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HEARING PROCEDURES

The process for a hearing before the Judicial Board is governed by the Student Government Association Constitution and Bylaws, with specific procedures for hearings cited in Article VII, Section 8 of the Bylaws, which is reproduced here. The hearings are conducted following a prepared script; the script is used to assure uniformity and fairness in the procedure.

SECTION 8. THE PROCEDURE OF THE JUDICIAL BOARD

  1. Proceedings
    The definition of "proceedings" encompasses the investigation, hearings, deliberations, and, if necessary, the appeals process.
  2. Prior to the Hearing
    1. All members of the judicial board shall be notified promptly by the chair of a complaint or reported infraction and shall be given all information then available that bears on the complaint.
    2. The judicial board shall provide written notification to the student who is subject to the complaint, informing her of the specifics of the complaint and that an investigation is being made. A case manager will be designated to oversee the communication between the board and the parties involved in the proceedings.
    3. The board shall, based on the information gathered, decide if there is enough evidence to continue with the proceedings.
    4. When and if the judicial board decides that its proceedings shall continue, the board shall request a typed statement responding to the complaint or alleged infraction from the student who is the subject of the complaint, which should be submitted to the case manager within 48 hours.
    5. The board will consider, based on the substance of information gathered and the statement of the student who is the subject of the complaint, whether a hearing is necessary. A hearing will be called when the board finds there is insufficient information to make a decision regarding the case. If either the board or the person who is the subject of the complaint determines a hearing is needed, one shall be called.
    6. If a hearing is not necessary, the board shall provide written notification to the student who is the subject of the complaint. If a hearing is deemed necessary, the chair of the judicial board shall schedule the hearing and notify all concerned persons of its time and place. Normally a hearing will be held within seven to ten days of the decision to hold a hearing.
  3. Hearings
    1. Hearings shall, in the ordinary course, be held in private. The judicial board may permit designated members of the administration or the college community to observe proceedings.
    2. A record of all hearings shall be made by the judicial board by tape recording or by another method determined by the board.
    3. The chair shall summarize the complaint and inform the student who is the subject of the complaint of the specific nature of the complaint or alleged infraction.
    4. The student who is the subject of the complaint may be present throughout the hearing and may consult with her adviser during her testimony.
    5. The judicial board may hear and question each witness separately.
    6. The judicial board may call any witnesses whose testimony bears on the case.
    7. The judicial board insists on honest and forthright responses to its questions, and may recommend penalties, including suspension or dismissal, for any witness who is not truthful or who intentionally misleads the board. All students who testify before the board will be expected to sign a statement attesting to the truthfulness of their testimony.
    8. The student who is the subject of the complaint may ask the judicial board chair to direct certain questions to a witness. Only the judicial board may question a witness.
    9. Upon the completion of hearings, the judicial board shall make a written decision normally within 72 hours. The decision will be made available to the student who is the subject of the complaint, the dean of students, and other appropriate deans. The person filing the complaint shall be notified in writing within 72 hours that the case has been reviewed and adjudicated. At the discretion of the judicial board, in extreme circumstances, the decision may also be included in the student's permanent college record. The decision imposing social probation shall be so included. The decision will remain in the judicial board's confidential files for five years and will be referred to if the student is brought before the board again.
    10. Proceedings of the judicial board shall take precedence over all non-academic activities and may, in extreme cases, need to take precedence over academic activities. Board members, students who are the subjects of a complaint, and all witnesses notified by the board shall appear at the times designated by the board and shall be excused from other obligations to participate in board proceedings.
    11. Members of the judicial board may be removed or disqualify themselves from sitting on a particular case for reasons of conflict of interest or otherwise.
    12. Formal rules of evidence or procedure shall not apply to hearings of the judicial board. The board may consider any testimony or evidence it deems helpful or relevant. The board's decisions are based on information brought before it at the hearing or in written statements that have been submitted to the board regarding the case.
    13. The chair shall make decisions regarding procedural questions arising during the hearing. Such determinations may be modified only by a majority vote of the judicial board.
  4. Post-Hearing Actions and Appeals
    1. The judicial board may take such actions as are necessary to enforce its decisions.
    2. Appeals of decisions of the judicial board shall be made in writing to the appeal board, c/o dean of the college, chair, within seven days of the date on the board's decision letter.
    3. An appeal board shall be composed of three members: the dean of the college or her/his designee, chair; one student member of the cabinet appointed by the SGA president; and one member of the administration appointed by the dean of the college.
    4. The appeal board shall review the evidence presented to the judicial board, including the record of the hearing, and may take whatever additional steps it deems necessary to review the case according to the grounds for appeal as specified in Section 8, D6.
    5. If the appeal board determines that the judicial board's actions or decisions should be modified, it will, before making a decision, send its recommendations for modifications to the judicial board for its reconsideration. The appeal board will make its final decision following the action on reconsideration by the board.
    6. Appeals may be made only on the grounds of gross error in procedure, violation of the student's rights, new evidence, or extreme bias on the part of the judicial board. Appeals may not be filed solely based on disagreeing with the board's decision.

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