The accused student is expected to attend his or her own COS hearing; failure to attend will not prevent a hearing from going forward or a decision from being made, but failure to attend may subject the student to disciplinary action. Students facing formal allegations before the COS are expected to respond.
At the beginning of the student's hearing the Chair shall determine that the student has received a copy of the allegation(s) against him or her and has received notification of his or her rights in the COS proceeding.
Procedure is informal. The purpose is to provide the student an opportunity to be heard and to provide the COS relevant information on which to base a decision.
Formal rules of evidence and courtroom procedures are inapplicable. The COS may hear and consider any information it considers to be trustworthy and to have probative value. As set forth above, the Chair is empowered to make all procedural rulings, including rulings on relevance and admissibility of evidence.
The Chair may, at his or her discretion, order that witnesses be sequestered.
At the request of the Chair, an attorney for the College may be available during any COS hearing for purposes of advising the Committee. This advice will be restricted solely to procedural or legal matters necessary to ensure a fair proceeding. Students who have criminal allegations pending may request that the Chair permit their attorney to attend the hearing as an observer.
In order for the COS to conclude that a student has violated a College rule, the COS must be persuaded that a preponderance of the evidence supports such a finding. To find a violation under this standard, the COS must conclude that it is more likely than not that the student committed the alleged violation.
Except as otherwise specified, all COS decisions shall be made by majority vote.
Consideration of Prior Record
In all Academic Honor Principle and Standards of Conduct cases before the COS or a dean, upon a determination of responsibility, a student's Dean's Office file (which the student may also review in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) may be considered for purposes of imposing an appropriate sanction. Additionally, the COS or the dean, in imposing a sanction, may consider the sanctions imposed at the College in other cases. Where the COS recommends a sanction, the Chair shall have discretion to determine the appropriate form and manner of presentation of information to the COS concerning both the individual student's record and the disposition of other behavior cases that may be helpful in formulating a sanction recommendation.
Sharing of Information
Information from individual hearings that pertain to allegations regarding organizational misconduct may be shared with the dean(s) or the OAC conducting the hearings. Information from organizational hearings may be shared with the COS or dean conducting individual hearings. The UJAO may designate an appropriate College official(s), including him or herself, to attend any hearing as an observer for the purpose of collecting relevant information for a different hearing. In appropriate cases, the COS may hold a joint hearing, or partial hearing, with the OAC.
Disclosure of Decisions
The UJAO will promptly notify students of decisions of the deans and the COS. Decisions of the COS and the deans may be revealed to authorized College personnel, to the accused student, and, in appropriate circumstances authorized by law, to the accused student's parents or guardian and the victim/complainant. The COS or the dean hearing a case may choose to comment publicly, in writing or otherwise, regarding the decision reached if, in the judgment of the COS or that dean, the best interest of the community would be served by such a disclosure. If possible and appropriate, the anonymity of the student(s) involved will be protected.
2009-2010 Student Handbook
Last Updated: 9/2/10