The Hearing Process
If there is reasonable information presented in an incident report that suggests a violation occurred, potential policy violations may be assigned and a hearing may be scheduled (see also §403 Hearings).
The standard of evidence required for a conduct administrator or board to determine responsibility is known as a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that the conduct administrator or board must determine that it is more likely than not that an alleged violation occurred, based on the totality of available evidence.
Hearings generally proceed according to the following format:
1. Introduction of all parties present (including witnesses, when applicable) and an overview of the hearing process
2. Review and signing of the “Student Rights in the Conduct Process” form
3. Conduct administrator or board reviews the nature of the alleged conduct and the University policies potentially violated
4. Witnesses are excused until statements are needed (if applicable)
5. Respondent(s) (and complainant(s) when applicable) provide a personal account of the reported incident
6. Respondent(s) are given opportunity to (a) accept full responsibility for all policy violations, (b) accept responsibility for some violations and refute others, or (c) refute all suggested violations
7. Respondent(s) (and complainant(s) when applicable) have the opportunity to review all documentation relevant to the case that will be used by the conduct administrator or board to make a decision
8. Conduct administrator(s) asks any remaining investigative and developmental questions to the parties present (including witnesses, if applicable)
9. Respondent(s) are invited to comment on any harm or impact caused by the alleged incident and offer recommendations related to outcomes that will repair harm.
10. Respondent(s) are provided a final opportunity to make any closing comments
11. The conduct administrator or board may excuse all parties for deliberation if needed
12. Respondent(s) (and complainant(s) when applicable) are notified of the decision and any related outcomes either immediately after deliberation or, when further deliberation is needed, typically within three business days
In many cases, when a case is processed the conduct administrator will send a letter to the respondent(s) through the ADVOCATE database. Students will receive an email to their LUC Outlook account notifying them that they have received correspondence from the OSCCR and must log into ADVOCATE to review their letter. The notification of complaint (complaint letter) will contain the following:
a. A brief description of the potential violation, including the time, date, and place the incident allegedly occurred;
b. A list of any University policies potentially violated;
c. The type of meeting in which the case will be adjudicated or resolved;
d. Information about when the meeting is to take place or be scheduled; and
e. A reminder that students may obtain an advisor to support them through the conduct process.
There are three different types of hearings (explained in detail below): administrative hearings, board hearings, and Student Community Board hearings. The OSCCR will decide which hearing type is most appropriate for a particular case.
a. Administrative Hearing
Administrative hearings are facilitated by the conduct administrator assigned to the case. Conduct administrators are members of the professional or paraprofessional University staff, usually from within the Division of Student Development. Conduct administrators are trained by the OSCCR to handle matters of student conduct according to the policies and procedures of the Community Standards. In some cases an administrative hearing may be facilitated by more than one conduct administrator working together depending on the nature and severity of the incident.
b. Board Hearing
Boards may be comprised of three to five representatives from the faculty, staff, and/or student body who have been selected and extensively trained to handle matters of student conduct. Boards have authority to impose all outcomes, including University suspension or expulsion. Board hearings may not be available during study days, final exam periods, breaks, or the summer term.
The hearing board chair is responsible for the overall implementation of formal hearing procedures and ensures that participants receive the procedural rights granted to them. The hearing board chair speaks on behalf of the hearing board to address matters regarding a hearing’s proceedings and decisions. However, with respect to findings of responsibility and outcomes, all board members (including the board chair) enjoy equal standing, regardless of the members’ positions or roles at the institution.
c. Student Community Board Hearing
The Student Community Board (“SCB”) is a standing board made up of 10-15 students who resolve cases that tend to have a more substantial impact on the University or residential community. Each hearing is facilitated by three or more students from the SCB who have been selected and extensively trained by the OSCCR staff. Each SCB is chaired by a student and advised by a conduct administrator. The SCB is not in session during study days, final exam periods, breaks, and the summer term.