University Hearing Preparation Guide
How to Prepare for a University Hearing
A University Hearing is an option afforded only to students who want to challenge a decision of responsibility and the accompanying sanctions that was made by the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR). The following must exist for a student to request a University Hearing:
- The accused student disagrees with the evidence that the charges are based upon; and
- The accused student’s proposed sanctions of an Academic Sanction, Suspension (Rights & Privileges or from the University), or Expulsion.
Below is a guide to prepare students, who have requested a University Hearing, in order to effectively represent their position on the day of their scheduled hearing.
Items to Gather Before the Hearing Date
This is packet contains all information regarding the case, including the witness list and all documentation from the accused student and the University. The Hearing Officer will review the complete packet prior to the scheduled hearing. Any information that the student can provide supporting their belief of not responsible, should be included for review. The hearing packet will be provided to the student via email. The student will have a due date (5 days before the scheduled hearing) to submit to any additional documentation to support their claim of not responsible.
An opportunity for the accused student to provide their own witness(es) to support their claim of not responsible. Witnesses can be professors, classmates, OSCCR staff, etc. Please note that any witness on the witness list will be subject to cross questioning by the University. The University will also include its witnesses so that the student may prepare their questions for those witnesses as well.
Any documents that support the student’s version of events regarding the incident are to be included in the Hearing Packet for review by the Hearing Officer.
Items to Prepare Before Hearing Date
An opportunity to outline the incident and the student’s stance on being not responsible for violating policies. This is the first communication with the Hearing Officer and will outline how the student intends to prove that they are not responsible for violating policies. The University will also have an opportunity to present an Opening Statement. Things a student should include in their opening statement are:
- Introduction of Student: who are you as a student and a person
- Statement of not responsible: description of why you are not responsible for violating policies
- Mentioning documentation (including page numbers): information that supports your claim of not responsible. You can use documents that you provided as evidence as well.
- Mention witnesses: people who will provide insight to your claim of not responsible or how there may be bias present with University witnesses that are due to speak
The questioning process allows for both parties to call witnesses to provide insight to the case.
- Direct questioning: an opportunity for the student to question witness that support their stance of not responsible.
- Cross questioning: an opportunity to ask questions of the witnesses that the University has provided and to discredit documentation or find weaknesses in their previous statements (either in the hearing packet or during their direct questioning). This is the student’s opportunity to show any potential bias that the witness may have or question the relevance of their statements.
A summary of all the documentation and witness statements that support the student’s claim of not responsible. The closing statement should:
- Re-state your position of being not responsible for violating policies
- Provide a summary of evidence that supports your position of not being responsible
- Identify and address weaknesses in witness statements that supports your position of being not responsible
- Restate the policy/policies in question and how there was no violation to the policy/policies
- Restate your position of not responsible and ask for case to be dismissed