1. If I deny the charge and select a hearing, how can I prepare for a hearing?
Judicial Affairs will work with you to schedule a date and time for the hearing. Keep in mind that a hearing is not a legal proceeding, and hearings are not intended to be adversarial. Before the hearing, think through how you will present your side and gather all relevant supporting documentation. Try to anticipate any questions you may be asked and think about how you would answer these questions. If you plan to bring witnesses, contact them as soon as possible to let them know about the hearing. Also, make sure your witnesses have firsthand knowledge of the incident. Character witnesses are not permitted.
2. What are the differences between the two hearing formats?
There are two different hearing formats in the Baylor University Disciplinary Procedure. They are: The Administrative Hearing and The Disciplinary Committee Hearing. Both are formal hearings where witnesses may be asked to attend. In an Administrative Hearing, the case is heard by a Judicial Affairs official. In the Disciplinary Committee Hearing, a panel of faculty and students, known as the Disciplinary Committee, hears the case. The case is presented to the committee by the Judicial Affairs official and the accused student. The outcome of the hearing does not vary according to the type of hearing selected. The only purpose a hearing serves is to make a determination regarding the student's responsibility. In other words, the only outcome of either hearing is: guilty or not guilty for the alleged misconduct.
3. What is the Standard of Proof used in a hearing?
The standard of proof refers to the quantity or level of the evidence needed to make a decision. The standard of proof used by Baylor University is the preponderance of the evidence.
The formal definition is: A preponderance of evidence presented at a hearing means such evidence as, when considered and compared with that opposed to it, has more convincing force and produces in the mind of the person or persons hearing the case, the belief that the alleged act of misconduct more likely occurred than not.
In other words, is it more likely than not that the student did violate a university policy based on the evidence presented. The preponderance of the evidence is the standard of proof used in civil matters.
4. Will the Student Conduct Board be aware of a student's previous disciplinary history?
The Board is not made aware of a student's judicial or disciplinary history during the hearing unless evidence from past misconduct shows a pattern of behavior that has bearing on the case being heard.
5. Can I bring an advisor, such as a parent or lawyer, to the administrative hearing or the Student Conduct Baord hearing?
You can bring an advisor with you but they cannot be part of the actual process or be present in the hearing. In other words, your advisor cannot represent you.
6. What about witnesses?
You are encouraged to bring witnesses to either type of hearing as long as they have first hand knowledge of the incident. Character witnesses are not allowed. It is your responsibility to make sure your witnesses are present and on time. Witnesses will be allowed to make their statements at the appropriate time, answer questions and then be dismissed from the hearing. Witnesses may not attend the full hearing.
7. How are decisions of guilt or innocence made?
Decisions are made based on a standard of proof. The standard of proof used in hearings is the preponderance of the evidence (see question # 3 in this section).
8. What happens after a decision is made?
It depends on the decision. If you are found not guilty for the misconduct stated in your Charge Letter, then the charges against you will be dropped. You will receive an official letter from Judicial Affairs stating "Charges Dropped." If you are found guilty, you will be sanctioned (see the following section). You will receive a Sanction Letter that explains each sanction in detail.
9. Will my parents be told?
If you have violated the University's alcohol or drug policy, your parents may be notified if you are less than 21 years of age. Your parents will not be informed about other violations that are not related to the University's alcohol or drug policy.