Provisions for Hearing Panels of the Campus Conduct Hearing Board (CCHB) and the Student Life Council (SLC)
- Charges must be presented to the accused student, in writing, 48 hours before the hearing unless the student waives, in writing, his/her right to a 48 hour notice.
- Each student charged and the person(s) bringing the charge have the right to view incident reports, documentary evidence, and written testimony prior to the hearing.
- Each student charged has the right of personal appearance before the hearing body except during deliberation and decision-making.
- Each student charged and the person(s) bringing the charges have the right to hear and respond to testimony given at the hearing.
- If charges are initiated by a complaint made by person(s) other than the Judicial Officer, those person(s) may be present during the hearing, except during deliberation and decision-making.
- Each student charged and the person(s) bringing the charges have the right to select a Personal Observer from within the College community (i.e. an enrolled student or College employee) to be present at the hearing except during deliberation and decision-making. Personal Observers attend but do not participate in the hearing or any subsequent appeal hearing.
- There is a single level of appeal as a matter of right in all cases under the Community Judicial Code.
Approved by the General Faculty Assembly, November 11, 2010
A designated Student Life staff member serving as the Judicial Officer investigates complaints, determines whether probable cause exists to support charge(s), presents charge(s) and evidence to the Hearing Panel, and participates in questioning. To provide appropriate separation of duties, a different member of the Student Life staff serves as the Judicial Liaison responsible for appointing the members of the Hearing Panel from among the eligible members of the CCHB, arranging for the hearing, and advising Hearing Panel members concerning all aspects of the hearing process. The Judicial Liaison is also responsible for advising the Hearing Panel concerning the substantive provisions of the Community Judicial Code and the applicable range of sanctions under each charge.
The Judicial Liaison is responsible for providing judicial training to all CCHB members. No person may serve on a Hearing Panel without completing such training.
Cases are heard by Hearing Panels comprised of three persons convened by the Judicial Liaison. A Hearing Panel must include at least two faculty/staff from the CCHB and one student who is a member of the CCHB or a J-Board Chair. Student members must be certified by Student Life as having completed at least two regular terms at Berea and are juniors or seniors in good standing (i.e. not on probation).
Each Hearing Panel shall apply the following procedures. In unusual circumstances, special adjudicative procedures may be adopted upon the advice of the Judicial Liaison, subject to prior approval by the Vice President for Labor and Student Life.
- Prior to the hearing, each member of the Hearing Panel is required to sign a statement attesting to his or her ability to hear the case “without bias” and pledging to keep case-relevant information confidential. No contact with any party or witness in the case regarding the case is permissible.
- Each Hearing Panel shall select a chair from among its members. Any member may chair the hearing. It shall be the duty of the chair to conduct the hearing in an orderly manner following these procedures. The Judicial Liaison shall advise the Hearing Panel on all questions of procedure.
- No party or witness to the charge(s) being heard may sit on the Hearing Panel.
- The Judicial Liaison will provide members of the Hearing Panel with the opportunity to review the charges, incident reports, documentary evidence, written statements, and relevant sections of the Student Handbook prior to the hearing.
- At the beginning of the hearing, the Judicial Liaison or the Hearing Panel Chair shall inform all parties to a case, including witnesses that all testimony must be the complete truth and that persons knowingly giving false testimony shall be liable to judicial action. (See possible sanctions elsewhere in these procedures.)
- Each member of the Hearing Panel shall have a reasonable opportunity to question all parties and witnesses.
- All hearings shall be closed to persons other than those provided for in these Procedures and those summoned by the Judicial Officer.
- Cases involving two or more students shall be ordinarily heard jointly by the same Hearing Panel. The Judicial Liaison may, for good cause shown, grant separate hearings upon the written request of any of the accused.
- Only facts and evidence relevant to the case at hand shall be used in determining whether the accused is “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” on the charges. If the student is found “Responsible” on the charges being heard, only previous disciplinary records shall be presented by the Judicial Liaison to the Hearing Panel prior to determination of penalties. Such records are excluded during the hearing and deliberations on responsibility.
- The standard used to determine responsibility will be a preponderance of evidence, i.e., it is more likely than not that the alleged policy violation occurred.
- Concurrence by a majority of the members of the Hearing Panel is necessary in order to reach a decision that the accused is “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” on each charge. If the concurrence of a majority of the Hearing Panel cannot be reached on a charge, the charge may, at the discretion of the Judicial Liaison, be referred to the Student Life Council.
- The decision of a Hearing Panel, including any sanctions, shall be recorded on a Hearing Panel Decision Form provided for this purpose by the Judicial Liaison.
- The decisions of Hearing Panels are final unless: (i) timely appealed and modified or reversed upon appeal ; or (ii) subsequently reviewed and modified or reversed by the President of the College or the President’s designate.
- Any student, who knowingly interferes with or obstructs the administration of the Community Judicial Code or gives false testimony before a Hearing Panel, in writing or in person, shall be subject to suspension for not less than one term. Under unusual or extenuating circumstances, the penalty may be reduced to a fine of not less than $150, one year probation, or both. In the event that a charge of false testimony, judicial interference, or obstruction is finally determined to have occurred, the Vice President for Labor and Student Life shall be obligated to investigate whether such conduct had a material impact on the outcome of the original proceeding. The Vice President shall report such finding to the President of the College for such further action or proceedings as the President determines necessary to preserve the rights of the parties in the original proceeding.
There is a single level of appeal as a matter of right in all cases under the Community Judicial Code. Decisions of Hearing Panels may be modified or reversed on appeal only if it is determined by the appellate authority that: (i) the decision is manifestly unfair or unsupported by the testimony and evidence received at the hearing, (ii) the Hearing Panel, the Judicial Officer, or the Judicial Liaison failed to follow and apply the Community Judicial Code or these Procedures and such failure resulted in material prejudice to the appealing party, or (iii) one or more members of the Hearing Panel were unfairly biased or acted with prejudice in a manner that affected the outcome of the case or violated the right of the accused(s) to appropriate due process.
Appeals must be received by the Judicial Liaison within three working days of the original decision. Appeals are directed, through the Judicial Liaison, to the appellate authority. Participants in the original hearing (parties, witnesses, Observers, Hearing Panel members) may not sit on the hearing body for an appeal. Judicial decisions may be appealed only by the person accused except in hearings of sexual harassment or sexual assault charges. (See “Special Hearing Procedures for Charges of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault”.)
The President of the College or designate reserves the right to: (i) review, modify or reverse the decision of any campus judicial body, (ii) adopt special judicial procedures; or (iii) make a final determination in any case arising under the Community Judicial Code.
In cases where sexual harassment or sexual assault charges are brought against a student by an individual under the Berea College Student Conduct Regulations, “Unacceptable Actions: Rules of Conduct”, Sections A1 (Violence), and/or B2 (Offenses Against Persons), special procedures apply, including:
- The Judicial Liaison shall inform both the accused and the person bringing the charge that, upon written request, special arrangements may be offered to limit direct contact between the parties involved, (e.g. visual screening, telephonic conferencing, video-conferencing).
- Both the accused and the person bringing the charge may request that certain potential members of the Hearing Panel be excused for cause. “Cause” must be articulated and may include such things as a Hearing Panel member having personal knowledge of the facts or incident which is the subject of the charge(s), a labor supervisory, academic advising, or close personal relationship with the accused, or another party to or a witness in the case. Final decisions on such requests rest in the discretion of the Judicial Liaison.
- In sexual harassment and sexual assault cases, the person bringing the charge may also appeal the decision within three working days. Such appeals are limited to procedural grounds (See “Appeals”, (ii) and (iii)) or due to the subsequent discovery and availability of directly relevant evidence not available at the time of the hearing.
- In keeping with provisions of the Higher Education Act of 2009, the College will, upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim of any crime of violence (as defined in Section 16, Title 18 of the U.S. Criminal Code), or a non-forcible sex offense, the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the College against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of such an offense.
All hearing materials will be retained by the Judicial Liaison until the appeal deadline has passed or, if appealed, until a final decision is made by the appellate body or the President of the College. Thereafter, if the decision was “Not Responsible”, nothing will be retained in the student’s permanent record. If the student was found “Responsible” on the charges, only a copy of the incident report/s, the charge letter, and the Hearing Panel Decision Form will be retained in the student’s permanent record maintained by Student Life. Except as provided above, all other hearing materials, in whatever medium, will be destroyed.
Upon written request to the Assistant Vice President for Student Life or the Director of Residential Life and Collegium, the College will disclose to the alleged victim, in writing, the results of any judicial hearing that deals with acts of violence or non-forcible sex offenses.
Approved by the General Faculty Assembly, November 11, 2010
Notice and Disclaimer
This online publication is the official text of the Berea College Catalog & Student Handbook. Berea College reserves the right to amend, revise, or modify content within this publication at any time.Posted: June 30, 2011
Updated by Beverly Penkalski