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Student Discipline
 

 



 

STUDENT DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES

The Hearing Procedure

Notice

In all cases where a hearing before a Disciplinary Hearing Committee is to be held, not less than five (5) days prior to the hearing the Administrator shall prepare and personally deliver or mail written notice to the student. Notices sent to the last address available in the records of the College and deposited in the United States mail, postage prepaid and return receipt requested shall be presumed to have been received and read.

Notice shall specify the time and place of the Hearing and contain a statement of the charges against the student. A copy of these procedures shall be enclosed. Notice shall also specify if there is to be an interim exclusion from the College campus pursuant to California Penal Code Section 626.4. In the event the recommended sanction includes suspension of State financial aid, the procedure set forth in Education Code Section 69811 shall be followed. Copies of such notice shall be sent to the student’s instructors and the District Public Safety Office.

Hearing Preparation

The Administrator shall be responsible for making the necessary arrangements for the Hearing. Arrangements shall include scheduling a room, providing for a tape recorder, providing notice to the student as provided in the Hearing Procedures above, notifying members of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee, and any other arrangements deemed necessary.

Either the student or the Administrator may challenge any member of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee for cause. Any challenge must be made in writing not later than forty-eight (48) hours prior to the hearing. Grounds for cause include any personal involvement in the situation giving rise to the disciplinary problems, any statement made on the matters at issue, or any other act which indicates that the committee member would not act in a neutral manner. If a challenge is upheld, the College President or designee must make an appropriate replacement from the pool described in the Disciplinary Hearing Committee.

Prior to the commencement of the actual hearing, the Disciplinary Hearing Committee members shall receive from the Administrator copies of these procedures, meet in closed session, and select a chairperson. If the committee members cannot reach mutual agreement on a chairperson, the College President or designee shall designate a member to serve as chairperson. The chairperson shall preside over the hearing and rule on all questions of procedure. All rulings of the chairperson shall be final unless overruled by a majority of the committee.

Right to Representative. The student may represent himself or herself or may be represented by another person, except that he or she shall not be represented by an attorney unless the charges include allegations that would constitute a criminal offense under California law. In such case, the student must provide the name and address of the attorney to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs no later than five (5) days prior to the date of the hearing

Conduct of the Hearing

Opening: The chairperson shall call the hearing to order, introduce the participants, and announce the purpose of the hearing.

Charges: The chairperson shall distribute copies of the charges to the members of the committee, read the charges aloud, and ask the student if he or she has received the charges. No charges shall be made other than the specific charges provided to the student at the meeting described in the Preliminary Procedures and on the formal letter sent to the student (described in the Hearing Procedure). If the answer is in the affirmative, the hearing shall proceed. If the answer is in the negative, the Administrator may present evidence to rebut the student’s denial of notice. The chairperson shall decide whether or not to proceed with the hearing. If the hearing must be rescheduled, it shall be held within five (5) days, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon.

Plea: The student shall admit or deny each charge. If the student admits to each charge, and wishes to present no evidence of mitigating circumstances or other defense, the committee shall retire to make its decision. If the student denies any or all of the charges, or wishes to present evidence of mitigating circumstances, the hearing shall proceed.

Burdens of proof and of producing evidence: The Administrator has the burden of proving that each charge is true. The student shall be regarded as innocent of the charges until guilt is established by the Administrator by a preponderance of evidence. "Established by a preponderance of the evidence" means that the Administrator must persuade the committee that it is more probable than not that the charges are true. The Administrator has the initial burden of producing evidence to prove each charge. The Administrator must present the evidence in support of the charges first, and then the student must present evidence to refute the Administrator’s evidence.

Arguments: First the Administrator, and then the student, shall be afforded an opportunity to make or waive an opening statement, i.e., give an outline of the charges and the facts to be proved. The student may reserve his or her opening statement until after the Administrator has finished presenting the case for the college. After the opening statements, first the Administrator, and then the student, shall have the opportunity to present witnesses and other relevant evidence in support of the case presented.

Evidence: Formal rules of evidence shall not apply. All relevant evidence is admissible, including but not limited to testimony of witnesses, physical objects, police reports photographs, copies of documents, and signed and dated declarations of witnesses shown to be unavailable to attend the hearing.

Exclusion of Witnesses: Hearings shall be closed and confidential. Only persons participating in the hearing shall be present during the hearing. All witnesses shall be excluded except when testifying. Both the Administrator and the student shall be entitled to call witnesses presented by the other. A member of the committee may ask questions at any time upon recognition by the chairperson. Either side may recall a witness, who again may be questioned by both parties and the committee.

Conclusion: First the Administrator, and then the student, shall be afforded the opportunity to make or waive a closing argument. The committee shall retire to deliberate with only the members of the committee present. The Disciplinary Hearing Committee shall reach its decision based only upon the record of the hearing and shall not consider matters outside of that record.

Committee Decision: Within five (5) days of the hearing, the chairperson shall deliver a written report giving specific findings of fact as to each charge, and making recommendation(s) for action arrived at by a majority vote of the committee to the College President or designee. The findings of fact shall recite what factual evidence, in the opinion of the committee, supported or failed to support each charge. The findings shall further show which, if any, of the charges the committee believes were substantiated. The recommendation(s) for action shall be specific.

Absence of the Student: If the student charged does not appear, and no satisfactory explanation for the absence is made at the earliest opportunity, or if the student leaves the hearing before its conclusion, the hearing shall proceed without the student, and the committee shall reach a decision based on the evidence presented.

 

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