Conduct FAQ

DISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE

The purpose of the preliminary conference is to allow the Director or designee to discuss the alleged offense (s) with the respondent student. The letter directs the student to schedule a preliminary appointment. The hearing response form to be completed by the respondent and returned to the Director or designee at the preliminary conference shall signify whether the respondent prefers:

1. To accept the recommended sanctions and waive a Hearing.

2. To proceed before the University Hearing Board if available or a Hearing Officer.

3. To conduct his/her own defense or be represented by a non-attorney.

The respondent will provide the Director or designee with all available documents which he/she intends to introduce at the hearing not less than three (3) working days prior to the hearing date. The Director or his/ her representative will provide the respondent with all available documents which the charging party will introduce at the hearing not less than three (3) working days prior to the hearing date.

HEARING FORMAT

The Coordinator is responsible for scheduling the hearing. All parties shall receive written notification of the hearing which shall include: time, date, and place of hearing.

At the time, date, and place scheduled, the hearing shall be conducted under the guidance of the Coordinator or designee. All proceedings before the University Hearing Board or a Hearing Officer shall be duly recorded by the Coordinator or designee. However, any other recordings or transcripts by any manner are absolutely forbidden unless approved in advance by the Coordinator or designee.

1. The Coordinator or designee shall convene the hearing and introduce members of the hearing board, and parties involved in the proceeding and the student’s representative, if any.

2. The Coordinator or designee will not apply technical extraordinary rules of evidence followed in student conduct proceedings nor entertain technical legal motions. Technical legal rules pertaining to the wording of questions, hearsay, and opinions will not be formally applied. Reasonable rules of relevancy will guide the Coordinator or designee in ruling on the admissibility of evidence. Reasonable limits may be imposed on the number of factual witnesses and the amount of cumulative evidence that may be introduced.

3. The alleged offense or offenses upon which the complaint has been based shall be read by the Coordinator or designee.

4. Objections to procedures shall be entered on record and the Coordinator shall make any necessary rulings regarding the validity of such objections.

5. Complainant or representative for complainant shall state his/her case and shall offer evidence in support thereof.

6. Respondent or representative for respondent shall have the opportunity to question complainant.

7. Complainant or representative for respondent shall be given the opportunity to call witnesses.

8. Respondent or representative for respondent shall be given the opportunity to question each witness of the complainant after he/she testifies.

9. University Hearing  Board members or the Hearing Officer may question all persons testifying.

10. Complainant shall inform the Coordinator or designee when his/her presentation is completed.

11. Hearing shall be recessed and the Coordinator or designee shall make a determination as to whether the complainant has presented sufficient evidence to support a finding against the respondent if such evidence is a perponderance of evidence.

12. Depending upon the determination of the Coordinator or designee, the matter shall be dismissed or the respondent shall be called upon to present his/her case and offer evidence in support thereof.

13. The respondent may testify or not as he/she chooses.

14. Complainant or representative for complainant shall have the opportunity to question the respondent if the respondent voluntarily chooses to testify.

15. Respondent or representative for respondent shall have the opportunity to call witnesses.

16. Complainant or representative for complainant shall have the opportunity to question each witness of the respondent after he/she testifies.

17. Respondent shall inform the Coordinator or designee when his/her presentation is completed.

18. Coordinator or designee shall have an opportunity to address the University Hearing Board or Hearing Officer on University regulation, points of law, or procedure in the presence of all parties, but shall not offer other comments without the consent of all parties.

19. Hearing shall be continued and the members of the University Hearing Board or Hearing Officer shall deliberate in private until a decision is reached and recorded.

20. When a decision in favor of or against an respondent has been reached by the Hearing Officer or by a majority vote of a Hearing Board, the hearing shall be reconvened and the findings of fact and recommendation announced.

21. If a decision is entered against an respondent, the parties shall be given the opportunity to address the University Hearing Board or Hearing Officer regarding the imposition of a sanction. Hearing shall be concluded and members of the University Hearing Board or Hearing Officer shall deliberate in private until the final decision is reached and recorded.

FINAL ADJUDICATION

The recommended sanction shall be sent to the Vice President for Student Affairs for final adjudication. The  Vice President for Student Affairs may increase, decrease, or otherwise change the recommended sanction if he/she believes that the totality of circumstances, including but not limited to any prior offenses and any available precedents, justify it. The final adjudication shall be forwarded to the respondent and charging parties.

Where a sanction has been imposed, a record of the adjudication shall be maintained in the Office of Student Conduct

While a sanction is in effect, a record of it may be properly introduced at a subsequent disciplinary hearing if it is determined that a student has committed another offense.

RIGHT TO APPEAL

Students have the right to petition the Pitt-Johnstown Appeals Board for an appeal from a decision of the hearing body upon receipt of the final decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs. This petition must be submitted to Office of Student Conduct and Resolution, G-61 Student Union, no later than five (5) working days of the decision letter.

Until favorable decision on the appeal or favorable sanction pending appeal, the original sanction imposed remains in effect.