What to Expect at a Conduct Hearing
CSU Executive Order (EO) 1098 outlines the hearing proceedings in detail. Please review it carefully before the hearing. Below is a general overview of what to expect at a student conduct hearing.
General Information about the Hearing
- The hearing is closed to everyone but you, your advisor, the Associate Dean of Students: Student Conduct, their advisor, the Hearing Officer, and one person to record the hearing.
- Both the Associate Dean and you may present witnesses to support their position. Witnesses will come in one by one and are only in the room while being questioned.
- Both you and the Associate Dean may enter evidence (written statements, pictures, videos, text messages, police memos, etc.) at the hearing. Remove or blackout personally-identifying information (such as other students' names, ID numbers, addresses, etc.) Please number your evidence to assist the Hearing Officer.
- You may bring an advisor. Review Executive Order 1098, Article II.C to understand who may serve as an advisor. The advisor may provide advice to you but may not speak or speak for you. You may confer with your advisor by asking for a break in order to speak outside the hearing room. Alternatively, if permitted by the Hearing Officer, you may whisper and/or exchange notes.
- The Associate Dean will give an opening statement in support of the University’s position on the matter and will submit evidence.
- You will give an opening statement in support of your position and submit evidence.
- The Associate Dean will call their witnesses into the room one by one. She will ask the witness questions. When she finishes, you may ask the witness questions.
- After the Associate Dean presents all of her witnesses, you will present your witnesses. You will ask questions of your witnesses and then the Associate Dean may ask questions.
- The Hearing Officer may ask questions of any witness.
- After all the witnesses, the Associate Dean will give a closing statement with recommended sanctions.
- You will then give a closing statement with recommended sanctions (if any).
- The Hearing Officer will close the hearing.
After the Hearing
- Within 10 working days, the Hearing Officer will submit a report to the President’s designee (currently the Vice President of Student Life). The report will outline what happened at the hearing, if, by the preponderance of the evidence, the Hearing Officer found that there was a violation(s), and, if so, recommended sanctions.
- Where a finding of no violation is made, the Hearing Officer will submit a report to the Vice President for Student Life and the campus will inform the parties.
- If a violation of policy is found, then the Hearing Officer will ask the parties to submit an impact statement regarding suggested disciplinary outcomes and information that they believe is important for the Hearing Officer to consider.
- After reviewing the statements, the Hearing Officer will recommend sanctions and notify the campus, which will then notify the parties.
- Any party who is not satisfied with the hearing outcome may file a written appeal with the CSU Chancellor’s Office.
How to Prepare
- Review the Student Conduct Procedures (Executive Order 1098).
- Write notes about what you intend to say in your opening and closing statements.
- Consider what evidence you would like to present to back up your position and prepare copies for the hearing officer.
- Consider possible witnesses that will help you support your position. Ask them well in advance if they can attend the hearing and prepare them for what will happen at the hearing.
- Consider who might best support you at the hearing as your advisor. Ask them well in advance if they can attend the hearing. Explain to your advisor what their role is and what they can/can’t do during the hearing. Discuss how you will communicate during the hearing.
- Think about, and write down, potential questions to ask both your witnesses and potential witnesses that the Associate Dean may call.
- The hearing can last up to three hours. Clear your schedule so that you can be there the whole time.
- If the hearing is held in person, there will be water bottles, pads of paper, pens, and extra copies of EO 1098 at the hearing for the participant's use. If the hearing is held over Zoom, have a bottle of water, a pen and paper, your notes, and any other materials that you need, close at hand.