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PDFWAC 172-121-121

Brief hearings.

Brief hearing procedures.
(1) The conduct review officer (CRO) may hold a brief hearing with the respondent if the proposed sanction is less than a suspension and the allegations do not involve felony level sexual misconduct. A respondent shall be informed of the option to have a brief hearing before a CRO or before the student discipline council. Unless the respondent affirmatively requests a council hearing, brief hearings shall be conducted with a CRO.
(2) General provisions.
(a) Hearing authority: The CRO exercises control over hearing proceedings. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the CRO.
(b) Closing hearings: All conduct review hearings will be closed. Admission of any person to a conduct review hearing shall be at the discretion of the hearing authority.
(c) Consolidation of hearings: In the event that one or more students are charged with the same misconduct arising from the same occurrence, the hearing authority may conduct separate hearings for each student or consolidate the hearings as practical, as long as consolidation does not impinge on the rights of any student.
(3) Appearance.
(a) Failure to appear: In cases where proper notice has been given but the respondent fails to attend a conduct review hearing, the hearing authority shall decide the case based on the information available, without the respondent's input.
(b) Appearance: The parties will be provided options for reasonable alternative arrangements if they do not wish to be present in the same room as the other student during the hearing. The parties may appear at the conduct review hearing in person, through telephone conference, or through any other practical means of communication, subject to the limits set forth below in (e) of this subsection. If a party does not appear at the hearing, the hearing authority will decide the case based on the information available.
(c) Advisors: The complainant and the respondent may be assisted by one advisor during conduct review hearings as described in WAC 172-121-105.
(d) Disruption of proceedings: Any person, including the respondent, who disrupts a hearing, may be excluded from the proceedings.
(e) Telephonic appearance. In the interest of fairness and expedience, the CRO may permit any person to appear by telephone, audio tape, written statement, or other means, as appropriate, if the rights of the parties will not be substantially prejudiced by a telephonic appearance as determined by the CRO.
(4) Standard of proof. The hearing authority shall determine whether the respondent violated the student conduct code, as charged, based on a preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance means, based on the evidence admitted, whether it is more probable than not that the respondent violated the student conduct code.
(5) Preliminary conference. The SRR office will schedule a preliminary conference with the respondent. Only the respondent and the respondent's advisor may appear at the preliminary conference, unless the case involves alleged sexual misconduct. In cases alleging sexual misconduct, the respondent and the complainant, along with their advisors, if they choose to have an advisor, may appear at the same or separate preliminary conferences. The purpose of the preliminary conference is to advise the parties regarding the student conduct process. During the preliminary conference, the CRO will:
(a) Review the written list of allegations with the respondent;
(b) Inform the respondent who is bringing the complaint against them;
(c) Provide the respondent with a copy of the student conduct code and any other relevant university policies;
(d) Explain the respondent's rights under the student code;
(e) Explain the conduct review procedures;
(f) Explain the respondent's and complainant's rights and responsibilities in the conduct review process; and
(g) Explain possible penalties under the student conduct code.
At the end of the preliminary conference, the CRO will either conduct or schedule a brief hearing with the respondent as set forth in this subsection. If proper notice was given of the preliminary conference and the respondent fails to attend the conference, the CRO may either proceed with the brief hearing and decide the case based on the information available, or place a hold on the respondent's academic records as described in WAC 172-121-080 until the respondent cooperates with the student conduct process.
(6) Scheduling. A brief hearing may take place immediately following the preliminary conference or it may be scheduled for a later date or time, except that, in cases of sexual misconduct, a brief hearing cannot take place without first notifying the complainant/respondent of the hearing. If the brief hearing will be held at a later date or time, the CRO shall schedule the hearing and notify the respondent and, in the case of sexual misconduct, the complainant of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The CRO may coordinate with the parties to facilitate scheduling, but is not required to do so.
(7) If the respondent fails to appear at the brief hearing, the CRO may conduct the hearing without the respondent present. The CRO may also place a hold on the respondent's academic records under WAC 172-121-080 until the respondent cooperates with the student conduct process.
(8) Deliberation. After the hearing, the CRO and/or council shall decide whether the respondent violated the student conduct code based on a preponderance of the evidence. For council hearings, the council shall meet in closed session and, within seven business days, determine by majority vote whether the respondent violated the student conduct code.
(a) If the CRO and/or council determines that there is not sufficient information to establish a violation by a preponderance of evidence, the CRO and/or council shall dismiss the complaint.
(b) If the CRO and/or council determines that the respondent violated the student conduct code, the CRO and/or council shall impose any number of sanctions as described in WAC 172-121-210, except suspension or expulsion.
(9) Sanctions. In determining what sanctions shall be imposed, the hearing authority may consider the evidence presented at the hearing as well as any information contained in the student's disciplinary and academic records. If a student fails to appear for a hearing, then the hearings authority shall review the evidence provided and may consider information available from the student's disciplinary and academic records in determining what sanction should be imposed.
(10) Notification. The CRO, and/or the presiding officer in cases of a council hearing, shall serve the respondent with a decision including its findings, conclusions, and rationale. The decision shall address credibility issues if credibility or witness demeanor was a substantial factor in the council's/CRO's decision. The findings shall be based exclusively on the evidence provided at the hearing. The decision must also identify the respondent's right to appeal.
In cases of sexual misconduct, the complainant shall be provided with written notice of:
(a) The university's determination as to whether such sexual misconduct occurred;
(b) The complainant's right to appeal;
(c) Any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final; and when such results become final (20 U.S.C. 1092(f)).
Information regarding the discipline of the respondent will not be released unless:
(i) The information contained in the record directly relates to the complainant, such as an order requiring the respondent to not contact the complainant; or
(ii) The misconduct involves a crime of violence or a sexual assault, including rape, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking as defined in 42 U.S.C. Sec. 13925(a).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.35.120(12). WSR 20-01-032, § 172-121-121, filed 12/6/19, effective 1/6/20. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.35.120(12) and 42.56.070. WSR 19-01-047, § 172-121-121, filed 12/13/18, effective 1/13/19. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.35.120(12). WSR 17-17-031, § 172-121-121, filed 8/9/17, effective 9/9/17.]
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