Hearing script

The following Sexual Misconduct Policy was in place for students of Occidental College until August 24, 2013. Any incident reported during the time the old policy was in place follows the procedures of the old policy. Any incident reported after August 24, 2013 will fall under the current Sexual Misconduct Policy.

This is a generic script that may be altered, as necessary, by the Title IX Coordinator or Council Chair.

Key

Regular text = to be read out loud
Bold text = section titles and indication of who is talking (not to be read out loud)
Italicized text = directions for the hearing officer (not to be read out loud)

Sexual Misconduct Hearing Script

Part I: Introduction

[turn on tape recorder]

Council Chair - It is [date], the time is [time] and we are in [location]. Hello, my name is [name] and I am the Conduct Council Chair for this hearing.

Please note that today's Conduct Council hearing is being recorded. This recording represents the sole official verbatim record of the Conduct Council hearing and is the property of this institution.

At this time, I will ask the members of the Conduct Council to introduce themselves. Please give name and title.

I will now ask the investigators of the case to introduce themselves. Please give name and title.

[name] is the complainant and is advised by [name], [title]. If an advisor is not present, please indicate such on record.

[name] is the respondent and is advised by [name], [title]. If an advisor is not present, please indicate such on record.

Part II: Important Information

Council Chair - The role of the Conduct Council is to hear testimony, ask questions, and render a decision of responsibility based on a preponderance of evidence.

As a member of the Conduct Council, the role of the Council Chair is to facilitate this hearing. Please note that as Chair, I reserve the right to remove any persons from this hearing if the Council determines that their behavior impairs the ability of the Council to conduct its work.

The role of the investigators during this Conduct Council hearing is to present relevant information collected during the investigation and to point out any discrepancies between verbal testimonies shared during the hearing and the information they collected during the investigation phase. If at any time during the hearing, an investigator wishes to address the Council, please raise your hand and I will acknowledge you to speak.

The role of the advisor during this Conduct Council hearing is limited. It reflects that this process is not a courtroom proceeding, but is part of the institution's programs that are designed to provide a good living/learning environment for all members of our academic community. An advisor may not question or make statements before the Conduct Council. The only appropriate role for the advisor is to provide advice to the student who has requested his/her presence in a manner that does not disturb the proceedings of the Conduct Council. If an advisor fails to act in accordance with the procedures of the Conduct Council, s/he will be barred from these proceedings.

I would like to remind everyone participating in this Conduct Council hearing that falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation before the Conduct Council is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Any person who abuses the Code of Student Conduct system in this way will face disciplinary charges for that violation.

Does the complainant wish to challenge any of the Council members, including the Conduct Council Chair, on grounds that s/he believes the members have a personal bias against him/her?

Does the respondent wish to challenge any of the Council members, including the Conduct Council Chair, on grounds that s/he believes the members have a personal bias against him/her?

Please note that all questions and comments from those involved in the proceedings are to be addressed to the Conduct Council Chair. The Council Chair will state when questions and/or comments are inappropriate and there will be no response.

Before we proceed, are there any questions?

Part III: Violation Determination

Council Chair - It is alleged that the respondent violated the College's Sexual Misconduct Policy and the Student Code of Conduct. Specifically, the Conduct Council is considering accusations of:

[read list of accusations from Notice of Charges letter]

that have been brought against [name], the respondent, by [name], the complainant, in today's Conduct Council hearing.

To the respondent: You [name] originally answered that you were not responsible for aforementioned violations. Has that changed?

Thank you for your response. We will now move forward with the proceedings.

Part III, Section A: Summary of Consistencies and Discrepancies in Investigative Report

Council Chair - I will now ask the Lead Investigator to come forward and present a summary narrative of the agreed upon events and then identify the significant disputed facts.

Lead Investigator - To the Conduct Council and all present, based on the investigation, the agreed upon events are as follows: [list]

The areas of significant dispute are as follows: [list]

Council Chair - Thank you [name of lead investigator].

Does the complainant agree as to the agreed upon events and areas of significant dispute? If not, please explain.

Does the respondent agree as to the agreed upon events and areas of significant dispute? If not, please explain.

[To the Lead Investigator] Lead Investigator, are there any witnesses you feel are relevant to come forward and be addressed during this hearing? If so, please state their names.

We will now hear directly from the parties involved.

Part III, Section B: Complainant

Council Chair - At this time, the Conduct Council will hear from the complainant.

Do the Conduct Council members have any questions for the complainant?

Does the respondent have any questions for the complainant? Again, please direct your question to the Conduct Council.

We are now going to call the complainant's witnesses. Witnesses are called in one at a time. Allow for introductions.

Before each witness speaks: I would like to remind everyone participating in this Conduct Council hearing that falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation before the Conduct Council is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Any person who abuses the Code of Student Conduct system in this way may face disciplinary charges for that violation.

Does the complainant have any questions for the witness?

Do the Conduct Council members have any questions for the witness?

Does the respondent have any questions for the witness?

Excuse witness. Remind each one that they are not to discuss the details shared in this hearing with anyone.

If needed, remind all parties that they will have a chance to make closing remarks toward the end.

Part III, Section C: Respondent

Council Chair - At this time, the Conduct Council will hear from the respondent.

Do the members of the Conduct Council have any questions for the respondent?

Does the complainant have any questions for the respondent? Again, please address your questions to the Conduct Council.

We are now going to hear from the respondent's witnesses. Witnesses are called in one at a time. Allow for introductions.

Before each witness speaks: I would like to remind everyone participating in this Conduct Council hearing that falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation before the Conduct Council is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Any person who abuses the Code of Student Conduct system in this way will face disciplinary charges for that violation.

Does the respondent have any questions for the witness?

Do the members of the Conduct Council have any questions for the witness?

Does the complainant have any questions for the witness?

I would like to remind the witness not to discuss the details shared during this hearing with anyone.

Excuse witness.

Would the parties like to take a short break to prepare for closing statements?

[turn off tape recorder]

[10 MIN BREAK]

[turn on tape recorder]

Council Chair - Would the respondent like to make concluding remarks? If so, please proceed and please direct your remarks to the Conduct Council.

Would the complainant like to make concluding remarks? If so, please proceed and please direct your remarks to the Conduct Council.

 

Thank you. The Conduct Council will conduct a thorough review of all information and determine responsibility. If the respondent is found responsible for any policy violation(s), the sanctions will be appropriate to the violation and in accordance with the sanctions listed in the Student Code of Conduct. The official decision will be in writing and all parties will be notified of the results.

 

The respondent and complainant will receive written notification of the outcome of the Conduct Council hearing. Either party may appeal this decision within 5 business days of receipt of written notification of the decision in this case. Appeals should be made in writing and delivered to the Dean of Students. Decisions of the Conduct Council may be appealed on the following grounds only:

  • There was a deviation from established procedures that could be outcome determinative.
  • There is new material evidence that could be outcome determinative that was not available at the time of the Conduct Council hearing.

For more information, please refer to the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Grievance and Appeals Process, which are published online.

Are there any questions at this time?

This Conduct Council is now concluded. Any further questions regarding the student code system should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator or her designee. Questions regarding this case should not be directed to any member of the Conduct Council. The members of the Conduct Council and all involved are cautioned not to discuss this matter with anyone to respect the privacy of all persons involved. Thank you for your participation.

[Turn off tape recorder]