Sexual & Interpersonal Violence Hearing Process & Student Rights:
In consideration of the traumatic nature of incidents of sexual and interpersonal violence, the College will convene a hearing panel consisting of three (3) faculty/staff members. A Procedural Officer will be present during a hearing panel. Information about the role of the Procedural Officer can be found on the hearing procedures web page.
Throughout conduct proceedings, the accused student(s)/respondent(s) and the complainant(s)/reporting parties 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 student(s)/respondent(s) and complainant(s)/reporting parties will also be informed of the factual allegations concerning the violation(s), 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 choice who may assist and advise the accused student(s)/respondent(s) and complainant(s)/reporting parties throughout any related meetings or hearings. Participation of the advisor in any proceeding is governed by federal law and the Student Code of Conduct. A person who is otherwise involved in the conduct case or hearing may not serve as an advisor of choice. The advisor may speak privately to the advisee during any disciplinary proceeding. The accused student(s)/respondent(s) and complainant(s)/reporting parties may request a break(s) during the hearing to consult with the advisor. Breaks will be granted at the discretion of the Office of Community Standards. The advisor of choice may not present information, question witnesses, or speak during any meetings or hearings to anyone other than the student they are advising. Accused student(s)/respondent(s) and complainant(s)/reporting parties are responsible for presenting all information, documents, requests, and opening and closing statements. Obtaining an advisor of choice is the responsibility of the accused student(s)/respondent(s) and complainant(s)/reporting parties.
- 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 Office of Community Standards.
- The right to offer evidence/information during an investigation and to review available relevant information in the case file held by the College.
- The right to a hearing panel consisting of three (3) faculty/staff members. A Procedural Officer will be present during a hearing panel. Information about the role of the Procedural Officer can be found on the hearing procedures web page.
- The right to request a one-time rescheduling of a disciplinary hearing not to exceed five (5) business days, barring extenuating circumstances. The accused student(s)/respondent(s) and complainant(s)/reporting parties must submit a written request to the Office of Community Standards who will make a determination. The requesting party will be notified via Purchase email of the decision. Barring extenuating circumstances, these requests must be received no later than two (2) business days prior to the scheduled hearing. Extenuating circumstances that may warrant a delay of a hearing include, but are not limited to: illness, death/bereavement of parent/guardian or sibling, university closures, breaks between semesters due to activities such as study abroad, and failure to meet composition requirements for the hearing body. Note: a change in employment/work schedule or pre-scheduled medical appointment does not constitute an extenuating circumstance.
- 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 panel at the time sanctioning is determined.
- 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 student(s)/respondent(s) if found responsible through the disciplinary proceeding. For students found responsible for sexual assault, the available sanctions are suspension (which may include additional requirements) and expulsion.
- 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 and sanctions.
- The right to ask questions of the hearing officers and ask questions indirectly via the hearing officers 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 officers are 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 Procedural Officer will read the statement to the hearing officers at the time sanctioning is determined.
- The rights afforded to them in a hearing as outlined herein and in the Student Code of Conduct.
- The right to present evidence/information 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 appeal 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, could 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 appeal board makes a final determination, unless otherwise required by law.
Presentation of Information in a Hearing
The accused student(s)/respondent(s) and/or complainant(s)/reporting parties must submit any hearing information (i.e.: incident witnesses, character witness letters, etc.) via email at least two (2) business days in advance of the scheduled hearing. The Office of Community Standards will share any submitted information with accused student(s) and complainant(s) prior to the hearing as required by state and federal law. The Procedural Officer may exclude information that has not been shared, require a break for all parties to review the excluded information, or reschedule the hearing.
Hearing Outcome Notification
The accused student(s)/respondent(s) and complainant(s)/reporting parties will receive simultaneous written or electronic notice of the findings, sanctions imposed, and rationales for each. This notice will also include information pertaining to the appeal procedures available. accused student(s)/respondent(s) and complainant(s)/reporting parties will be notified of the outcome of the hearing within ten (10) business days of the hearing, barring extenuating circumstances.