Preparing for Your Student Conduct Hearing
- Know the Code
The Code of Student Conduct should become your best friend. It outlines the entire student conduct and appeals process and provides potential sanctions you could receive. Make sure you know and understand the specific charges against you, which are listed in your notice of complaint letter and defined in the Code. Your understanding of this document could directly impact your perception and approach towards your upcoming student conduct hearing.
- Be Prompt
Plan to arrive at your hearing shortly before the scheduled time. For hearings before the Community Standards Board, plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time. This will allow you an opportunity to collect your thoughts, to present your case, and to ask questions about the process before it begins. All hearings begin on time. The dress code for any hearing is casual, but not sloppy dress.
- Bring an Advisor
In most cases, an advisor is not necessary but you have the right to bring one. An advisor can help you prepare for your hearing and may sit with you during the hearing. Advisors can be any trusted individual, including parents, friends, attorneys and especially faculty and staff who are familiar with the student conduct process. Plans to bring an advisor or to request an advisor must be made well in advance of the hearing.
- Bring Witnesses
Like advisors, witnesses are not necessary in most cases. Witnesses are useful when only second-hand information is otherwise available. Witnesses can present truthful information about an incident as they saw or heard it themselves. You must notify the Code of Conduct Office of any witnesses prior to your hearing.
- Remain Calm
It is natural to experience nervousness during the hearing process; however, the best thing you can do for your case is to remain calm and collected. Do not allow your nerves to get the best of you. Take deep breaths when necessary and take some time to think about your answers before answering questions. Remaining calm allows you to be more in control when presenting your case.
- Be Prepared and Organized
Be sure to organize all of your thoughts and outline all of the events associated with the incident. Taking the time to write out a thorough opening and closing statement would help to present your side of the incident clearly. Being organized and prepared for your hearing increases the chances of a fair and agreeable outcome.
- Be Honest
The key to a fair hearing is a thorough investigation of facts. You will be asked to recount your incident in detail. It is very important to speak truthfully and to answer questions openly and honestly. Honest responses will make it easier to create a better picture of the incident. There are additional sanctions that can be imposed if someone is proven to be dishonest during a hearing.
- Describe Your Responsibility
Ultimately, the hearing body wants to know if you take responsibility for the alleged violation. Be prepared to describe and answer questions about if you take full responsibility, some responsibility, or no responsibility for the alleged violations. Accepting responsibility means acknowledging that you acted inappropriately and are willing to make up for it.
- Ask Questions — Early and Often
The student conduct process is about student development and growth. The Code of Conduct Office is designed to assist you during this process. Be sure to get all of your questions answered prior to your hearing and do not hesitate to follow up.