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Hearing Information

Preparing for a Board Hearing

Throughout the Hearing, keep in mind that the intent of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is to support each student as he/she interacts with the UMBC Student Conduct Review system. The system is an internal administrative process used by the University to resolve allegations of misconduct made against our students. The goal is to discover the truth of the allegations. The University hopes that students who engage in misconduct will take responsibility for their actions in a mature way that demonstrates commitment to the education of themselves and others. The Student Conduct Review system seeks to ensure high standards of courtesy and integrity, to prevent educational disruption, and to promote a productive learning environment. At the same time, we all must recognize the reality of human fallibility, as well as stresses associated with collegiate life. Students, faculty, and staff must seek to view each other, and incidents, with compassion and understanding. The UMBC community is hurt if a student falsely accepts responsibility in a situation where he or she has not engaged in the alleged prohibited conduct. Likewise, the UMBC community is hurt if a student is found responsible for engaging in actions prohibited by the Code of Student Conduct and/or the University. Prior to the Hearing, a Charged Student should:

  1. Re-read the “Charge Letter.”
  2. Confirm that the date and time of the Hearing does not conflict with your other scheduled responsibilities. Resolving this matter is extremely important and should be your priority over most things, except family responsibilities. Call to reschedule if you have a conflict with the Hearing.
  3. The University provides reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities and accommodations are determined on an individual basis by UMBC Student Disability Services (SDS). If you are a person with a disability, and have not already done so, you should ensure that proper documentation and a “Request for Services” form has been submitted to SDS located in Room 213 of the Mathematics/Psychology Building (disAbility@umbc.edu, 410-455-2459). Once an accommodation letter has been furnished, please provide a copy to the Conduct Officer of record as soon as possible.
  4. Re-read the Code of Student Conduct, including the addendum that pertains to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Pay particular attention to the explanation of the Hearing process and the Rule(s) you have been charged with violating. Read over the sanctions and conditions so that you are aware of the meaning and implications of each.
  5. Revisit what happened on the date in question. Re-read the statement you wrote prior to your Pre-Hearing Conference. Think about the Conference and try to address the issues raised by the Conduct Officer at that time.
  6. Contact your witnesses about the scheduled hearing date. Ask that they plan to participate virtually. Get written statements from each witness. You will need these statements prior to the hearing and will want them in case a witness cannot attend the hearing. Witness statements are most credible when they have been signed in the presence of and submitted to a University official. Alternatively, witness statements can be submitted to conduct@umbc.edu, copied to the party for whom the witness is appearing, and should come directly from the UMBC e-mail account of the witness.
  7. Decide whether you will bring an advisor with you to the Hearing. The advisor provides advice and support to you and may not speak for you. An advisor may be a parent, professor, friend or any other person not involved in the incident. Your advisor will not be permitted to address the Hearing Board, witnesses or the other parties during the hearing. Check to be sure your advisor’s schedule does not conflict with the Hearing date and time.
  8. Contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards at least three (3) days prior to your hearing to receive the Charging Party’s witness list and to deliver your witness list. This will help you prepare for the hearing more effectively and prevent surprises. Your witnesses’ statements will help to ensure that the Charging Party has all of the information that supports the absence of your responsibility for violating University rules.
  9. Prepare any statement you plan to make at the Hearing. Also, prepare a list of questions for the witnesses and Charging Party that will bring out relevant information that will be useful to the Hearing Board.
  10. Review the outline of the hearing procedures below.
  11. Log into the virtual conference promptly and have your advisor do so as well. A late arrival might result in the start of the hearing in your absence.
  12. Prepare yourself to discuss the incident in detail at the Hearing and to answer questions posed by the Hearing Board and the Charging Party.
  13. At the Hearing, share your written version and any other written statements you have received. Speak openly and honestly with the Hearing Board. Express yourself in an appropriate, respectful manner, similar to the way you wish to be treated. Treat the witnesses and the Charging Party with respect and courtesy.

Preparing to Meet Your Conduct Officer Virtually

During the COVID-19 pandemic, most conduct meetings will be held virtually (online, using WebEx, which is free and linked to your myUMBC credentials). The date and time of your conference or hearing can be found in the letter sent to you by your Conduct Officer. The date and approximate duration of the meeting has also been placed on the Google Calendar linked to your UMBC e-mail address.

At the appropriate time, please use the provided WebEx link to join our virtual meeting. If you do not have WebEx installed on your device, or if you are using this feature for the first time, you should start this process 15 minutes prior to our meeting. More information on installing WebEx can be found here. In addition, please remember that this meeting is a video call meeting, please appear dressed as you would for an in-person professional meeting.

Hearing Procedures Guidelines

The steps of the Hearing will usually follow this outline. Exceptions may occur when deemed necessary by the Hearing Board and where the change will not deny the student due process.

  1. Introduction of the Hearing Board, parties, and others present.
  2. Confirm that the Charged Student has received and read “Procedures and Safeguards” form.
  3. Charge(s) are read.
  4. Chairperson announces which witnesses will testify.
  5. Chairperson asks Charging Party to describe the incident(s).
  6. Hearing Board asks questions of the Charging Party.
  7. Charged Student asks questions of the Charging Party.
  8. Chairperson asks Charged Student to describe the incident(s).
  9. Hearing Board asks questions of the Charged Student.
  10. Charging Party asks questions of the Charged Student.
  11. Charging Party’s witnesses are called individually. An oath of honesty is sworn.
  12. Chairperson asks the witness to describe the incident and what he/she witnessed.
  13. Hearing Board asks questions of the witness and may ask questions of the Charging Party or Charged Student during this testimony.
  14. Charging Party is permitted to ask questions of the Witness.
  15. Charged Student is permitted to ask questions of the Witness.
  16. Witness is dismissed when there are no relevant questions remaining.
  17. Steps 11-16 are repeated until all of the Charging Party’s witnesses are heard.
  18. Charged Student’s witnesses are called individually. An oath of honesty is sworn.
  19. Chairperson asks the witness to describe the incident and what he/she witnessed.
  20. Hearing Board asks questions of the witness and may ask questions of the Charging Party or Charged Student during this testimony.
  21. Charged Student is permitted to ask questions of the Witness.
  22. Charging Party is permitted to ask questions of the Witness.
  23. Witness is dismissed when there are no relevant questions remaining.
  24. Steps 18-23 are repeated until all of the Charged Student’s witnesses are heard.
  25. Chairperson asks for additional comments by either the Charging Party or the Charged Student. Closing statements are not required.
  26. The Charging Party and Charged Student are excused from the room.
  27. Board deliberates, in private, to decide if it is more likely than not that the student is responsible as charged.
  28. Parties are called into the hearing room and the decision is announced.
  29. If the Charged Student is found not responsible, the case is concluded.
  30. If the Charged Student is found responsible, the following will occur:
  31. Chairperson asks the Charging Party for any additional information regarding an appropriate sanction.
  32. Chairperson asks the Charged Student for any additional information regarding an appropriate sanction.
  33. The Charging Party and Charged Student are excused.
  34. Board deliberates, in private, to decide an appropriate sanction.
  35. Parties are recalled and the decision is read.
  36. The written decision is made available to the parties.