Conduct Process Settings

Utilizing the preliminary information they receive about the conduct in question, the Office of Community Standards decides whether to proceed with a given report in the setting of either a Meeting, Conference, or a Hearing. For incidents involving alleged sexual misconduct (including sexual assault), dating violence, domestic violence and stalking, the University has established a formal setting known as the Administrative Hearing for Alleged Violations of the Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and/or Hostile Environment Policies.

In addition to these four settings, the Office of Community Standards may need to meet with students informally in order to gather more information about an alleged incident, to clarify students’ involvement, and/or to determine whether the student conduct process is the appropriate setting through which to resolve the matter. It is possible that the Office of Community Standards may need to meet with students to facilitate resolution of a conflict or to address behavior that is not clearly in violation of University Standards of Conduct. In these cases, the Office of Community Standards will document the meeting and maintain this documentation for internal purposes during the time of a student’s enrollment at the University.
 
Generally, a student may not withdraw or take a leave of absence from the University after the University receives a report of an alleged violation of the University’s Standards of Conduct. The University reserves the right to proceed with the University Conduct Process regardless of a student’s request for a withdrawal or for a leave of absence from the University. The University also reserves the right to place a hold on a student’s diploma or academic transcript pending the investigation or resolution of a conduct matter.

MEETING

Meetings are intended to allow for the discussion of alleged violations of University Standards of Conduct. Alleged violations involving students residing in a University housing facility will be referred to the student’s rector. Alleged violations involving students who do not reside in a University housing facility will be referred to an appropriate University administrator. 
 
Outcomes from Meetings are formative by design and tailored to meet the developmental needs of the student. The results of Meetings are documented, and this record may be used to establish a student’s conduct history at the University.
 
If the rector or administrator conducting a Meeting receives information that suggests a Conference or Hearing would be a more appropriate setting or if the rector or administrator conducting a Meeting receives information that suggests an alleged incident involving sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and/or conduct that creates a hostile environment, the rector or administrator will stop the Meeting. The Office of Community Standards will proceed by either:
 

CONFERENCE

Conferences are intended to allow for the investigation, discussion, and resolution of alleged violations of University Standards of Conduct. Conferences are ordinarily conducted by one or two staff members from the Office of Community Standards and/or their designee(s). 
 
The student may invite a University Support Person to attend the Conference. A University Support Person may be any University of Notre Dame student, faculty or staff member, with the exception of parents and attorneys. The University Support Person may not also serve as a witness. The role of the University Support Person is not intended to be a character reference. The role of the University Support Person is to provide moral support for the student and to share insight about the student’s learning and growth related to the incident.
 
The student’s rector will be invited to attend the Conference if the student resides in a University housing facility. An assistant rector or resident assistant may attend in place of a rector. The role of the rector (or hall staff) is to provide pastoral and moral support for the student and to share insight about the student’s learning and growth related to the incident. A student who lives off campus may invite his/her former rector or assistant rector to attend the Conference.
 
The student shall have the opportunity to present witnesses to the incident during the Conference. The names of any witnesses invited to the Conference by the Office of Community Standards shall be provided to the student upon request.
 
With the exception of dismissal from the University, any of the Conduct Process Outcomes may be assigned if a student is found responsible for a violation of the University's Standards of Conduct as a result of a Conference.
 
The results of Conferences are documented, and this record may be used to establish a student’s conduct history at the University.
 
In the event a student receives notice and fails to appear for a Conference, the Office of Community Standards staff member or designee reserves the right to render a decision in the student’s absence. A student can, upon request, receive an excused absence from University obligations in order to attend a Conference.
 
If an Office of Community Standards staff member or designee conducting a Conference receives information that suggests a Hearing would be a more appropriate setting or if the staff member or designee conducting a Conference receives information that suggests an alleged incident involving sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and/or conduct that creates a hostile environment, the staff member or designee will stop the Conference. The Office of Community Standards will proceed by either:
The Office of Community Standards reserves the right to allow for the presence and participation of a complainant in Conferences that involve harm to others which are not covered by the University’s Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and/or Hostile Environment Policies (e.g. physical violence, discriminatory harassment, etc.). The degree of participation by the complainant will be communicated to the respondent at least three (3) calendar days in advance of the Conference by the Office of Community Standards. Participation by the complainant may include, but is not limited to, the following:
  • the opportunity for a complainant to be present in the room where the Conference is held or be provided reasonable alternative arrangements;
  • the opportunity for a complainant to clarify information that is presented at the Conference;
  • the opportunity for a complainant to have a residence hall staff member and/or University Support Person present; and/or
  • the opportunity for a complainant to submit in writing questions that may be considered and asked by the Office of Community Standards.

HEARING

Hearings are more formal in nature than Meetings and Conferences. Hearings are ordinarily scheduled when the seriousness of the incident is such that a finding of responsibility could result in the student’s dismissal from the University. Hearings are scheduled and conducted before a panel of two or more Office of Community Standards staff members and/or their designee(s). The student who is alleged to have violated University Standards of Conduct is referred to as a "respondent." In a Hearing, a respondent is entitled to the following:
  1. The respondent will receive notice via electronic letter of the date, time and location of the Hearing and the nature of the alleged policy violations to be addressed at least seven (7) calendar days before the Hearing will be held. The Office of Community Standards reserves the right to provide less than seven (7) calendar days’ notice when information about an alleged violation is received after the last class day of the semester. 
  2. The respondent shall have the opportunity to have a meeting in person or by telephone with a representative from the Office of Community Standards within seven (7) calendar days before the scheduled Hearing to learn about the Hearing process and ask questions.
  3. The respondent shall have the opportunity to hear and respond to all information presented during the Hearing. A respondent’s questions and responses shall be directed only toward the Hearing Panel, not to any witness, complainant, or others in attendance.
  4. The respondent shall have the opportunity to invite witnesses to the incident to participate in a portion of Hearing.
    1. The participation of any witness is at the sole discretion of the Hearing Panel.
    2. Character witnesses are not permitted.
    3. “Witnesses to the incident” are defined as individuals who had direct contact with at least one of the individuals involved in the incident before, during or after the incident occurred.
    4. The respondent must notify the Office of Community Standards before the scheduled date of the Hearing of any witnesses invited by the respondent at least five (5) calendar days before the scheduled Hearing.
    5. The names of any witnesses invited to the Hearing by the Office of Community Standards shall be provided to the respondent at least two (2) calendar days before the Hearing.
    6. The respondent may ask questions of witnesses at the Hearing through the Hearing Panel. A respondent’s questions and responses may be directed only toward the Hearing Panel, not to any witness, complainant, or others in attendance.
  5. The respondent may be accompanied, but not represented, by a University Support Person at the Hearing. A University Support Person may be any University of Notre Dame student, faculty or staff member, with the exception of parents and attorneys. The University Support Person may not also serve as a witness. The role of the University Support Person is not intended to be a character reference. The role of the University Support Person is to provide moral support for the respondent and to share insight about the respondent’s learning and growth related to the incident.
  6. The respondent’s rector will be invited to attend the Hearing if the student resides in a University residence hall. An assistant rector or resident assistant may attend in place of a rector. The role of the rector (or hall staff) is to provide pastoral and moral support and to share insight about the respondent’s learning and growth related to the incident. A respondent who lives off campus may invite his or her former rector or assistant rector to attend the Hearing
  7. The respondent shall not proceed through an attorney under any circumstance. The Office of Community Standards staff members and/or their designee(s) shall communicate directly with the respondent and not through any third party.
  8. The Hearing Panel shall not make a final decision about a finding of responsibility or assignment of a Conduct Process Outcome until after the Hearing process is complete.
  9. The respondent shall be given notification via electronic letter of an explanation for the decision and any Conduct Process Outcomes assigned by the Hearing Panel.
  10. The respondent shall have the opportunity to request a case review upon the completion of the Hearing process.
Hearings are closed to all but principal parties, witnesses, University Support Persons (as described above at 5.), appropriate residence hall staff (as described above in No. 6.), and the Hearing Panel. Should the respondent fail to attend a Hearing after being notified of the Hearing date, time, and location by the Office of Community Standards, the Hearing may proceed and a decision may be made in the respondent’s absence. A representative may not appear in the place of a respondent. A respondent can, upon request, receive an excused absence from University obligations in order to attend a Hearing.
 
Any Conduct Process Outcomes, including dismissal from the University, may be assigned if the student is found responsible for a violation of the University's Standards of Conduct as a result of a Hearing. The results of Hearings are documented and may be used to establish a student’s conduct history at the University.
 
If the Hearing Panel receives information of an alleged incident involving sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and/or conduct that creates a hostile environment, the Hearing Panel will stop the Hearing. The Office of Community Standards will proceed by referring the matter to the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
 
The Office of Community Standards reserves the right to allow for the presence and participation of a complainant in Hearings that involve harm to others which are not covered by the University’s Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and/or Hostile Environment Policies (e.g. physical violence, discriminatory harassment, etc.). The degree of participation by the complainant will be communicated to the respondent at least three (3) calendar days in advance of the Hearing by the Office of Community Standards. Participation by the complainant may include, but is not limited to, the following:
  • the opportunity for a complainant to be present in the room where the Hearing is held or be provided reasonable alternative arrangements;
  • the opportunity for a complainant to clarify information that is presented at the Hearing;
  • the opportunity for a complainant to have a residence hall staff member and/or University Support Person present; and/or
  • the opportunity for a complainant to submit in writing questions that may be considered and asked by the Hearing Panel.