Procedures for Campus Conduct Hearing Board Panels

A designated Student Life staff member serving as the Judicial Officer investigates complaints, determines whether probable cause exists to support charge(s), presents charge(s) and evidence to the Hearing Panel, and participates in questioning. To provide appropriate separation of duties, a different member of the Student Life staff serves as the Judicial Liaison responsible for appointing the members of the Hearing Panel from among the eligible members of the CCHB, arranging for the hearing, and advising Hearing Panel members concerning all aspects of the hearing process. The Judicial Liaison is also responsible for advising the Hearing Panel concerning the substantive provisions of the Community Judicial Code and the applicable range of sanctions under each charge.

The Judicial Liaison is responsible for providing general judicial training to all CCHB members. The College's Title IX Coordinator is responsible for providing training to CCHB members regarding the College's Sexual Misconduct Policy.  No person may serve on a Hearing Panel without completing such training.

Cases are heard by Hearing Panels comprised of three persons convened by the Judicial Liaison. A Hearing Panel must include at least two faculty/staff from the CCHB and one student who is a member of the CCHB or a J-Board Chair. Student members must be certified by Student Life as having completed at least two regular terms at Berea and are juniors or seniors in good standing (i.e. not on probation).

Each Hearing Panel shall apply the following procedures. In unusual circumstances, special adjudicative procedures may be adopted upon the advice of the Judicial Liaison, subject to prior approval by the Vice President for Student Life.

  1. Prior to the hearing, each member of the Hearing Panel is required to sign a statement attesting to his or her ability to hear the case “without bias” and pledging to keep case-relevant information confidential. No contact with any party or witness in the case regarding the case is permissible.
  2. Each Hearing Panel shall select a chair from among its members. Any member may chair the hearing. It shall be the duty of the chair to conduct the hearing in an orderly manner following these procedures. The Judicial Liaison shall advise the Hearing Panel on all questions of procedure.
  3. No party or witness to the charge(s) being heard may sit on the Hearing Panel.
  4. The Judicial Liaison will provide members of the Hearing Panel with the opportunity to review the charges, incident reports, documentary evidence, written statements, and relevant sections of the Student Handbook prior to the hearing.
  5. At the beginning of the hearing, the Judicial Liaison or the Hearing Panel Chair shall inform all parties to a case, including witnesses that all testimony must be the complete truth and that persons knowingly giving false testimony shall be liable to judicial action. (See possible sanctions elsewhere in these procedures.)
  6. Each member of the Hearing Panel shall have a reasonable opportunity to question all parties and witnesses.
  7. All hearings shall be closed to persons other than those provided for in these Procedures and those summoned by the Judicial Officer.
  8. Cases involving two or more students shall be ordinarily heard jointly by the same Hearing Panel. The Judicial Liaison may, for good cause shown, grant separate hearings upon the written request of any of the accused.
  9. Only facts and evidence relevant to the case at hand shall be used in determining whether the accused is “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” on the charges. If the student is found “Responsible” on the charges being heard, only previous disciplinary records shall be presented by the Judicial Liaison to the Hearing Panel prior to determination of penalties. Such records are excluded during the hearing and deliberations on responsibility.
  10. The standard of proof used to determine responsibility will be a preponderance of evidence, i.e., it is more likely than not that the alleged policy violation occurred.
  11. Concurrence by a majority of the members of the Hearing Panel is necessary in order to reach a decision that the accused is “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” on each charge. If the concurrence of a majority of the Hearing Panel cannot be reached on a charge, the charge may, at the discretion of the Judicial Liaison, be referred to the Student Life Council.
  12. The decision of a Hearing Panel, including any sanctions, shall be recorded on a Hearing Panel Decision Form provided for this purpose by the Judicial Liaison.
  13. The decisions of Hearing Panels are final unless: (i) timely appealed and modified or reversed upon appeal ; or (ii) subsequently reviewed and modified or reversed by the President of the College or the President’s designate.
  14. Any student, who knowingly interferes with or obstructs the administration of the Community Judicial Code or gives false testimony before a Hearing Panel, in writing or in person, shall be subject to suspension for not less than one term. Under unusual or extenuating circumstances, the penalty may be reduced to a fine of not less than $150, one-year probation, or both. In the event that a charge of false testimony, judicial interference, or obstruction is finally determined to have occurred, the Vice President for Student Life shall be obligated to investigate whether such conduct had a material impact on the outcome of the original proceeding. The Vice President shall report such finding to the President of the College for such further action or proceedings as the President determines necessary to preserve the rights of the parties in the original proceeding.