Hearings

There are three types of hearings, which are described below.

1) 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 1-13. 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 Office of the Dean of Students, all sanctions, including suspension and expulsion from the University, are available to the administrative hearing officers. 

2) 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 Office of 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 1-15.

The University Conduct Board is comprised of a chair, and a minimum of four representatives from the faculty, staff and student body. The Office of the Dean of Students will make every effort to exhaust the list of appointed University Conduct Board members to ensure that at least one member from each group is present. The members of the University Conduct Board are appointed by the vice president for Student Affairs from a pool of faculty, staff and students The members of the University Conduct Board will be appointed at the beginning of the academic year and normally serve for one academic year. The chair of the University Conduct Board (board chair) is appointed by the vice president for Student Affairs from the members appointed to serve on the University Conduct Board. If necessary, an alternate chair will be appointed by the vice president for Student Affairs from the appointed members of the University Conduct Board.

A hearing before the University Conduct Board will include the board chair and a minimum of four members of the board, the accused student(s), the complainant(s), witnesses and advisers. The deliberations by the board will be conducted in private. A quorum consists of five voting members. The outcome of the case is communicated to the student verbally and 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 one day 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 student charged with violations of the Code of Conduct (hereby referred to as the charged student) 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. During the pre-hearing, there will be a full explanation of:

Pre-hearing for Complainant

Student complainants involved in a case that is referred to the University Conduct Board will be offered the opportunity to participate in a pre-hearing at least one day prior to the hearing. A member of the dean of students' staff will act in an advisory capacity and conduct the pre-hearing with the complainant.

University Conduct Board Hearing Format

  1. At the beginning of the hearing, the charged student will be introduced by the hearing coordinator to others who are present.
  2. The student’s understanding of his/her rights in the conduct process will be reviewed by the Board Chair.
  3. The charged student will be informed of the alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct.
  4. Incident Reports and supporting documentation will be reviewed.
  5. All communication between the charged student, complainant, and witnesses will be directed to the Board Chair.
  6. The complainant will be asked to describe what happened.
  7. The charged student will have an opportunity to respond.
  8. Witnesses will be asked to describe what happened, and the charged student will have a chance to respond.
  9. The Board Chair may reasonably limit the scope and time devoted to each matter or item of discussion during hearings, as well as the number of persons testifying.
  10. The Board Chair will decide the order of witnesses and when the complainant and witnesses will be in the hearing room.
  11. The Board Chair and/or members of the University Conduct Board may ask questions of any charged student, complainant, victim or witness during the hearing.
  12. At the conclusion of the hearing, the charged student, complainant, victim, advisors and witnesses will be excused. These individuals will not be present during the deliberations of the University Conduct Board. 
  13. After the deliberations, the decision will be communicated to the charged student, including information on the appeal process and to the complainant (separately).

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 dean of students, or designee, 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. 

3) 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.

Waiving the Right to a Hearing

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. 

Procedures and Attendance

Witness Procedures

Witnesses are permitted at 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. Victims, complainants 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 dean of students, student complainants and charged students will both be allowed to present character witnesses.

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 respondent and the complainant 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 advisor may not function as legal counsel. Attorneys or individuals with juris doctorates are not permitted at the hearings, with the exception of parents or guardians. 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 dean of students or a designee.

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 dean of students may decide to consolidate the hearing of such cases or hear them separately.

Complainant Notification of Findings

Student complainants 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 respondent. Complainants who are the victims of any crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense are entitled by law to the findings. If the complainant is deceased as the result of the crime, disclosure can be made to the next of kin.

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