Sexual Violence Hearing/Discipline Preparation and Rights:
Throughout conduct proceedings, the accused (respondent) and the complainant (reporting individual) will have:
- The right to a prompt response to any complaint and to have the complaint investigated and adjudicated in an impartial, timely, and thorough manner by individuals who receive annual training in conducting investigations of sexual violence, the effects of trauma, impartiality, the rights of the accused, the presumption that the accused is not responsible unless a disciplinary finding indicates otherwise, and other issues related to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
- The right to an investigation and disciplinary process conducted in a manner that recognizes the legal and policy requirements of due process (including fairness, impartiality, and a meaningful opportunity to be heard), and that is conducted by individuals with no conflict of interest.
- The right to receive advance written or electronic notice of the date, time, and location of any meeting or hearing they are required or are eligible to attend. Accused individuals will also be informed of the factual allegations concerning the violation, the specific alleged violation(s) from the Student Code of Conduct, as well as the potential sanction(s) outlined for those violation(s) in the Student Code of Conduct.
- The right to be accompanied by an advisor of their choice who may assist and advise the parties throughout the discipline process and any related hearings or meetings. Participation of the advisor in any proceeding is governed by federal law and the Student Code of Conduct. A person who is a witness or is directly involved (complainant or accused) in the investigation or conduct case may not be an advisor of choice. Advisors may speak privately to the advisee, during any disciplinary proceeding. The complainant and accused student may request a break during any disciplinary proceeding to consult with the advisor which will be granted at the discretion of the Director of Community Standards or designee. Advisors for accused students and complainants may not present information or question witnesses. Accused students and complainants are responsible for presenting all information, documents, requests, and opening and closing statements.
- The right to have a conduct process run concurrently with a criminal justice investigation and proceeding, except for temporary delays as requested by external municipal entities while law enforcement gathers evidence. Temporary delays should not last more than 10 days except when law enforcement specifically requests and justifies a longer delay, and are granted at the discretion of the Director of Community Standards or designee.
- The right to offer evidence during an investigation and to review available relevant information in the case file held by the college.
- The right to choose a hearing committee composition. Please note that in the event that the complainant and accused students do not select the same hearing composition, the college will default to an administrative hearing.
- The right to request a one-time extension of a disciplinary hearing that cannot exceed 5 business days. The complainant or accused must submit a request to the Office of Community Standards and the Director or designee will review the request and make a determination. The Office of Community Standards will notify the requesting party once the review is complete and confirm the acceptance or denial of the request.
- The right to exclude prior sexual history with persons other than the other party in the conduct process and their own mental health diagnosis or treatment from admittance in the college disciplinary stage that determines responsibility. Past findings of responsibility for domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault pertaining to the accused will be admissible in the disciplinary stage that determines sanction. This information will be provided to the hearing board at the time sanctioning is determined.
- The right to a range of options for providing statements or questioning parties in the hearing via alternative arrangements, including telephone/videoconferencing or using a room partition.
- The right to simultaneous written or electronic notification of the outcome of a conduct proceeding. This includes the decision, sanctions (if applicable), and the rationale for the decisions or sanctions.
- The right to written or electronic notice of the charges that will be imposed under the Student Code of Conduct and the range of sanction(s) that may be imposed on the accused if found responsible through the disciplinary proceeding. In addition, both parties will be provided with the reasoning for the actual sanction imposed. For students found responsible for sexual assault, the available sanctions are suspension (which may include additional requirements) and expulsion.
- The right to ask questions of the committee or hearing officer(s) and ask questions indirectly via the hearing officer(s) or committee and request responses from other parties and witnesses present.
- The right to make an impact statement during the point of the proceeding where the hearing officer or committee is deliberating on appropriate sanctions. The impact statement should be a typed document placed in a sealed envelope that is given to the Office of the Community Standards at the time of the hearing. The Director of Community Standards or designee will read that statement to the hearing board at the time sanctioning is determined.
- The rights afforded to them in a hearing as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. These hearing rights include but are not limited to questioning witnesses, presenting incident and character witnesses, a support person, and to provide opening and closing statements.
- The right to present evidence and testimony at a hearing.
- The right to understand how the hearing will proceed. For example, the parties that will be present, how the hearing will be scheduled, and the estimated time commitment of the hearing.
- The right to appeal the outcome of a disciplinary hearing to an appeals board which includes at least one faculty member, staff member, and student, is fair and impartial, and does not include any individuals with a conflict of interest.
- The right to have access to a full and fair record of the conduct hearing, which shall be preserved and maintained for a minimum of seven years. For access to the record, the Office of Community Standards should be contacted at (914) 251-6027 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment during normal operating hours to review the record.
- The right to choose whether to disclose or discuss the outcome of a conduct hearing. Please note that the unreasonable sharing of private information with the intention to harm or embarrass another individual, or in a manner that would recklessly do so regardless of intent, will be viewed as retaliation and may result in separate charges under the Student Code of Conduct.
- The right to have all information obtained during the course of the discipline process be protected from public release until the appeals board makes a final determination, unless otherwise required by law.
Presentation of Information in a Hearing
Witnesses and character witnesses (i.e. names, contact information, and/or written statements) to be presented by accused students or complainants during any hearing must be submitted at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled hearing. The Director of Community Standards or designee will share any submitted information with accused students and complainants prior to the hearing. The hearing officers or procedural officers presiding at and/or hearing the case may exclude information that has not be shared or adjourn the hearing to afford all parties the opportunity to review the information to be presented during the hearing. The Director of Community Standards will make the final decision relating to the admissibility of all information.
Hearing Outcome Notification
The complainant and accused will receive simultaneous written or electronic notice of the findings, sanctions imposed, and rationales for each, as well as notice of the appeal procedures available, any possible changes to the result that may occur through an appeal, and when the result becomes final. Accused students and complainants will be notified of the outcome of the hearing within three working days of the hearing except in rare extenuating circumstances.