Before Your Pre-Hearing Conference
The Pre-Hearing Conference is an informal, non-adversarial virtual meeting between the Charged Student and the Conduct Officer. The Charging Party is not required to participate. Documentary evidence and written statements can be relied upon, so long as the Charged Student is allowed to respond to them.
The Conduct Officer will explain the process and the allegations against the Charged Student and the student will have the opportunity to discuss and respond to the allegations. If the student fails to provide exonerating information at the Pre-Hearing Conference, he or she will be given a choice to either have a formal hearing where a Hearing Board will adjudicate the case, or the student may waive his or her right to a Hearing and plead responsible to the charges.
When the Charged Student does not dispute the facts upon which the charges are based, pleads responsible to the alleged rule violations, and executes a written waiver of the hearing procedures, the Conduct Officer, shall impose an appropriate sanction. The student shall be informed in writing of the decision. In such a case, when the Charged Student accepts responsibility for violating a Code rule(s), only the sanction may be appealed.
In those cases in which the Charged Student contests the allegations upon which the charges are based or refuses to execute a written waiver of a hearing, a Student Conduct Hearing will resolve the allegations.
Failure to appear at a Pre-Hearing Conference may preclude the early resolution of the case and may require that a full hearing be held by the Hearing Board to resolve the matter.
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 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.
Preparing for a Pre-Hearing Conference
Throughout the virtual Pre-Hearing Conference, keep in mind that the intent 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. In preparation for the Pre-Hearing Conference, a Charged Student should:
- Read carefully the “Charge Letter.” The Charge Letter provides you with details of the allegations against you. It states the specific Rule(s) that you have been charged with violating. It schedules the date and time of the Pre-Hearing Conference. During the COVID-19 pandemic era, all conferences will be held virtually (online, using WebEx).
- Confirm that the date and time of the Pre-Hearing Conference does not conflict with your other scheduled responsibilities. Resolving this matter is extremely important and should be your priority over most things, except class and family responsibilities. Call to reschedule if there is a conflict or if you are unsure how to use technology to participate fully in the conference.
- 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.
- Read the Code of Student Conduct, including the addendum that pertains to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
- Pay particular attention to the explanation of 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.
- Think about what happened on the date in question. Write down everything you remember, including who was present, what was said, and what your feelings were.
- If you have not been interviewed by the Charging Party, and you wish to explain your innocence in the incident, stat by writing a statement to either send to the Charging Party or present at the Pre-Hearing Conference.
- Witnesses are not usually appropriate for a Pre-Hearing Conference. You may wish to bring written witness statements. 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 email@example.com, copied to the party for whom the witness is appearing, and should come directly from the UMBC e-mail account of the witness.
- Decide whether you will have an advisor assist you with the Conference. The advisor provides advice and support to you and may not speak for you. If your advisor is present via WebEx, you can communicate with your advisor using a text messaging app or other means which do not disrupt or interfere with the proceeding. An advisor may be a parent, professor, friend or any other person not involved in the incident. Check to be sure your advisor’s schedule does not conflict with the Conference. If there is a problem, call the number at the bottom of your Charge Letter to discuss it.
- Log into the virtual conference promptly and have your advisor do so as well. A late arrival might result in rescheduling of your Conference or the scheduling of a hearing to resolve the allegations.
- Prepare yourself to discuss the incident in detail at the Conference.
- At the Pre-Hearing Conference, share your written version and any other written statements you have received. Speak openly and honestly with the staff person. Express yourself in an appropriate, respectful manner, similar to the way you wish to be treated.