University and Student Conduct Board Hearings

When an alleged violation is not resolved through the Behavioral Hearing process, there shall be the following hearing panels:

  • Student Conduct Board, Queens Campus
  • Student Conduct Board, Staten Island Campus
  • University Conduct Board

Contents


Section A: Composition

Members of the Conduct Board Panel may hear matters on any campus. The Conduct Board Panel shall consist of at least fourteen (14) members as follows:

  • Six (6) students from the Queens or Staten Island campuses
  • Eight (8) faculty members or administrators from the Queens or Staten Island campuses

At the commencement of the academic year, the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will select student candidates for service. The candidates will include undergraduate and graduate students. Upon their acceptance, they shall receive a formal letter of appointment.

Faculty members are appointed in the Spring semester, serving a term of service for two years. Administrators shall indicate their interest to serve on the panel to the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee, who shall select candidates serving a term of service for two years.

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Section B: Hearing Panels

University Conduct Board: Each University Conduct Board hearing may be conducted before a hearing panel consisting of five (5) members of the Conduct Board Panel. A quorum of the panel shall consist of three (3) members. Allegations of sexual misconduct or gender discrimination that are not resolved with a Behavioral Hearing shall only be resolved by a University Conduct Board.

Each University Conduct Board Hearing Panel may consist of faculty members, administrators or students. In cases involving sexual misconduct, students shall not serve as panel members on the University Conduct Board, nor may students serve on the University Student Conduct Appeal Board. All panel members receive annual and ongoing in-service training on issues related to domestic violence, intimate partner violence (dating violence), sexual assault, stalking, sexual harassment and how to conduct inquiries and a hearing process that protects student safety and promotes accountability.

The Dean of Students or designee shall select an appropriate individual to serve as the non-voting Chair of the panel. The Chair shall be responsible for conducting the hearing in an orderly and efficient manner and, for that purpose, may make decisions related to admission of evidence and witness testimony. The purpose of the hearing is to make findings of fact with respect to the matter before the panel and for that reason character witness testimony shall not be permitted.

Student Conduct Board: Each Student Conduct Board hearing shall be conducted before a hearing panel consisting of a minimum of three (3) student members of the Conduct Board Panel. The Dean of Students or designee shall select the hearing panel from those available for service.

A voting Chair shall be selected from among the student panelists. The Chair shall be responsible for conducting the hearing in an orderly and efficient manner, and for that purpose, may make decisions related to admission of evidence and witness testimony. The purpose of the hearing is to make findings of fact with respect to the matter before the panel and for that reason character witness testimony shall not be permitted.

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Section C: Advisors

The respondent, accused and complainant have the right to be accompanied by an advisor of choice to assist them and advise them throughout the investigation process and the student conduct process, including at meetings and hearings. No person can be compelled to be an advisor, and if the student is unable to secure a willing advisor she or he may nonetheless participate in the hearing without an advisor. There is a University Advisor Panel trained to assist students before and during a hearing, but neither the complainant nor the respondent are required to select an advisor from this panel.

The advisor may advise the respondent or complainant, but may not participate in the hearing in any other capacity and may not be a witness. An advisor may consult only, and may not participate or be heard at the hearing.

At least two school days prior to the scheduled hearing date, the student shall inform the Office of Student Conduct if he or she intends to utilize an advisor. Advisors may not appear in place of the respondent or complainant.

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Section D: Witnesses

No later than two school days prior to the hearing, the respondent or complainant may submit lists identifying the witnesses they expect to present at the hearing to the Office of Student Conduct. A witness may appear at the hearing in person, or may submit a written statement for the panel’s consideration. The Chair has the discretion to exclude any witness not previously identified. In the discretion of the University, accommodations for witnesses may be made. The hearing panel may request the appearance of any additional witness it deems appropriate.

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Section E: General Provisions for Hearings of Both University Conduct Board and Student Conduct Board

The following general provisions are common elements for hearing panels:

  • At the hearing, a Student Conduct Administrator or designee may present charges on behalf of the complainant.
  • The Chair is responsible for the orderly and proper functioning of all hearings and for ensuring that both parties receive the opportunity to present relevant facts.
  • Hearings are to be private and not open to members of the University community or to the public. Hearing panel members are duty-bound to maintain confidentiality. The University anticipates that hearings may be conducted within sixty (60) days of when the incident was documented. Unique circumstances of individual matters may require extension of time frames set forth herein within the discretion of the University.
  • All persons attending the proceedings shall conduct themselves in an orderly and respectful manner. Any person who engages in an obstructive, disruptive, or disorderly manner in the presence of the hearing panel shall be removed from the hearing room in the sole discretion of the Chair.
  • No audio or video recordings of the hearings may be made.
  • The University reserves the right to have an attorney as a part of the Conduct Board hearing process.
  • If the complainant or the respondent does not appear for the hearing at its scheduled time, the hearing shall proceed at the discretion of the Chair.
  • Strict conformity to the legal rules of evidence shall not be required at hearings. A finding of culpability in all matters shall be based on a preponderance of the evidence.
  • The respondent or complainant may participate in the hearing directly by their attendance. The respondent or complainant may participate remotely through video conferencing or by telephone. The respondent or complainant may also choose not to participate or to submit a written statement for the panel’s consideration to substitute for his or her presence.
  • The respondent and the complainant will both be given the opportunity to address issues related to potential conflicts of interest regarding the panel members selected for the hearing.

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Section F: Procedure

The Chair shall explain the function of the hearing, verify that the respondent and the complainant are aware of the rights of a student before the hearing panel and inform the respondent and the complainant that all participants shall be asked to affirm the truthfulness of their testimony and that providing false information to the hearing panel is a violation in itself.

The Chair shall ask whether there will be any witnesses testifying on behalf of the respondent and the complainant, advise the respondent and the complainant of the right to be present at all stages of the hearing process except deliberation and read the charges.

A Student Conduct Administrator may present the incident report, charges and, as necessary, any statement submitted on the case. Hearing panel members may question the Student Conduct Administrator and any witnesses called by the Student Conduct Administrator.

The Chair shall offer both the respondent and the complainant the opportunity to testify or remain silent. If either party elects to testify, he/she is obligated to answer relevant questions by any member of the Hearing Panel. If the respondent or the complainant refuses to answer any question that question and/or answer may not later be presented as grounds for any appeal.

The respondent and the complainant may call witnesses on his or her behalf even if he or she does not testify.

The respondent and the complainant have the right to question all witnesses who testify at the hearing. Questions shall be submitted to the Hearing Panel who will direct them to the witness. Hearing Panel members may question witnesses called by the respondent and the complainant. Any party to the hearing may submit questions to the Hearing Panel to be asked of the witness.

All witnesses shall be excused from the hearing room upon completion of their testimony. The Chair shall advise these witnesses that they are not to discuss their testimony outside the hearing room, including during any breaks in the hearing. Witnesses shall be asked to affirm the truthfulness of their testimony and informed that providing false information to the hearing panel is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Witnesses shall not be allowed in the hearing room prior to their testimony. The members of the Hearing Panel may recall any witnesses if needed.

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Section G: Deliberation

Upon conclusion of all testimony the Hearing Panel shall meet in private to deliberate the matter. The determination of responsibility for violations is decided by a majority vote of the Hearing Panel. The Hearing Panel shall relate its findings to the Dean of Students or designee for imposition of appropriate sanctions.

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Section H: Notification

After the hearing and deliberations have been completed, the Chair shall send written notification of the results of the hearing to the Dean of Students or designee. The Dean of Students or designee shall notify the respondent of the outcome. If the alleged violation involves an allegation of sexual misconduct, both parties shall be notified in writing of the outcome of both the complaint and any appeal. If the alleged violation involves an allegation of sexual misconduct, both parties shall be notified in writing of the outcome of both the complaint and any appeal. This notification also includes (i) the name of the respondent; (ii) whether the respondent has been found responsible or not responsible for specific violation(s) of the sexual misconduct Policy; (iii) a list of the possible sanctions imposed (iv) the sanctions actually imposed, if any; (v) the rationale for the sanctions imposed, if any; (vi) the College’s appeal process; (vii) any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that the results become final; and (viii) when the results become final.

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Section I: Hearing Records

All written records of proceedings are confidential and are property of the University. A copy of material associated with the hearing will be retained by the Division of Student Affairs for seven (7) years after a student leaves the University at which time all records will be destroyed except records that support a suspension or expulsion.

The University will not audio or video record the student conduct proceedings or deliberations, nor is any other individual permitted to record the proceedings.

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