The intent of the hearing process is not to replicate a court proceeding, but rather to be educational. A hearing is not a formal process such as a civil or criminal trial. Students are not permitted to bring attorneys or parents into the hearing room, except for cases of sexual misconduct if attorneys or parents are serving as the advisor of choice. Students do not have the right to cross-examine witnesses but may request that the panel, board, or hearing officer ask particular questions of witnesses. Failure to attend a scheduled hearing will result in the hearing being held in the student’s absence. Loyola University Maryland uses a preponderance of the evidence standard to evaluate all alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
The following is a list of principles to ensure fairness during the hearing process.
- The student shall be informed in writing of the charges against them in sufficient time to afford preparation of a response. Usually, the student is given two University business days to prepare.
- The student has a right to bring an advisor of their choice to the hearing. Except for cases of sexual misconduct, the advisor must be a full-time member of the University community (faculty, administrator, staff, or student) and may not be an attorney or hold a law degree. For cases of sexual misconduct, both the complainant and the respondent may have advisors as defined in section 21 (link to page on Sexual Misconduct Process). Students are required to notify the Office of Student Conduct one University business day in advance of the hearing date if a student plans to bring an advisor. Advisors can request an outline of their role and expectations for their participation in the student conduct process. The advisor may meet with the student to discuss the student’s case prior to the hearing. If the student or the advisor has any questions, they should contact the hearing officer. The advisor’s role is to provide personal counsel and support to the accused, but not to present the case or address the panel, board, or hearing officer. The advisor may not serve as a witness in the conduct proceeding. Disruptive advisors will be removed from the process and the process will continue.
- The student will receive documentation pertinent to the case, normally at least two University business days prior to the hearing.
- The student has the right to bring fact witnesses to the hearing to testify on their behalf. There is no limitation placed on the number of fact witnesses; however, students are limited to two character witness written statements. Students are encouraged to notify the hearing officer of fact witnesses attending the hearing at least one University business day in advance of the hearing. In the event that a fact witness cannot attend a hearing, the witness may email or personally deliver a signed written statement directly to the hearing officer in advance of the scheduled hearing.
- The hearing officer or conduct body may call witnesses to provide information at a student conduct hearing. Witnesses are expected to appear for a hearing when requested.
- The hearing will be private. All participants are expected to maintain confidentiality regarding the proceedings. Students who receive any information (reports, transcripts, pictures, etc.) that is used in an investigation or a conduct proceeding are prohibited from disclosing that information to any third party (other than the student’s parent/legal guardian or legal counsel), except where the information is disclosed in order to obtain and present evidence in furtherance of the students’ interests.
- A record of the hearing will be kept. Students may request to listen to the recording of their own administrative hearing (to be done in the Office of Student Conduct). A student may request that a written transcript of their own hearing be prepared, at the student’s expense.
- At the completion of the hearing, the hearing officer will indicate a time and place at which the student will receive the decision of the hearing. If the student is found responsible, the hearing officer or conduct body will then review the student’s conduct history in order to determine sanctions.
- A decision letter will be sent to the student listing the charges, the decision on each charge, and any sanctions imposed. If the student is found responsible, the letter will also indicate the process for appealing the decision. The decision letter will be placed in the student’s conduct file.
- The student must complete all sanctions by the specified deadlines as directed by the hearing officer or the conduct body. Those students who have not completed or complied with the sanctions may be fined and/or charged and found responsible for the violation “Failure to Comply with Conduct Sanctions” described in the Code.