Sexual Misconduct Policy, Section IX: Live Hearing Procedure and Conduct Expectations
A Live Hearing is used in certain cases: where legally required under federal Title IX regulations, and on a discretionary basis where the Reporting Party requests it and the College determines that a case cannot reasonably be heard and resolved without the Live Hearing process.
The Live Hearing will be held before a trained and experienced adjudicator. The information reviewed during the Evidence Review will be available for reference and consultation at the Live Hearing.
During the Live Hearing, the adjudicator may ask questions of parties and witnesses. An advisor for each party may cross-examine parties and witnesses. The adjudicator will allow time for the questioning by advisors, subject to the conduct expectations below. Responses provided at the Live Hearing are considered evidence and may be used in the findings of fact and responsibility.
If a party or witness does not attend the Live Hearing and make themselves available for cross-examination, the adjudicator cannot rely on their prior statements in the findings of fact and responsibility.
B. Structure and Setting
The Live Hearing will be scheduled in advance. The parties will be informed of the name of the adjudicator, the date, time, expected duration, and location of the hearing. Hearings may be conducted via appropriate video call technology, at the request of a party or due to current public health recommendations. Phone or audio-only appearance does not substitute for video or in-person appearance.
The setting of the hearing, whether in person or via video, will be designed with privacy and accessibility in mind. Either party can request reasonable disability accommodations to allow full participation. The parties will be notified in advance of the conduct expectations, and will acknowledge agreement with the expectations at the start of the hearing.
The parties will not be required to be physically present in the same room. The adjudicator will allow reasonable time for the parties to travel between locations, as needed, without requiring the parties to wait or pass in a shared physical space.
C. Conduct Expectations
The adjudicator has responsibility over conduct during the hearing. An advisor or support person may be asked to leave the hearing if they fail to correct behavior after a warning by the adjudicator. A necessary party or witness who is asked to leave the hearing due to their conduct, will be invited back to the hearing by the adjudicator at the time, date, or location determined by the adjudicator. The adjudicator will keep a written record of any delays or changes to the hearing. The adjudicator or their designee will enforce the following expectations of conduct during the hearing:
- The hearing will not be recorded by any party, advisor, or participant. The only recording of the hearing will be made by the College.
- The hearing is private; the privacy of participants and information will be maintained.
- The adjudicator will assure that reasonable breaks and meal times are observed. Upon request of the party, the adjudicator will grant additional reasonable breaks during the hearing.
- An advisor may ask a party or witness only one question at a time; a compound question will be rephrased in the form of separate questions.
- An advisor will not ask questions that are inflammatory, argumentative, or relate to character evidence or non-relevant sexual history.
- An advisor will not ask questions containing an accusation, for example, “Isn’t that true?” or “Didn’t you?”
- An advisor will not ask repetitive questions – those that do not ask for new information or clarification, but would require repetition of prior answers.
- There will be no interruption or objection while a party or witness is answering a question.
- The party or witness answering questions must be visible and audible, either in person or via video, to the adjudicator and to the other party and their advisor.
- No new evidence will be considered at the hearing. All evidence, including witnesses, must be provided to the investigator prior to Evidence Review. If new evidence arises that could not reasonably have been discovered prior to the hearing, the adjudicator will determine an appropriate period of time for the parties to review the new evidence prior to proceeding.
- The adjudicator is the final arbiter of how the hearing will proceed. The adjudicator will note, on the record, the reasoning for any decision.