office of citizenship education

Hearing Bodies & Order of Hearings

Hearing Bodies

Area Coordinator/Off Campus Housing Coordinator

Alleged violations of the Code of Community Responsibility that could result in anything from a written warning to an educational assignment and housing contract probation may be referred to an area coordinator/for resolution. Upon referral to the appropriate area coordinator or off campus housing coordinator, the staff member will:

• be provided with any and all reports/statements/information regarding the alleged violation of the Code;
• notify the student of the alleged violation according to Notification section of the Guidelines/Procedures page and send the student any reports related to the matter;
• meet with all parties directly involved and determine whether or not the student has violated the Code of Community Responsibility using a preponderance of evidence – reasonable person standard;
• if the finding is “responsible”, impose an appropriate sanction (if the finding is “not responsible” the matter will be considered closed and discarded according to the Records section of the Guidelines/Procedures page);
• notify the student of the outcome of the hearing within a reasonable time period (usually three business days) of the outcome of the hearing and of the student's right to appeal the decision (refer to the Appeal page for more information.);
• send a copy of the outcome to the appropriate departments; and
• contact parents or legal guardians if appropriate and inform them of the decision.

Hearing Support Person: A complainant or respondent involved with the conduct system may have a support person from within the Colby-Sawyer College community, exclusive of legal counsel or members of the conduct system, who may accompany the person he or she is supporting. Such support persons may confer with the complainant or respondent during the hearing, but may not interfere with, advocate for or speak in place of the involved party.

The student has a right to appeal the findings of the area coordinator/off campus housing coordinator. Please see the Appeal page for further information.

Community Council

Alleged violations of the Code of Community Responsibility that could result in anything from a written warning to immediate loss of housing or residential visitation privileges may be referred to the Community Council for resolution. Upon determination that the matter will be resolved by the Community Council, the assistant director of citizenship education, who serves as the procedural advisor to Community Council, will:

• be provided with any and all reports/statements/information regarding the alleged violation of the Code;
• contact any and all students associated with the incident within a reasonable amount of time (usually five business days) of filing of an Incident Report and provide the student an opportunity to meet them to meet with the citizenship education coordinator to review any reports/statements and to review the hearing process and procedures; and
• notify the student of the alleged violation according to Notification section of the Guidelines/Procedures page and send the student any reports related to the matter;

Community Council hearings take priority over all other non-academic College activities. If a student does not attend his/her scheduled hearing, the assistant director of citizenship education will submit a plea of “not responsible” on behalf of the student and the Council will make a decision based on any and all information provided to the Council at the time of the hearing (Incident Reports, statements, etc.)Students have the option of accepting responsibility for the alleged violation(s) in writing and having sanctions assigned in absentia. Failure to attend a regularly scheduled Community Council hearing after appropriate notice will not be a basis for an appeal.

During the hearing, Community Council will:
• hear information provided by all complainants, witnesses, and respondents;
ask questions related to the determination of responsibility or not-responsibility;
• deliberate privately and make a finding based on the balance of all of the information provided and using a reasonable person - preponderance of evidence standard;
• if the finding is “responsible”, review any prior conduct violations of the individual student, impose an appropriate sanction, and notify the student of its decision and of the student's right to appeal its decision (refer to the Appeal page for more information.); or
• if the finding is “not responsible” the matter will be considered closed and discarded according to the Records section of the Guidelines/Procedures page.
• In the event the respondent does not attend his/her hearing, the hearing advisor will submit a plea of "not responsible" for all charges and the hearing will continue. In this instance a decision will be made by the hearing panel based on all of the information provided at the hearing and using the reasonable person standard.
• In the event the complainant does not attend the hearing, the hearing panel will continue with whatever information is available at the time of the hearing.
• In the event a witness does not attend the hearing, the hearing panel will continue with whatever information is available at the time of the hearing. The witness will be formally charged with “failure to comply” through the office of citizenship education.

After the hearing, the assistant director of citizenship education will:
• send the student a written notification of the outcome of the hearing within a reasonable period of time (usually within five business days); and
• send a copy of the outcome to the appropriate departments.

Composition, Membership, and Roles of Community Council

Community Council is comprised of student representatives of the Colby-Sawyer College community who are dedicated to taking an active role in developing a positive campus environment. Community Council meets twice each week as needed during the semester to hold hearings, make findings, and assign appropriate sanctions for violations that do not warrant immediate suspension or dismissal.

Community Council is advised by the coordinator of citizenship education, or designee. The role of the assistant director of citizenship education is to monitor the hearing process, clarify the educational philosophy, protect the fairness of the process and ensure the student's rights are not violated in accordance with the student's right's section outlined above. In order to review the hearing process and reports and to help prepare the student for a hearing, the assistant director of citizenship education will request a meeting with any students involved in the alleged violation prior to his/her hearing to review the report(s)/statement(s) and the hearing process and to answer any questions the student may have prior to his/her hearing.

Community Council is comprised of no more than 12 members of the student body, who are in good academic standing (i.e. possessing at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average). Members will be provided with an initial training period (approximately six hours) followed by weekly meetings to hear cases and to continue to address training issues. All members are trained to function as chairpersons and each member has the opportunity to act in that role on a rotating basis. A minimum of five voting members must be present in order for a case to be heard. Students may waive their right to a quorum, the minimum number of members of an assembly that must be present to make a meeting valid. If so, this cannot be a basis for appeal.

Conflict of Interest: On the objection of the complainant or respondent, a member of the board who is otherwise personally involved shall not sit in judgment during the proceedings. This objection must be made known before the case is heard so that a quorum may be arranged. If a member of the Community Council feels that he or she should not participate in the hearing of a particular case, he or she should discuss the matter with the assistant director of citizenship education before the hearing starts. A voting member is not permitted to abstain from voting once the facts and issues of a case have been presented.

Community Council student membership is open to students who have achieved sophomore, junior, or senior standing, and have been enrolled at CSC for at least two semesters. Selection of Community Council members is coordinated by the assistant director of citizenship education and will include a written application and interview process.

Hearing Support Person: A complainant or respondent involved with the conduct system may have a support person from within the Colby-Sawyer College community, exclusive of legal counsel or members of the conduct system, who may accompany the person he or she is supporting. Such support persons may confer with the complainant or respondent during the hearing, but may not interfere with, advocate for or speak in place of the involved party.

Individual Hearings with: Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Citizenship Education, Assistant Director of Citizenship Education:

Alleged violations of the Code of Community Responsibility that could result in anything from a written warning to immediate suspension or dismissal from the college may be referred to an individual hearing with an administrator for resolution. Upon referral to the appropriate administrator, the administrator will:

• be provided with any and all reports/statements/information regarding the alleged violation of the Code;
• notify the student of the alleged violation according to the Notification section of the Guidelines/Procedures page and send the student any reports related to the matter;
• request that the student schedule a hearing time to resolve the matter within a reasonable length of time not to exceed two weeks; The student shall communicate with the area coordinator or the off campus housing coordinator no more than two business days after receiving the letter of notification to schedule their hearing. If the student does not communicate with the area coordinator or the off campus housing coordinator within two business days of sending the notification, the area coordinator or the off campus housing coordinator will inform the associate dean of students and director of citizenship education or his/her designee that the student has not communicated with them. The associate dean of students and director of citizenship education or his/her designee may either refer the hearing to Community Council or the assistant director of citizenship education or advise the area coordinator or the off campus housing coordinator to proceed with the hearing with by submitting a plea of “not responsible” for the violations outlined in the letter of notification.
• meet with all parties directly involved and determine whether or not the student has violated the Code of Community Responsibility using a reasonable person – preponderance of the evidence standard;
• if the finding is “responsible”, impose an appropriate sanction (if the finding is “not responsible” the matter will be considered closed and discarded according to the Records section of the Guidelines/Procedures page);
• notify the student of the outcome of the hearing within a reasonable time period (usually three business days) of the outcome of the hearing; and of the student's right to appeal the decision (refer to the Appeal page for more information.);
• send a copy of the outcome to the appropriate departments;
• contact parents/guardians if appropriate and inform them of the decision.

At the discretion of the associate dean of students and director of citizenship education, additional administrators from student development division may be called to serve as hearing officers.

Hearing Support Person: A complainant or respondent involved with the conduct system may have an advisor from within the Colby-Sawyer College community, exclusive of legal counsel or members of the conduct system, who may accompany the person he or she advises. Such advisors may confer with the complainant or respondent during the hearing, but may not interfere with, advocate for or speak in place of the involved party.

Administrative Hearing Panel

Alleged violations of the Code of Community Responsibility that could result in anything from a written warning to immediate suspension or dismissal from the college may be referred to an Administrative Hearing Panel. Administrative Hearing Panel members are chosen from a pool of selected and trained students, faculty, and staff that meets on an as needed basis.

The associate dean of students and director of citizenship education or his/her designee shall review all of the statement/Incident reports associated with an incident, and shall give the student the opportunity to be heard. If the associate dean of students and director of citizenship education or his/her designee believes there needs more clarification, she/he designee reserves the right to refer back to the reporting entity to gain clarification.

Upon determination that the matter will be resolved by an Administrative Hearing Panel, the assistant director of citizenship education, who serves as the procedural coordinator to Administrative Hearing Panels, will:

• be provided with any and all reports/statements/information regarding the alleged violation of the Code;
• contact any and all students associated with the incident within a reasonable amount of time (usually five business days) of filing of an Incident Report and encourage them to meet with the coordinator citizenship education to review any reports/statements and to review the hearing process and procedures;
• schedule a hearing based on the students' (complainant, respondent, witnesses) academic schedules (Administrative Hearing Panels take priority over all other non-academic College activities), the Administrative Hearing Panel will be convened as soon as possible (usually within seven to ten business days);
• collect additional statements from hearing participants (respondents, witnesses, etc.) to include in the hearing packet;
• notify the student of the alleged violation according to the Notification section of the Guidelines/Procedures page and send the student any reports related to the matter; as well as the names of the members of the Administrative Hearing Panel;
• notify the student's parents or legal guardians of the pending hearing; and
• review hearing procedures with all additional participants (witnesses, complainants, etc.)

Composition, Membership, and Roles of Administrative Hearing Panels

Administrative Hearing Panels are comprised of faculty, staff and student representatives of the Colby-Sawyer College community who are dedicated to taking an active role in developing a positive campus environment. Administrative Hearing Panels are formed from a pool of trained members. Aministrative Hearing Panels meet as needed during the semester to hold hearings, make findings, and assign appropriate sanctions for violations that may result in immediate suspension or dismissal.

Administrative Hearing Panels are advised by the associate dean of students, or designee. The role of the hearing advisor is to monitor the hearing process, clarify the educational philosophy, protect the fairness of the process and ensure the student's rights are not violated in accordance with the student's right's section outlined above. In order to review the hearing process and reports and to help prepare the student for a hearing, the hearing advisor will request a meeting with any students involved in the alleged violation prior to his/her hearing to review the report(s)/statement(s) and the hearing process and to answer any questions the student may have prior to his/her hearing.

An Administrative Hearing Panel is comprised of no less than three members of the College community, two professional faculty/staff members of the College community and a minimum of one student. The professional staff/faculty member will serve as a chair for the hearing. All members will be provided with an initial training period (approximately six hours) followed by meetings (as needed) to hear cases. A minimum of three voting members must be present in order for a case to be heard. Students may waive their right to a quorum, the minimum number of members of an assembly that must be present to make a meeting valid. If so, this cannot be a basis for appeal.

Hearing Support Person: A complainant or respondent involved with the conduct system may have a support person from within the Colby-Sawyer College community, exclusive of legal counsel or members of the conduct system, who may accompany the person he or she is supporting. Such support persons may confer with the complainant or respondent during the hearing, but may not interfere with, advocate for or speak in place of the involved party.

Conflict of Interest: On the objection of the complainant or respondent, a member of the Panel who is otherwise personally involved shall not sit in judgment during the proceedings. This objection must be made known before the case is heard so that a quorum may be arranged. If a member of the Administrative Hearing Panel feels that he or she should not participate in the hearing of a particular case, he or she should discuss the matter with the assistant director of citizenship education prior to the hearing. A voting member is not permitted to abstain from voting once the facts and issues of a case have been presented.

During the hearing, the Administrative Hearing Panel will:
• hear information provided by all complainants, witnesses, and respondents who are present, should a student choose not to attend the hearing, the hearing panel will proceed with the information it does have;
• ask questions related to the determination of responsibility or not-responsibility;
• ask questions submitted by the respondent or complainant related to the determination of responsibility or not-responsibility; • hear final statements of complainants and respondents with the respondent presenting last;
• deliberate privately and make a finding based on the balance of all of the information provided and using a reasonable person - preponderance of evidence standard;
• if the finding is “responsible”, review any prior conduct violations of the individual student, impose an appropriate sanction, and notify the student of its decision and of the student's right to appeal its decision (refer to the Appeal page for more information.); or
• if the finding is “not responsible” the matter will be considered closed and discarded according to the “Records” section of the Guidelines/Procedures page; and
• if the hearing is regarding an allegation of violence, sexual misconduct/assault, or harassment, the Administrative Hearing Panel will bring the complainants in to share the finding of the Panel orally and of the complainants' right to appeal its decision (refer to the Appeal page for further information).
• In the event the respondent does not attend his/her hearing, the hearing advisor will submit a plea of "not responsible" for all charges and the hearing will continue. In this instance a decision will be made by the hearing board based on all of the information provided at the hearing and using the reasonable person standard.
• In the event the complainant does not attend the hearing, the hearing panel will continue with whatever information is available at the time of the hearing.
• In the event a witness does not attend the hearing, the hearing panel will continue with whatever information is available at the time of the hearing. The witness will be formally charged with “failure to comply” through the office of Citizenship Education.

After the hearing, the assistant director of citizenship education will:
• send the students (complainants and respondents_) a written notification of the outcome of the hearing within a reasonable period of time (usually within five business days);
• send a copy of the outcome to the appropriate departments; and
• contact parents or legal guardians if appropriate and inform them of the decision.