Hearings

The Office of the Dean of Students may refer allegations of violations of the Code of Student Conduct to one of the following options for resolution:

Non-Disciplinary

Mediation

Mediation is an informal, voluntary process that allows the reporting party and responding party involved in an alleged complaint of discrimination or harassment to discuss their respective understandings of the incident with each other through the assistance of a trained mediator. Mediation is designed to encourage each person to be honest and direct with the other and to accept personal responsibility where appropriate. Mediation is only offered as an option if both the reporting party and responding party are students at SXU. If either student is less than 18 years of age, the University may require that the minor student's parent consent in writing to the student's participation in the mediation. Mediation is not appropriate for certain cases, such as alleged sexual assaults, even on a voluntary basis.

Disciplinary

Letter Adjudication

In some cases, the coordinator may choose to offer a student the opportunity to waive the right to a hearing. In this instance, the student admits responsibility for the violations for which he/she has been charged and waives the right to a formal hearing. The hearing coordinator will meet with the student informally to discuss the incident and determine appropriate sanctions.

Administrative Hearing

An administrative hearing is a formal hearing conducted by one or more hearing officer(s). Normally, the disciplinary actions that can be taken at the administrative hearing level, with the exception of the vice president for Student Affairs, are sanctions D-P. If the incident occurs outside of the normal academic year, defined as the fall semester or the spring semester, all sanctions are available in the administrative hearing. Additionally, if a student is currently sanctioned with disciplinary probation, or is otherwise not in good standing with the Dean of Students, all sanctions, including suspension and expulsion from the University, are available to the administrative hearing officers.

Witness Procedures

Witnesses are permitted at administrative hearings. Students involved in simultaneous, related conduct proceedings cannot serve as witnesses for each other. It is the responsibility of the student charged to contact the witnesses, request their attendance at the hearing and notify the hearing officer(s) of the witnesses' names at least 24 hours prior to the hearing date. Reporting parties, responding parties and the hearing officer may also invite witnesses to appear at the hearing. If a witness is unable to attend the hearing, the witness may provide a written statement, including but not limited to sworn testimony, and discuss the statement with the hearing officer before the scheduled hearing, or participate in the hearing via telephone. The hearing may proceed even if all witnesses are not present. The hearing officer may limit the number of witnesses permitted to attend the hearing. Character witnesses are normally not permitted, but in any cases that they are approved by the Office of the Dean of Students, reporting parties and responding parties will both be allowed to present character witnesses.

University Conduct Board Hearing

Incidents that could result in suspension or expulsion from the University or may be of a controversial or sensitive nature are referred to the University Conduct Board by the Dean of Students. When the University Conduct Board is not in session (semester breaks, exam periods or summer recess), cases may be heard as administrative hearings. In these instances, the hearing officer(s) have the authority to impose the full range of sanctions available to the University Conduct Board, sanctions A-P. The University Conduct Board is comprised of a board convener and two additional representatives from the faculty and staff. The members of the University Conduct Board are appointed by the vice president for Student Affairs at the beginning of the academic year and normally serve for three academic year.

The Convener of the University Conduct Board is appointed by the vice president for Student Affairs from the members appointed to serve on the University Conduct Board. A hearing before the University Conduct Board will include the hearing coordinator, board convener and two additional members of the board, the reporting party, the responding party, witnesses and advisers. The deliberations by the board will be conducted in private. The outcome of the case is communicated to the student in writing.

University Conduct Board Pre-Hearing

All cases referred to the University Conduct Board must have a pre-hearing for the charged student at least three days prior to the hearing. Advisors are permitted at the pre-hearing. Witnesses are not permitted at the pre-hearing. The pre-hearing provides an opportunity for the reporting and responding parties to review all written reports about the allegations and make an initial response to them. The hearing coordinator will compile a summary of the student's response for presentation at the University Conduct Board. The hearing coordinator will also review the list of proposed witnesses to assist the reporting party and responding party in eliminating redundancy. During the pre-hearing, there will be a full explanation of: the hearing coordinator's role; the student rights in the conduct process; a review of the charges; a copy of the written statement; list of witnesses, and identification or copies of documents or other evidence submitted by the other individuals; and the University Conduct Board procedures.

University Conduct Board Hearing Format

The hearing before the board will not follow a courtroom model. The board convener will determine the order of the witnesses and resolve any questions of procedure arising during the hearing. The reporting party and responding party will not be expected to repeat undisputed details or non-material circumstances that would merely duplicate the written materials. The board, in its discretion, may seek to have other persons speak at the hearing. Only the board convener and the board may question the reporting party, responding party, and any witnesses. However, the reporting party and responding party may ask the board convener to pose additional questions or inquire further into specific matters If necessary, a brief recess may be granted to allow the reporting party and responding party an opportunity to prepare and submit such requests. The board convener is empowered to disallow any questions that are irrelevant or redundant. After all witnesses have been questioned, the reporting party and responding party may make a closing statement and request a short recess to prepare their statement(s). If the board determines that unresolved issues exist that would be clarified by the presentation of additional materials or information, the board convener may recess the board hearing and reconvene it for the presentation of additional evidence in a timely manner. A recess may not be based on the failure of witnesses to appear without good cause or on the proposed introduction of documents or other materials or information that should have been presented at the pre-hearing meeting(s).

Substitution of Members

If members of the University Conduct Board believe they are not qualified to serve on the board for personal or official reasons, they may release themselves. A student whose case is before the University Conduct Board may not object to the membership of the University Conduct Board except for reasons of official or personal conflict of interest, and this should be noted at the time of the pre-hearing. The Office of the Dean of Students will determine the validity of request for substitution. If the objection is first raised at the time of the hearing, the board chair will make the determination.

Student Organization Hearing

A student organization hearing is a hearing conducted by one or more hearing officers or, in serious cases, the University Conduct Board. A case is considered serious when it is possible that the student organization could be suspended or terminated. The hearing officer(s)/board chair will review all of the evidence and interview the appropriate members of the organization, and, if necessary, appropriate witnesses. The hearing officers will deliberate in private and make a decision about the organization's responsibility for the alleged misconduct and issue appropriate sanctions. An organizational hearing differs from an administrative hearing/University Conduct Board hearing in that (1) the organization's advisor is invited to attend the hearing and participate in the proceedings; (2) the organization'S president and executive officers usually will officially represent the organization at the hearing, although additional officers and/or members of the organization may be invited to the hearing; (3) the organization will be asked to submit a written statement about the incident and its involvement that will be used during the hearing; and (4) the hearing officer(s) will determine sanctioning organizationally or individually as appropriate. The disciplinary actions that can be taken by hearing officer(s) as a result of a student organization hearing are the same sanctions outlined above.

Procedures and Attendance

Advisor Procedures
Advisors are permitted at pre-hearings and hearings, and any other procedural meetings. Students have the right to have one advisor present, with the exception in which the student would like both parents/guardians to attend. The reporting and the responding parties have the same right to an advisor. Advisors can be Saint Xavier faculty, staff, students, family members or any other community member not involved with the investigation. A witness or potential witness in the case may be excluded from serving in the role of advisor due to potential conflicts. The advisor serves as a support person and is intended to provide direct assistance to the student before and during the hearing. The advisor may not speak for the student, nor address the hearing officer(s) or the University Conduct Board. The student must inform the hearing officer of the name of the advisor(s) 24 hours prior to the hearing date.

Attendance
Conduct hearings will be closed to everyone except those persons specified in this procedure, or persons whose presence at the hearing is authorized by the Office of the Dean of Students. A student who cannot attend the hearing scheduled for consideration of the case must submit a written statement to the Office of the Dean of Students stating the reasons for the conflict and requesting a new hearing date. This statement must be presented to the Office of the Dean of Students at least 24 hours prior to the hearing, with the exception of hearings that necessitate a more timely decision. At the discretion of the Office of the Dean of Students, the hearing may be rescheduled. Only one change of hearing date and time may be granted. The final decision on the hearing date and location of a delayed hearing will be decided by the Office of the Dean of Students. If a student fails to attend a scheduled hearing, the hearing may proceed in the absence of the charged student. Such an absence will not be considered grounds for an appeal. Where two or more cases involving common occurrences or the same student(s) are pending simultaneously, the Office of the Dean of Students may decide to consolidate the hearing of such cases or hear them separately.

Reporting Party Notification of Findings

Reporting parties in an SXU conduct case will be notified of the outcome of disciplinary procedures as well as any relevant sanctions through the Office of the Dean of Students. This notification is to be made at the same time as notification to the responding party. Reporting parties who are the victims of any crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense are entitled by law to the findings. If the reporting party is deceased as the result of the crime, disclosure can be made to the next of kin.

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