers cannot serve as a witness. (See bylaw regarding Role of the Personal Adviser.)

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Pre-Hearing Meeting

Once a hearing date has been set, it is to the benefit of the RS to meet with both the CI and the CA at least once. They will talk the RS through the hearing, discuss what documentary evidence will be presented, the general nature of anticipated witness testimony and help prepare for the type of questions the Hearing Panel may ask. Together, information provided to the HearingPanel will be reviewed to ensure that the RS and the CI are aware of the materials being presented. If there are questions about what information will be provided to the Panel, the RS should speak with the CI. 

During the pre-hearing meeting, the CA will also review the outline of the hearing, and the RS will be given the names of the potential panelists (and informed of bias check practices and procedures) to make sure that they do not know any of them. The CA will discuss possible sanctions, should the RS be found responsible, and advise the RS about what information and documentation they should think about presenting to the Panel related to the impact of specific sanctions.

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Submit a Sanction Statement, If Necessary

If the RS intends to ask the Hearing Panel to consider sanctions that deviate or depart from sanction(s) of precedent, the RS is strongly advised to submit a written sanction statement detailing the reasons why a deviation or departure should be granted. Panels are not likely to impose an alternative sanction without having very compelling reasons to do so.

For help in writing a sanction statement:

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