Sep 18, 2020  
2018-2019 ULM Student Policy Manual 
    
2018-2019 ULM Student Policy Manual

Section Seven - Hearing Procedures Guidelines


The University of Louisiana at Monroe Hearing Procedures Guidelines are herein formulated as a systematic procedure to assure consistency in the adjudication of student or student organization violations of the the University of Louisiana at Monroe “Standards of Conduct for Students.” These guidelines should be utilized as appropriately determined by given situations.

7.01 Hearing Foundations

7.01:01 All hearings are closed to the public.
7.01:02 In cooperation with the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Office of Student Services (Student Conduct) is primarily responsible for the administration and assignment of student and student organization discipline. Sexual Misconduct will be addressed through the Title IX Coordinator.
7.01:03 Discipline related to academic matters is the responsibility of the appropriate Academic Unit which may be the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the appropriate Academic Dean, the appropriate Academic Department Head and/or the appropriate academic faculty member or instructor.
7.01:04 The appropriate University Administrator or University Unit may dispose of any violation without a hearing under this document.
7.01:05 The appropriate University Administrator or University Unit may take action other than by judicial proceedings in any case of student conduct involving health, emotional, and psychological problems which cause students to be a significant threat to themselves or other persons. 
7.01:06 The appropriate University Administrator or University Unit may reasonably decide a student or student organization case in absentia and render appropriate sanctions to be imposed on the student or student organization when the student(s) or student organization members fails without just cause to appear for an appointed hearing. The student(s) or student organization will be informed in writing by the appropriate University Administrator of the hearing in absentia.
7.01:07 Specified student violations of the “Standards of Conduct for Students”, Section Five of this Code, which may be considered more serious. The following sections of the “Standards of Conduct for Students”, which are briefly stated below, will have an administrative hearing or be referred to a particular hearing committee unless the violation involves a student organization.
  5.03:02 Firearms, etc.
  5.03:03 Arson
  5.03:05 Fire and Emergency Equipment
  5.03:07 False Reporting of Fire or Other Emergency, etc.
  5.03:09 Rioting, etc.
  5.03:10 Disorderly Conduct
  5.03:13 Intentional Interference, etc.
  5.03:14 Visitation of Other College Campuses, etc.
  5.03:15 Abusive, Drunken, Violent, or Excessively Noisy Behavior
  5.03:16 Intentional Delaying, Obstructing, etc.
  5.03:17 Trespassing
  5.03:18 Vandalism, etc.
  5.03:19 Unauthorized Entry or Use of University Facilities
  5.03:23 Threat or Commission of Physical Violence, etc.
  5.03:24 Hazing
  5.03:34 Unauthorized or Illegal Possession, etc.
  5.03:36 Falsification, Forgery, Alteration, etc.
  5.03:39 Theft, etc.
  5.03:43 Violation of Censures
  5.03:44 Commission of Acts or Attempted Acts, etc.
  5.03:46 Unauthorized Access to or Misuse of University Computers, etc.
  5.03:49 Convicted of a Felony
  5.03:50 Formally Charged by Civil Authorities with the Commission of a Felony, etc.
  5.03:51 When there is Strong Convincing Evidence, etc.
  5.03:52 Sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation and/or as defined in the university Sexual Misconduct Policy
     
7.01:08 A corporate act committed by a student organization and which constitutes a violation of the “Standards of Conduct for Students” will be referred to the Dean of Students or designee, in the Office of Student Services for an initial hearing. Administrative hearings for student organizations may occur, however, when the organization violates Student Organization Handbook policies promulgated by the Department of Student Life and Leadership or when the organization violates the rules, regulations or policies of its governing council in which it holds membership.

7.02 Charging a Student or Student Organization with a Violation of the ULM Code of Student Conduct.

7.02:01 An instructor, administrator, University Police Officer, student organization adviser, other University employee, student staff member or a student who has evidence to justify an academic or non-academic violation of the “Standards of Conduct for Students,” shall present non-academic evidence to the Office of Student Services (Student Conduct), or matters involving sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator and academic evidence to the appropriate Academic Unit. Whether the physical evidence is or is not surrendered, a written report concerning the student’s or student organization members’ alleged violation(s) should be presented to the Office of Student Services (Student Conduct) or the appropriate Academic Unit; however, the initial contact may be in person or by phone.
7.02:02 The appropriate University Administrator, which is the Office of Student Services (Student Conduct) for NON-ACADEMIC MATTERS and the appropriate Academic Unit for academic matters, will discuss the circumstances and evidence surrounding the alleged violation with the person bringing the charge, and will advise that person on actions that may be taken under the Code of Student Conduct.
7.02:03 When there is an alleged instance of academic cheating or plagiarism, the instructor shall initiate the investigation, with or without the knowledge of other members of the appropriate Academic Unit. The instructor shall further call the Office of Student Services (Student Conduct) to determine whether the student has a record of previous academic offenses.
7.02:04 After reviewing the evidence supporting the alleged academic or non-academic violation, an administrator of the Office of Student Services (Student Conduct), or the Title IX Coordinator or the appropriate Academic Unit will discuss the charge with the involved student(s) or student organization members (preferably a representative of that organization’s executive council, the organization’s University adviser, and/or the members involved in the alleged violation).
7.02:05 If the evidence is sufficient to justify such action, the student(s) or student organization members will be informed that the University is bringing formal charges under the Code of Student Conduct.
7.02:06 The student(s) or student organization will be informed of his or her rights or the student organizations’ rights as outlined in Section Four of the Code of Student Conduct.
7.02:07 In NON-ACADEMIC MATTERS, the student(s) or student organization’s case will be assigned by the Office of Student Services (Student Conduct) to be handled administratively in the responsible department. If the case is assigned to a hearing unit, the student(s) or student organization will have an administrative pre-hearing at which time written notification of formal charges of a violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct is made.
7.02:08 Students and student organizations may also make use of an adviser, as provided under Section 4.02:02, A of the Code of Student Conduct.

7.03 Administrative Disposition of a Student Violation

7.03:01 When the appropriate University Administrator receives information that a student has allegedly violated any University rule, regulation or policy, the Administrator shall investigate the alleged violation and request a conference with the involved student(s).
7.03:02 The appropriate University Administrator shall read the charge(s) or report of the alleged violation(s) before the student(s) who will then be given the opportunity to state his or her case and present witnesses on his or her behalf in a closed hearing.
7.03:03 After hearing the student(s) case and gathering all relevant information, the appropriate University Administrator shall: dismiss the allegation or proceed administratively by imposing a sanction, with written notice and reasons, against the student(s) as authorized by Section Six of the Code
7.03:04 In administratively managing a student violation, the student(s) and the appropriate University Administrator will sign a “Notice of Disciplinary Censure” stating the section(s) of the “Standards of Conduct for Students” which have been violated, the specific offense and the terms of the sanction(s) imposed. The signature of the student on this document in no way denies the student the right of appeal; the signature does show that the student and the appropriate University Administrator have conferred on the matter and sanctions have been applied in accordance with the Code. The student, however, does reserve the right to refuse signature of this notice if so choosing. When this occurs, the appropriate University Administrator shall so note the decision of the student in the place designated for the student signature. Failure of the student to sign does not hinder the immediate initiation of the censure(s) imposed.
7.03:05 Through the “Notice of Disciplinary Sanction,” the student is informed of the appeal procedures.
7.03:06 If the student(s) wishes to appeal in writing the decision of the University Administrator and the student’s appeal satisfies the standards written in the Appellate Process, the University Administrator shall then refer the case to the appropriate University Official, the Conduct Standards Committee or the appropriate Appeals Committees. The written appeal shall be submitted within three (3) class/business days from the date of the decision being appealed. Failure to submit a written letter of appeal within that time period will result in forfeiture of the right to appeal.

7.04 Hearing Panel Guidelines

Overview

7.04:01 The Chairperson of the hearing panel shall preside over the hearings of the Conduct Standards Committee, Student Organization Judicial Committee, Administrative Appeal Panel, the Appeals Committees, or the Title IX (Appeals) Committee. In the absence of the Chairperson, the appointed Vice Chairperson shall preside over a hearing.
7.04:02 The appropriate University Administrator will summon the charged student(s) or charged student organization, as well as any other student(s), to appear before a hearing panel handling an alleged violation by giving, hand carrying or mailing to the student or student organization a written notice, by certified mail return receipt requested, if this course is necessary, to the student’s local address as found in the Office of Registrar. Any student or student organization members failing, without just cause, to comply with a summons is subject to disciplinary action through the Office of Student Services (Student Conduct).
7.04:03 The appropriate University Administrator shall, at the request of the Chairperson for any hearing panel:
  1. Set the date, time, and place for the hearing and notify the charged student(s) or charged student organization of the same.
  2. Summon students, University employees and/or relevant other persons (such as civil law enforcement officers or other significant individuals involved in a case) to serve as witnesses and ensure the presence of documentary or other evidence necessary to the hearing. Such a summons will be served on behalf of the University and the charged student(s) or charged student organization.
  3. The appropriate University Administrator or hearing panel Chairperson shall report to the appropriate administrative official any instance of noncompliance with a summons by a University employee.
  4. The appropriate University Administrator shall arrange for a written summary of the hearing proceedings upon written request of the student(s) or student organization.
  5. The Chairperson for a hearing panel may postpone a hearing for just cause. In the case of a postponement, the Chairperson shall request the appropriate University Administrator to notify all interested parties of the new hearing date, time, and place.
  6. Cases in which charges arise from a single incident against two or more students will be heard together unless one or more of the students submits a written request for a separate hearing. The request must demonstrate good cause for a separate hearing. This request is not available to student organization cases.
  7. The charged student(s) or charged student organization shall furnish the appropriate University Administrator or hearing panel Chairperson with the names of each witness the student wants summoned and a description of all documentary or other evidence the student wants produced. This information should be produced within a reasonable time of the hearing.
  8. A decision by the hearing panel to find the student(s) or student organization in violation of the Code shall be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. Evidence of any past violation(s) may not be introduced as evidence nor considered in the deliberation of responsibility. If the student or student organization is found responsible of the charge, records of past violations will be introduced by the Office of Student Services (Student Conduct), the Title IX Coordinator, the appropriate Academic Unit, or the hearing panel Chairperson and will be considered by the hearing panel in determining a censure(s). 
  9. A simple majority vote of the hearing panel members is required to find a student or student organization in violation of the Code.
    A hearing panel member shall vote, by secret ballot, to find a student in violation of the Code only if the hearing panel member finds the evidence against the student or student organization presented at the hearing to be a reasonable standard of proof.
  10. All hearings will be tape-recorded and a brief written summary of the proceedings will be made. The University retains the sole right to record hearings. No other recordings may be made of hearings. Hearing taped testimony may not be used for any purpose other than appeal hearings held by the University. Taped testimony cannot be used for civil or criminal hearings (unless subpoenaed).
  11. A charged student or charged student organization members may not be compelled to testify.
  12. A witness shall be encouraged to testify and/or produce documentary and other evidence unless the testimony and/or documentary or other evidence be privileged or self-incriminating.
  13. All evidence shall be offered to the hearing panel during the hearing and made a part of the record of the hearing. When physical evidence is impossible to include in the record, a statement describing evidence shall be placed in the record. Documentary evidence may be admitted in the form of copies or extracts or by incorporation through reference. Physical evidence may be admitted in the same manner. Physical evidence may be photographed or described for the record.

Structure of a Hearing Panel

7.04:04 Conduct Standards Committee (Appeals), the Student Organization Judicial Committee, Title IX (Appeals) Committee, and the Title IX Coordinator, through its hearing panels, conduct formal hearings on cases of student or student organization misconduct under the ULM Code of Student Conduct referred to it by the Office of Student Services or the appropriate Academic Unit.
7.04:05 In accordance with Section Two of the Code, each hearing panel shall be specifically composed of:
  1. Faculty or staff members as provided for in the Code.
  2. Student members as provided for in the Code.
  3. One faculty or staff member or one student member (on Student Hearing Panels) serving as hearing panel Chairperson as provided by the Code.
7.04:06 When, in the judgement of the Office of Student Services, the Title IX Coordinator (sexual misconduct) or appropriate Academic Unit, subject matter of a proceeding makes it advisable to have the services of persons with special technical expertise (such as cases involving computer systems or the sciences), the Vice President for Student Affairs or Vice President for Academic Affairs may appoint such persons to serve as non-voting members of the panel.
7.04:07 A quorum for each hearing panel has been set by Section Two of the Code.
7.04:08 The appropriate University Administrator or hearing panel Chairperson will bring an appointed recorder to oversee the taped proceedings of the hearing, if necessary.

Hearing Panel Procedures

7.04:09 The Chairperson of a hearing panel is delegated the authority, and is charged with the responsibility, to conduct the hearing in a manner which will protect:
  1. The due process rights of the charged student(s) or student organization.
  2. The rights of the persons bringing the charge(s).
  3. The rights of all witnesses.
  4. The rights of all hearing panel members.
  5. The rights and prerogatives of the University.
7.04:10 Prior to considering the charges against the student(s) or student organization, the Chairperson of the hearing panel shall:
  1. Introduce the members of the hearing panel.
  2. Outline the procedures that the panel will follow.
  3. Announce that the hearing panel will be closed to the public and the proceedings will be taped.
  4. Stress the importance of the confidentiality of the proceedings.
  5. Formally announce that the University is committed to the principles of procedural due process protection for its students and student organizations. Accordingly, each student or student organization is presumed not responsible until proven responsible, and the hearing panel shall decide responsibility on the basis of a reasonable standard of proof presented during the hearing.
  6. Announce that the student(s), student organization members, the person(s) bringing the charge(s), and the University Administrator or University Official, when necessary, may make an immediate request to the Chairperson for a brief recess to consider rejection, with good cause, of any one member of the hearing panel, except the Chairperson, for any reason.
  7. Announce that the adviser to the student(s) or student organization has no voice in the proceedings and cannot act as an agent for the student(s) or student organization; rather, advisers must limit their activities to quietly advising the student(s) or student organization members.
  8. Announce that legal rules and procedures for civil or criminal court hearings do not apply to the hearing. Furthermore, legal rules of evidence also do not apply to the hearing. Hearsay is admissible.
  9. Announce that all testimony and questions shall be restricted by the Chairperson to information dealing directly with the alleged violation(s), except during the censure phase.
  10. Announce that the Chairperson has the responsibility and the authority to call hearing recesses and to grant a continuance in lengthy hearings.
7.04:11 The Chairperson shall read and clarify the charge(s) specifying the violation(s) of the “Standards of Conduct for Students.” For appeal cases, the Chairperson shall read and clarify the student’s or student organization’s appeal.

 

7.04:12 The Chairperson of the hearing panel will ask the charged student(s) or student organization members to present a plea to the charge(s). The Chairperson will inform the student(s) or student organization members that he/she or the organization may plead responsible, not responsible, or may elect not to enter a plea. In appeal cases where the student(s) or student organization has previously admitted responsibility to the charge(s) and is appealing only the censure(s) imposed, such a plea is not required; however, the student(s) or student organization will state instead that an appeal for reconsideration or modification of the censure(s) is being made.
7.04:13 The person(s) bringing the charge(s) or the appropriate University Administrator or University Official presents the details of the case or the student violation(s) of the ULM Code of Student Conduct.
7.04:14 The person(s) bringing the charge(s) or the appropriate University Administrator or University Official may call witnesses into the hearing. Student witnesses shall be warned by the hearing panel Chairperson that:
  1. Furnishing false evidence is a violation of 5.03:41, of this Code,
  2. That the witness must leave the hearing upon completion of his or her testimony, and
  3. All hearing testimony is confidential and is to remain within the confines of the hearing. Non-student witnesses will be requested by the Chairperson to adhere to socially acceptable and ethical standards of furnishing truthful evidence; these witnesses are reminded as well concerning B and C above.
7.04:15 The witnesses will present testimony separately.
7.04:16 The person(s) bringing the charge(s) or the appropriate University Administrator or University Official may cross-examine the witnesses.
7.04:17 The charged student(s) or student organization members may cross-examine the person(s) bringing the charge(s) and/or the witnesses.
7.04:18 The hearing panel members may question the person(s) bringing the charge(s), the appropriate University Administrator or University Official, and/or the witnesses, but that questioning shall occur in an orderly manner as directed by the Chairperson.
7.04:19 The charged student(s) or charged student organization members will then present his/her or their case.
7.04:20 The person(s) bringing the charge(s) or the appropriate University Administrator or University Official may cross-examine the charged student(s) or charged student organization members.
7.04:21 The hearing panel members may question the charged student(s) or charged student organization members.
7.04:22 The charged student(s) or charged student organization members may call witnesses.
7.04:23 The witnesses shall be warned by the hearing panel Chairperson prior to testimony concerning A, B, and C of 7.04:14.
7.04:24 The witnesses will present testimony separately.
7.04:25 The charged student(s) or charged student organization members may cross-examine the witnesses.
7.04:26 The person(s) bringing the charge(s) or the appropriate University Administrator or University Official may cross-examine the witnesses.
7.04:27 The hearing panel members may question the witnesses.
7.04:28 The charged student(s) or charged student organization members may present rebuttal evidence and final arguments or remarks.
7.04:29 The person(s) bringing the charge(s) or the appropriate University Administrator or University Official shall have the last summation since the standard of proof rests with the person(s) bringing the charge(s) or with the University respectively.
7.04:30 All persons except hearing panel members shall leave the room before the hearing panel members deliberate on the case. Then a vote by secret ballot shall be taken on the responsibility of the charged student(s) or charged student organization regarding the alleged violation(s) or on reconsideration of the censure(s) imposed. The Chairperson shall refrain from voting unless a tie vote needs to be broken. A simple majority vote rules.
7.04:31 The charged student(s) or charged student organization members, the person(s) bringing the charge(s), and the appropriate University Administrator or University Official are recalled into the hearing room. The Chairperson shall inform all parties of the decision rendered by the hearing panel.
7.04:32 If the student(s) or student organization is found not responsible, the hearing is then adjourned. If in the reconsideration of the censure(s) the hearing panel decides in favor of the formerly imposed censure(s), the Chairperson shall then inform the student(s) or student organization of the right to appeal the decision to the appropriate University Unit. The Chairperson shall also inform the student(s) or student organization that such an appeal shall be made in writing and submitted to the appropriate University Administrator or University Unit. For appeal time lines, refer to Section Eight, 8.02, “Appellate Process,” of this Code.
7.04:33 If the student(s) or student organization is found responsible, recommendations are then heard from the person(s) bringing the charge(s), the appropriate University Administrator or University Official, and the student(s) or student organization members as to what censure(s) should be reasonably imposed. The appropriate University Administrator or University Official and the student(s) or student organization members may introduce any evidence such as the student’s or student organization’s discipline or academic records in support of censure recommendations. Following these presentations, the Chairperson shall excuse all parties other than the hearing panel members from the room.
7.04:34 The hearing panel members shall deliberate on the censure(s) appropriate for the student’s or student organization’s violation of University conduct standards. The hearing panel members shall then vote by secret ballot on an appropriate censure(s) to be imposed on the student(s) or student organization. The Chairperson shall refrain from voting unless a tie vote needs to be broken. A simple majority vote rules.
7.04:35 The student(s) or student organization members, the person(s) bringing the charge(s), and the appropriate University Administrator or University Official shall be recalled into the room, and the Chairperson shall notify the student(s) or student organization members of the hearing panel’s decision.
7.04:36 Finally, the student(s) or student organization members shall be informed of the right to appeal by the Chairperson. (where applicable)