2019-2020 Student Handbook 
    
    Nov 18, 2019  
2019-2020 Student Handbook

Article V: Hearings



A. Convening Judicial Board Hearings

  1. A hearing panel shall be convened as soon as possible, normally within 60 school days of a Statement of Alleged Policy Violation being provided to a respondent.
  2. A judicial board hearing shall be conducted when the circumstances of the case or responsibility for violation of the Student Code is in dispute and when the Judiciary Council has jurisdiction over the case.
  3. The chairs of the Judiciary Council shall convene the hearing, select members of the panels (and shall rotate service among all the members of the Judiciary Council) and, except as noted in #8 below, shall conduct the hearing. If both the chair and the associate chair are unable to serve, a hearing panel shall be selected and convened by a dean from Student Affairs. The Dean, in addition to the panel, shall select a member of the Judiciary Council to chair the hearing.
  4. The panel for a given case shall include eight students in addition to the non-voting chair. A hearing panel quorum is six. Alternate panel members may also be selected. 
  5. A dean from Student Affairs shall sit on the panel as a non-voting, ex-officio member during the presentation of witnesses and other materials. The dean is present to advise on process and may ask questions of respondent(s) and witnesses to ensure that all pertinent information is considered. The dean may remain after the point at which discussion begins on whether the respondent has violated the Student Code and/or sanctions are applied, if requested to do so by the Judiciary Chair or a majority of the hearing panel. A staff member from Student Affairs remains for the entire proceeding.
  6. In exceptional cases where criminal charges are pending or threatened or other extraordinary circumstances exist, the respondent may make a written request to the Vice President and Dean of Students to have an attorney present, at the respondent’s expense. The Vice President and Dean of Students may accept or deny this petition after discussion with the judiciary chair or the chair of the Student Affairs Committee. An attorney, if allowed, acts only as an advisor. An attorney may not act as a spokesperson and may speak only to the respondent. If the respondent has an attorney present, the Vice President and Dean of Students may allow the complainant and/or the College to be represented in the same limited manner.
  7. The presiding officer of the hearing panel in cases where attorneys are present shall be a jurist or a retired jurist selected by the President of the College or by the President’s designee. In such cases the chair of the Judiciary Council shall sit as a hearing panel member unless disqualifying circumstances prevent their participation.
  8. The vote of five out of eight members (or four of six or seven members) of the panel is required to find a respondent responsible for a violation of the Student Code or to impose a sanction.

B. Convening Student Affairs Committee Judicial Hearings

Hearings conducted by SAC shall follow the same procedures as followed by the Judiciary Council, and as specified in section C of this article. However, anything in this section (Section B) that contradicts or otherwise modifies the procedure specified in Section C shall be considered superior.

  1. The Student Affairs Committee considers cases over which the Judiciary Council has refused or is unable to accept jurisdiction or finds impossible to adjudicate.
  2. The chair of the Student Affairs Committee shall convene the hearing, notify the committee members of the time and place of the meeting and conduct the hearing (except as noted in #7 below). If the chair is unable to serve, they shall designate a Student Affairs Committee member to serve as the hearing panel chair.
  3. The Student Affairs Committee chair is a non-voting member of the panel except in cases where the vote of the chair is required to break a tie.
  4. The respondent(s) may challenge up to two members of the SAC, excluding the Chair, when the SAC sits as a Judicial Board and one member when the SAC sits as a Penalty Board. These challenges shall be made by the respondent at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled hearing. The chair may excuse any member of the SAC if they feel that the member is unable to hear the case in an impartial manner.
  5. When the Vice President and Dean of Students is unable to serve because of prior involvement in the case or for any other reason, another Dean from Student Affairs shall sit on the panel as a voting member. A staff member from Student Affairs remains for the entire proceeding. The Judiciary Council chair shall sit as a non-voting ex-officio member when the SAC convenes as a Judicial body.
  6. In exceptional cases where criminal charges are pending or other extraordinary circumstances exist, the respondent may make a written request to the Vice President and Dean of Students to have an attorney present, at the respondent’s expense. The Vice President and Dean of Students may accept or deny this petition after discussion with the judicial chair and the chair of the Student Affairs Committee. An attorney, if allowed, acts only as an advisor. An attorney may not act as a spokesperson and may speak only to the respondent. If the respondent has an attorney present, the Vice President and Dean of Students may allow the complainant and/or the College to be represented in the same limited manner.
  7. The presiding officer of the SAC, in cases where attorneys are present, shall be a jurist or a retired jurist selected by the President of the College or by the President’s designee. In such cases the chair of the SAC shall sit as a hearing panel member unless disqualifying circumstances (i.e., circumstances which would prevent the rendering of an impartial judgment) prevent participation.
  8. The Student Affairs Committee, by a majority of those present and voting, may find that a student has violated the Student Code and may impose a sanction.
  9. If fewer than five members of the SAC (and fewer than three student members of the SAC and fewer than two faculty members of the SAC—a quorum) are available for a hearing, the chair of the SAC shall draw student hearing panel members from the Judicial Council and faculty hearing panel members from the Executive Committee of the Faculty.

C. Hearing procedures for Judicial Board and Student Affairs Committee

  1. The chair presides at hearings (unless an attorney will participate in the hearing, in which case a jurist or a retired jurist presides). The presiding officer shall conduct the hearing to ensure the fair presentation of all evidence and witnesses. They shall:
    • Describe the procedures under which the hearing will be conducted.
    • Read the SAPV and remind the respondent of their rights.
    • Indicate the order in which evidence and testimony will be presented.
    • Discuss the standard of judgment to be applied to the case ensuring that all panel members understand the College’s standard of clear and convincing evidence and the presumption of innocence.  Indicate that all decisions must be based on information presented at the hearing.
  2. To safeguard the privacy of respondents, complainants and victims, the members of the hearing panel shall at no time discuss cases outside of the hearing. If any member discusses a case prior to or following the hearing, that member shall immediately be disqualified from the case and dismissed from all further judicial responsibilities. Likewise, statements of complainants, victims, respondents and witnesses, whether written or oral, are confidential and may not be used or quoted for any purpose outside of the hearing.
  3. The complainant, the respondent and the victim have the right to have an advisor present at the hearing. The advisor must be a member of the College community, but must not be a witness in the case, a panelist in the case, a Judicial Council chair, or, except when given written permission by the Vice President and Dean of Students, an attorney.
  4. Hearings shall be conducted in private. Persons who are appropriately present at all hearings on facts are: the respondent, the complainant, the victim, the chair, the hearing panel members, the Investigating Dean, the advisors to the chair, the respondent, the complainant and the victim, a Dean from Student Affairs and a staff member from the Student Affairs.
  5. The Chair may authorize the attendance of persons who are not normally authorized to attend the hearing or order the hearing room cleared or order any person to leave. A majority vote of panel members present may overrule the decision of the chair.
  6. A single recording shall be made of all hearings during the time that witnesses and other pertinent information are being presented. Deliberations about whether or not the Student Code has been violated or about sanctions shall not be recorded. The recording will be kept in the Dean of Students Office. If the case is appealed to the Appeals Board, the respondent, the complainant, the victim, their advisors, the Investigating Dean, the Judiciary Chair, the chair of the Student Affairs Committee, Deans from Student Affairs, the Appeals Board Chair and the Appeals Board panel members may listen to the recording. Only the named individuals have the privilege of hearing a recording of a Pomona College Judiciary hearing. The recording is the property of Pomona College. Students authorized to hear the recording must do so in the Dean of Students Office or in an area arranged by the Dean of Students Office. Students may not copy the recording or receive copies of it. The recording will be kept for one calendar year following the end of an appeal.
  7. A respondent may challenge up to two members of the hearing panel if the respondent believes that member(s) cannot provide impartial consideration of the case. The Judiciary Council Chair may give permission to the respondent to question panel members prior to deciding whether to excuse a member. The individual(s) who is challenged may be replaced on the hearing panel by another member drawn from the Judiciary Council. Four alternates may be available for this purpose at hearings. Respondents shall not have the right to ask that the hearing chair be excused from the panel.
  8. The chair of the hearing shall ask the respondent, the complainant, and the victim if any would like to have a Judicial Council member to be their advisor for the hearing. The Judicial Council member(s) who is(are) to act as (an) advisor(s) may replace the respondent’s, complainant’s, or victim’s advisor only at the request of the respondent, complainant, or victim, respectively. Each respondent, complainant, and victim shall have no more than one advisor, except as allowed by Article V, Section E, Subsection 1.
  9. All parties to an incident (or to incidents that represent a continuation of a Student Code violation that occurred previously) will have their cases heard together in one Judicial or Penalty board hearing so that all facts relevant to the role of each respondent may be considered. When a violation involves an identifiable unit such as a sponsor group or some portion of a residence hall and/or behavior such as vandalism within a hall, noise, or other behavior disruptive to campus life, an Investigating Dean may charge a group of students and the Judiciary hearing panel shall hear their cases together.
  10. When the respondent in a hearing is an organization, the organization may be represented by no more than four organization members.
  11. If the respondent has been appropriately notified and fails to appear at the time and place set for the hearing, the Chair may elect to conduct a hearing in the respondent’s absence or to arrange a new hearing. If they fail to appear a second time, they may be charged with failure to obey the summons of the Judiciary Council and the scheduled hearing shall be conducted without the presence of the respondent.
  12. As the hearing begins, the Investigating Dean shall be recognized to present the facts related to the alleged violation of the Student Code. This presentation shall impartially state the facts of the case as they have been determined by the Investigating Dean. The Investigating Dean shall recognize those with information to contribute and shall present other information discovered in the course of examining the case.
  13. On the conclusion of the presentation by the Investigating Dean, the respondent may speak on their behalf and request that additional information be presented or additional witnesses called.
  14. The complainant, the respondent, the victim, the Investigating Dean, the Dean from the Student Affairs and the chair shall all have the privilege of presenting witnesses. The chair, panel members, the respondent, the victim, the Investigating Dean and the Dean from Student Affairs shall have the right to question all witnesses.
  15. The victim and/or a Dean from Student Affairs may provide statements about the impact of the respondent’s actions on the victim or the college community. 
  16. Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration by the hearing panel at the discretion of the Chair.
  17. Evidence obtained by any College Official should be obtined in accordance with College policy. Evidence obtained by a College Official in a manner that is not in accordance with College policy must be excluded by the Chair, at their discretion and in consultation with the Advising Dean to the Judicial Council.
  18. The Chair shall exclude evidence that does not meet college standards. Evidence shall be limited to:
    • Facts pertinent to the charge.
    • Circumstances or attitudes that might affect the severity of any sanction imposed.
    • Arguments addressing the applicability of the regulation on which the charge is based to the facts of the case.
  19. The Chair and Associate Chair of the Judiciary Council shall have the power to summon the presence of administration, staff, faculty, and students of Pomona College. The Chair shall use this power to bring witnesses required by the respondent, the complainant, the victim or the Investigating Dean. If a student does not appear when given a summons to appear, the Judiciary Council may impose sanctions.
  20. A simple majority of the panel may overrule the decisions of the Chair regarding procedures not mandatory in the Student Code.
  21. The complainant and the victim shall be given the opportunity to respond to the presentations of both the Investigating Dean and the respondent.
  22. The respondent shall be given the opportunity to make the closing statement or presentation.
  23. The hearing panel may recess at any time upon decision of the Chair to provide for gathering additional information or simply to provide a break in the hearing or the deliberation.
  24. All information upon which the decision may be based shall be introduced into evidence in the presence of the respondent at the hearing. The decision as to whether or not the Student Code has been violated shall be based solely upon such information. The respondent is entitled to a presumption of innocence and evidence supporting a violation must be clear and convincing. 
  25. After the hearing has been concluded, the panel shall go into closed session to determine whether the respondent has violated the Student Code and, if the respondent is found to have violated the Code, what sanctions should be imposed. This phase of the hearing shall not be recorded.
  26. Present for the decision of whether or not the respondent(s) has violated the Student Code and, if required, discussion of an appropriate sanction are the Chair, all panel members and the staff member from Student Affairs. A Dean from Student Affairs may remain as an advisor to the chair on process if requested to do so by the Judiciary Chair or a majority of the hearing panel.
  27. If the panel requires more information, clarification of facts or additional time, the Chair shall recess and later reconvene the hearing. The respondent, the respondent’s advisor, the complainant, the victim and their advisors, the Investigating Dean, the Dean from Student Affairs and the Student Affairs staff member may be present when the hearing is reconvened if information is presented or clarified.
  28. The hearing panel shall first consider the question of whether the respondent has violated the Student Code. The panel may find that the respondent has committed a violation if the information presented in the hearing provides clear and convincing evidence of such violation. 
  29. A respondent’s previous conduct record shall not be made available to the panel until after the decision concerning whether or not the respondent violated the Student Code has been reached. It shall play no role in determining whether or not a violation has occurred.
  30. If a respondent is found to have violated the Student Code, this panel shall then consider sanctions. Participants are the same as those involved in determining whether a violation of the Student Code has occurred.
  31. The respondent’s previous conduct record shall be considered in assessing a sanction. That record will be provided to the hearing panel by the Dean from Student Affairs.
  32. In assigning sanctions, the hearing panel shall consider the kind of violation, the attitude of the respondent, the respondent’s previous conduct record, and the circumstances under which the offense was committed.
  33. When a sanction requires a period of time for completion, the deadline for completion shall be specified. The respondent must report to a member of the Office of Campus Life when they have completed the sanction. The case is not complete/closed until the sanction has been completed.
  34. If the respondent does not complete their sanction by the stated deadline, the Office of Campus Life shall report this fact to the Judiciary Council chairs or the Student Affairs Committee chair who may assign a new and more severe sanction.
  35. The Chair shall inform the respondent and the Dean of Students Office of the results of the hearing. The Chair shall file a written opinion which explains the reasons for the decision with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office shall issue an official letter of notification to the respondent. When a hearing involves an incident of a violent nature, the Dean of Students Office, upon written request, shall notify the alleged victim of the results.
  36. In accordance with College policy, decisions made or actions taken under the Student Code shall not be posted on a student’s academic record (transcript).

D. Convening Penalty Board Hearings and Hearing Procedures

If a respondent agrees to the charges of the case and signs a Statement of Alleged Policy Violation (SAPV) so indicating, the case shall be presented to a Penalty Board hearing for consideration of an appropriate penalty. Since the respondent has accepted responsibility for a violation of the Student Code, a full judicial hearing is not required to determine whether or not a violation has occurred. The procedures in a Penalty Board hearing include:

  1. A Penalty Board hearing shall consist of the non-voting Judiciary chair and four members of the Judiciary council selected by the Judiciary Council chair on a rotating basis. These five students constitute a quorum. A Dean from Student Affairs shall sit on the panel as a non-voting ex-officio member up to the point at which discussion of sanctions begins. The Dean shall remain for the discussion of sanctions to advise on process if asked to do so by the Judiciary Chair or a majority of the penalty board members. A staff member from the Student Affairs remains for the entire hearing.
  2. Penalty Board hearings shall be closed. Witnesses, complainants, victims and the Investigating Dean are not required to determine the facts of the situation, which have been agreed to by the respondent. The Chair may authorize the attendance of individuals not normally present but may be overruled by majority vote of the panel.
  3. When the respondent in a hearing is an organization, the organization may be represented by no more than four organization members.
  4. The respondent has the right to have an advisor present at the hearing. The advisor must be a member of the College community, but must not be a witness in the case, a panelist in the case, a Judicial Council chair, or, except when given written permission by the Vice President and Dean of Students, an attorney.
  5. The respondent and their advisor may attend the hearing to provide a statement about the Student Code violation or they may submit a written statement to the board. The written statement shall be presented to the Chair 24 hours in advance.
  6. A respondent may challenge one member of the penalty board if the respondent believes that the member cannot provide impartial consideration of the case. A respondent may not ask the Chair be removed from the panel. The Judiciary Council Chair may give permission to the respondent to question panel members prior to deciding whether to excuse a member. The individual who is challenged shall be replaced on the hearing panel by another member of the Judiciary Council.
  7. The victim and/or a dean from the Student Affairs may provide statements about the impact of the respondent’s actions on the victim or the college community.
  8. Three out of four members of the penalty board must agree on a sanction in order for it to be assigned to the respondent.
  9. Penalty Board proceedings shall be recorded up to the point at which deliberation on sanctions begins.
  10. To safeguard the privacy of respondents, complainants and victims, the members of the hearing panel shall at no time discuss cases outside of the hearing. If any member discusses a case prior to or following the hearing, that member shall be immediately disqualified from the case and dismissed from all further judicial responsibilities.
  11. The chair shall inform the respondent and the Dean of Students Office of the results of the hearing. The Dean of Students Office shall issue an official letter of notification to the respondent. The decision of the hearing panel becomes effective immediately upon notification unless it requires suspension or expulsion.

E. Cross Campus Complaints

In cases where an alleged code violation has occurred on another campus or the complainant is from another campus, the College will take measures to ensure that the complainant understands the Pomona College Student Code and to ensure the impartiality of the Judiciary Council or Penalty Board, as provided in the Student Code. After a hearing is concluded, a copy of the record to be included in the precedent file shall be sent to the Dean of Students of the complainant’s home campus.

  1. The Judiciary Chair shall appoint a member of the Judiciary Council to act as an advisor to the complainant. The advisor shall explain to the complainant the Student Code and the judicial process as it applies to the case. The advisor may be present at the hearing as an additional advisor.
  2. At the discretion of the Judiciary Council Chair, the Dean of Students from the complainant’s home campus may appoint an impartial observer for the hearing. The observer shall write a signed evaluation of the hearing process to be submitted to the Judiciary Chair for internal review, and to the Dean of Students at the complainant’s home campus. The evaluation shall address issues of impartiality and process.
  3. The cross-campus observer’s presence at the hearing is subject to the following conditions:
    • The observer shall sign the confidentiality agreement required of all Judiciary Council members.
    • The observer shall not speak, answer questions, ask questions, or in any way influence the hearing.
    • At the conclusion of the hearing, the Judiciary Chair shall give the observer a form on which to make the evaluation.
    • The observer must complete and submit the evaluation before leaving the location of the hearing.
    • The observer shall surrender all notes about the hearing to the Judiciary Chair after completing the evaluation.