Rules of procedures for hearings

All hearings will be conducted in a fashion which protects the due process rights of students. College disciplinary hearings are not open to the public. Only individuals directly involved with the proceedings as outlined may be present.

  1. Quorum: Each hearing body must achieve a quorum, as established above before any case may be heard. However, the accused has the right to waive the quorum required. If there is not a quorum and the requirement is not waived by the accused the hearing must be rescheduled.
  2. Voting: A simple majority vote of those hearing committee members present at any hearing is necessary and sufficient for any action and decision.
  3. Standard of proof: Decisions regarding alleged violations will be considered on the basis of the evidence presented: that is, what is “more probable than not” (aka preponderance of evidence). This standard of proof is more similar to the one used in civil than in criminal proceedings.
  4. Procedural advisor: The Director for Community Standards, Conduct Officer, or trained designee from the professional staff or faculty of the College will serve as procedural advisor. The advisor may not participate in the fact finding portion of the hearing except to ensure that established procedures are followed and to maintain records of the hearing. Following the hearing process, the procedural advisor may provide pertinent information during penalty assignment review. This information may include: past violations of campus regulations of the accused; academic record and standing; and/or extenuating circumstances or conditions. The procedural advisor may recommend a penalty or special condition to the Hearing Committee reflecting on the standards of conduct and values of the College before a final decision is rendered.
  5. College personnel: The conduct officer or designated hearing officer may request that any member of the College’s staff be present during a hearing without consultation with the accused student. Additionally, College staff serving as witnesses may have their supervisors present during a hearing while testimony is being given.
  6. Witnesses: Witnesses are kept in a room separate from the room in which the hearing is scheduled and will be called in at the discretion of the Hearing Committee/Officer. Witnesses may not return to the waiting room following their testimony. Witnesses may be summoned by either the Office of Community Standards or accused student.

    There are two types of witnesses that can be presented in a hearing: Witnesses and Character Witnesses

    Witnesses:

    • A witness knows direct information about the incident and can provided additional understanding of the events to the board.
    • If needed a witness can provide their statement via phone or through a written statement. For more information, please contact saf.conduct@purchase.edu.  However, please be aware that witnesses that provide written statements will not be questioned and witnesses that prefer to be presented via phone will only have 3 attempts made to the number provided.  Failure to pick up the phone after 3 attempts will result with the hearing proceeding without their input.
    • If the witness appears in person, they will be called into the hearing room for approximately 15-20 minutes or until their statement is complete.  They will also be questioned by all parties involved (i.e.: the board, the accused, and/or the complainant).
    • All witnesses should arrive on time and answer all questions honestly and to the best of their ability.

    Character Witnesses:

    • A character witness only speaks about the character of the person they are providing a statement for.  This can include how long you have known the individual, any information regarding their personality, etc. This witness does not speak about the incident.
    • If needed a character witness can provide their statement via phone or through a written statement. For more information, please contact saf.conduct@purchase.edu.  However, please be aware that a character witness that prefers to be presented via phone will only have 3 attempts made to the number provided.  Failure to pick up the phone after 3 attempts will result with the hearing proceeding without their input.
    • If the character witness appears in person, they will be called into the hearing room for approximately 5-10 minutes or until their statement is complete.  They will not be questioned by any party in the room and should notify the board when their statement is complete.
    • All character witnesses should arrive on time and provided an honest statement.
  7. Chairperson of the Hearing Committee/Hearing Officer: These individuals, in consultation with the Office of Community Standards, have the authority to:
    • Postpone hearings
    • Call recesses
    • Postpone hearings
    • Take appropriate steps to maintain order
    • Decide questions on the relevance of statements or evidence
    • Recall witnesses or call for additional witnesses that may seem relevant and/or necessary to resolving the matter
    • Monitor the presentation of questions to hearing participants
    • Ensure that established procedures are followed
  8. Once all relevant information has been heard, the Hearing Committee or administrative hearing officer(s) deliberate in private to determine the responsibility of the accused as it relates to each of the charges on the specification of charges. The decision is made only on the basis of the information provided during the hearing, (i.e., documents presented, testimony heard, and finding of facts).
  9. Once the assessment of responsibility for each of the alleged violations has been determined by the hearing body, the accused student’s academic and disciplinary record will be reviewed, and an appropriate penalty or sanction will be assigned utilizing the range of sanctions assigned to each category of violation.. Repeated or aggravated offenses may require more severe sanctions than those listed as “maximum.”
  10. The discipline finding letter will be sent to the accused student within (2) working days of the hearing. All documents related to student discipline are maintained in the student’s personnel file n the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

The  sexual and interpersonal violence hearing web page can provide more information related to hearings involving allegations of sexual and interpersonal violence.