Presenting Party FAQs

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What will I have to do in a hearing?

In the course of an administrative hearing, you will serve as the “presenting party” or “reporting party,”  the person who observed possible violations of the Code of Conduct and documented the incident. The hearing begins with each charged student entering a choice for each charge.

As the presenting party, you will be asked to give a recollection of the incident. You may read directly from your original incident report, share your recollection from memory, or a combination of the two. It is most helpful to the hearing officer to get a full understanding of the incident and each student’s involvement. Presenting information in a chronological order and with the facts (not opinions) is best. Once you have finished, the hearing officer may ask clarifying questions to get more information. The charged student(s) will also have the opportunity to ask you clarifying questions.

The charged student(s) will then give information about the case, after which both the hearing officer and you will be given the opportunity to ask questions to gain more information. If witnesses are presented, you will be given an opportunity to ask them questions after they have shared information about the incident.

Both you and the charged student(s) will give a closing statement (if you wish) before the hearing concludes. The closing statement is an opportunity to provide a brief summary, indicate how you feel the hearing officer should decide responsibility or suggest what possible sanctions to be applied if the student is found responsible.

What should I bring with me to the hearing?

You should have a copy of your initial report available. If not, speak with your supervisor or contact the Office of Student Conduct to obtain a copy. All supporting documents or materials submitted as a part of your initial report will be available to share. If you have additional documents or materials, you will be asked to submit them prior to the hearing. These will be shared during the hearing via screen-sharing. A tech manager will be present and available to assist with the presentation of all submitted documents and materials.

What if I don’t recall something about the incident?

You are expected to be truthful and complete when answering questions and providing information. If you do not recall something, please say so. Writing a thorough report at the time of the incident will be helpful if it becomes necessary to attend a hearing.

What if the student starts asking me question?

The student has the right to ask you questions regarding the incident and your recollection of it. Again, you want to be honest about what you did and said. If the student tries to ask a question which is not relevant to the case, the hearing officer will intervene.

What if the student persists in asking irrelevant questions?

The hearing officer will not have knowledge of the case beforehand, nor will the hearing officer know of any history you may have with the charged student(s). Therefore, the hearing officer may not realize a question is not relevant to the case. If you feel a question is irrelevant, you may ask the charged student to explain the relevance of the question before you answer it.

What if the hearing gets out of control?

If a charged student becomes unruly and disruptive, the hearing officer will dismiss the student from the hearing. In that case, the hearing would continue without the student. If you as the presenting party become disruptive, the hearing officer will dismiss you, the hearing will end and all charges against the student will be dropped. While both of these scenarios are rare, these guidelines are in place to ensure the hearing is civil and professional.

What happens if the student doesn’t show up? What happens if I don’t show up?

A charged student has the right not to appear for an administrative hearing. Should this occur, the hearing will be conducted without the student. In this situation, information will be provided only by you as the presenting party and any of your witnesses.

As the presenting party, if you fail to appear for the hearing, the charges against the student may be dropped. Your supervisor will be informed, and job action may result.

When and where are hearings held?

Hearings take place on regular business days, start between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., and are held via Zoom. Typically, hearings last for about one hour, but may be longer or shorter, depending on the number of participants or complexity of case.

How will I know if I am required to attend a hearing?

If you are required at a hearing, you will be notified via e-mail. The hearing notice will include the time, date and location of the hearing. It will also include the names of all the charged students who requested a hearing (meaning they denied responsibility for the violation(s) during their case intake meeting). If a student you documented is not listed on the hearing notice, it is most likely the student accepted responsibility during the case intake meeting.

You will be notified at least five business days before the hearing. This will give you adequate time to review the case, organize supporting materials and contact any witnesses you may want to bring. Hearings are typically scheduled within two to three weeks after the incident date.

What if I have a conflict with the hearing time?

When scheduling hearings, the Office of Student Conduct takes into consideration your schedule (academic commitments for student staff and work schedules for staff and faculty) as well as the academic schedules of the students.

If, after being notified of the hearing, you realize you have a conflict (another work-related commitment) please contact the Office of Student Conduct as soon as possible, so the hearing can be re-scheduled. If the conflict is personal, you would be expected to make alternate arrangements for the personal commitment.

Do I have to bring witnesses?

While it is not absolutely necessary, you might consider a witness if that person has important information that will support your recollection of the incident. If, for example, a colleague dealt with some of the students in the case, and you with others, it would be important for that colleague to appear.

It is your responsibility to determine which witnesses are needed and to inform them of the date, time and location of the hearing. If a witness has an academic conflict, that witness can give you a written statement to be read into the record. Ideally, though, all witnesses should attend the hearing in person.

You will be asked to provide the names of your witnesses so the hearing officer is aware of their participation. Details of how to provide witness names will be included in the formal hearing notice.

What if another staff member was involved with me? Do we both have to attend?

When scheduling a hearing, the Office of Student Conduct assumes the person listed as “reported by” on the original incident report will be the presenting party in the hearing. It is the responsibility of the reporting party to identify and inform any witnesses of the hearing. If your colleague dealt with some of the charged students and you with others, it would be helpful to the hearing officer to have you both attend the hearing. In rare situations, there can be two reporting parties. The possibility of two reporting parties should be discussed with the Office of Student Conduct well before the day of the hearing (ideally during the scheduling process.)

What if charged students and/or their parents contact me before the hearing?

Charged students and/or parents may come to you because they are nervous about the hearing or have questions about the hearing process. If you feel comfortable answering general procedural questions, feel free to do so; if not, you can refer them to the Office of Student Conduct. Due to privacy rights of the students, you should not share any specific information about the case or charges with parents.

If the charged students or parents contact you to encourage you to drop the case, press you about what you’re going to say in the hearing or try to influence you in any way, you should not speak with them. Again, refer them to the Office of Student Conduct.

After the hearing, will I need to do anything else?

You will be notified of the outcome of the hearing via e-mail at the same time as the student. The student does have the right to appeal the decision or sanctions. In that case, you will be contacted by the Office of Student Conduct and asked to respond to the student’s appeal (in writing; you would not need to participate in person again.) As with the hearing process, you should be truthful and honest when responding to an appeal.

What if I disagree with the outcome of a hearing or an appeal?

If you have questions about the outcome of a hearing or appeal, you may contact the Office of Student Conduct for clarification. Hearing officers may be willing to talk to you about how they came to the decision they did as well as why they applied certain sanctions. This information can be helpful to you, as it can help you when observing, documenting and recalling future incidents.