When a case is addressed through the Administrative Hearing process, the staff member adjudicating the matter (the OCS Administrator, Hearing Officer, or their designee) will send the student a charge letter via their Rhodes email address.
- The Office of Community Standards receives an information/incident report regarding an alleged violation of the Standards of Conduct, the student is notified by the OCS Administrator in writing an Administrative Hearing will take place.
- Any student identified as an active part of the reporting or hearing process is required to comply with every part of the process. Such students may not decline to participate in the process without good cause, as determined by the OCS Administrator. If a Respondent declines to participate in the process, the outcome will be determined without their input and they may be subject to disciplinary outcomes under the Rhodes Standards of Conduct.
- The OCS Administrator will send a Charge Notification Letter that includes an incident report identifying the nature of the alleged violation, the time and place of its alleged occurrence, and any evidence/documentation to be considered at the hearing. The student will also receive a written list of hearing procedures as outlined in the Standards of Conduct.
- The notice will be sent at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. This time period may be extended by a written request from the student to the OCS Administrator. The approval is at the discretion of the OCS Administrator.
- The student shall be allowed to review all evidence prior to the scheduled hearing.
- The student shall not be present during hearing officer’s deliberations.
- The Respondent may offer evidence/documentation, including, without limitation, the introduction of documentary evidence, the calling of witnesses with relevant knowledge. All evidence and a complete list of witnesses shall be submitted by the Respondent to the OCS Administrator at least 24 hours before the hearing. The OCS Administrator reserves the right to postpone the time of the hearing to properly evaluate any new evidence. The Respondent shall be responsible for securing the appearance of their witnesses at the hearing. Evidence submitted less than 24 hours prior to the hearing will not be considered.
- All participants in the hearing process should keep the matter under consideration confidential. The Respondent may make such investigation as they require to state their case and may also consult with a chosen faculty member, family members, counselors or their attorney.
- The hearing officer may find the Respondent “Responsible” of the Standards of Conduct/Honor Code/policy only upon a preponderance of the evidence. Under this standard, a violation has occurred if it is more likely than not (greater than a 50% chance) that a violation of the Standards of Conduct/Honor Code/policy occurred.
- The Respondent may be found “Responsible” of the Standards of Conduct/Honor Code/policy only for the violation(s) which is the subject of the hearing.
- If the Respondent fails to participate in the hearing process, the Hearing Officer may continue with the hearing procedure.
- In cases in which two or more students are respondent of a joint violation, the Hearing Officer may conduct one hearing for the joint violation but shall arrive at an independent decision for each respondent student.
- If found “Responsible” of the Standards of Conduct/Honor Code/policy, the Respondent may call for an appeal of the Hearing Officer’s decision and/or sanctioning by the Appellate Officer. The Respondent must request the appeal in writing within four business days of the decision, and the Respondent must indicate or list the specific ground(s) upon which they are basing their request for an appeal.
- All accounts (Complainant, Respondent, and Witnesses) during the Administrative Hearing will be held individually only to give their own testimony. No other persons may be present during the hearing. Disruptive behavior on the part of anyone present shall result in immediate and permanent removal from the hearing. Hearing proceedings will move forward in absentia.
- The Hearing Officer shall preside over the hearing.
- The Hearing Officer must act with complete impartiality. If the Hearing Officer believes their participation in any aspect of hearing process constitutes a conflict of interest, they must recuse themselves.
- No audio or video recording of the hearing will not be made during the Administrative Hearing process. The Student may not record on their personal device.
- The student shares their opening statement.
- The Respondent may observe all evidence presented during the hearing but shall not be present for Hearing Officer’s deliberations.
- The student provides their narrative about what took place during the incident.
- The OCS Administrator or designee asks the student questions relevant to the incident and their narrative of events.
- The student shares their closing statement.
- The OCS Administrator or designee concludes the hearing and deliberates on the outcome.
- Legal counsel retained by an Respondent student or any other person participating in the hearing shall not attend the Administrative Hearing. Any advice or assistance requested of legal counsel by a student must be obtained prior to the hearing.
After the hearing has ended, the student will: 1) meet with the OCS Administrator, or their designee to discuss the outcome of the hearing followed by a written decision, or 2) receive a decision letter. All written decisions will be sent via the student’s Rhodes email address, informing them of the outcome, whether or not they have been found in violation, and if they have been found in violation, what the outcomes will be.
The Appeal Process for a Respondent (Charged Student)
Students who wish to appeal the outcome of an administrative hearing should submit an appeal letter to the decision-maker who is named in the decision letter. The appeal letter must be written by the student, and not another individual or party. This letter must specify the basis for the appeal. Appeals will be considered based on the supporting documents provided by the student, and may be requested on one of three grounds:
- The student believes that the hearing procedure was not followed;
- The student believes the outcomes imposed were inappropriate for the violation of College policy;
- The student has new and relevant information, sufficient to alter the decision, that was unknown or unavailable to them at the time of the original hearing
Appeals that are not based on one or more of the grounds listed above may be dismissed without further meeting or action. Students have four business (4) days from the date their decision letter was sent to submit an appeal.
The appeal of an administrative decision will be heard by the Dean of Students, or their designee. The Dean of Students, at their discretion, may determine that, in addition to the documentation received for the appeal, interviews are warranted to gather more information about the appeal. After reviewing the appeal documentation/information, the Dean of Students, or their designee may uphold, modify, or overturn the original decision. If the decision is modified by the Dean of Students, at their discretion and considering the information received, may impose a more severe decision and/or outcome. The decision of the appellate officer is final.