Rules of Decorum
The College’s resolution processes are designed to be an educational disciplinary experience. Hearing Participants are expected to act in accordance with their role as it is described above. The Decision-maker is responsible for conducting the hearing and maintaining decorum such that the hearing is executed fairly and effectively. If the Decision-maker determines that decorum is broken and the hearing has become disorderly the Decision-maker may recess or pause proceedings to address the behavior. Misconduct during the hearing can take many forms, both minor and egregious. It is within the Decision-maker’s discretion to discourage or penalize Parties, Witnesses or Advisors who demonstrate a lack of the decorum.
The following rules and standards apply equally to all Parties and their Advisors regardless of sex, gender, or other protected class, and regardless of whether they are in the role of Complainant, Respondent, or Witness.
Rules of Decorum
- If an advisor, Party or witness is referencing another person, including the hearing participants, as much as possible the person's name or role (i.e. Complainant, Respondent) should be used.
- If an advisor, Party or witness is referencing another person, including the hearing participants, it is the expectation that the person is referenced by their gender as they identify it. No participant shall intentionally mis-gender another person.
- During cross-examination, the Decision-maker must approve all questions before the Party or witness responds. As much as possible, the Decision-maker and Advisors are expected to restrict the use of compound, redundant, irrelevant, or otherwise impermissible questions.
- The advisor may not use profanity or make irrelevant ad hominem attacks on a Party or witness. Questions are meant to be interrogative statements used to test knowledge or understand a fact; they may not include accusations within the text of the question.
- Hearing participants are prohibited from:
- Interrupting other participants;
- Using profanity directed toward another participant;
- Objectively offensive or aggressive gestures;
- Harassing another participant;
- Yelling, screaming, badgering;
- Physically “leaning in” to the personal space of another participant;
- Approaching a participant without the express permission of the Decision-maker;
- Take any action that a reasonable person may see as intended to intimidate a participant or meaningfully modify someone's participation in the process.
- Engaging in any other behavior to deliberately disrupt the live hearing.
The Decision-maker has sole discretion to pause or interject during the process and all hearing participants are expected to comply with any direction provided. If a hearing participant violates the Rules of Decorum or proceedings otherwise become disorderly the Decision-maker may recess or pause proceedings to address the behavior.
If a hearing participant violates the Rules of Decorum, the Decision-maker may issue a penalty to that hearing participant. Specifically, the Decision-maker may give a verbal warning, pause the hearing process, or remove a hearing participant. If an advisor is removed for egregious or repeated violations of the Rules of Decorum, the respective Party may have the opportunity to immediately replace the Advisor or the Title IX Office will assign an advisor to the Party for the purpose of completing cross-examination. Reasonable delays, including the temporary adjournment of the hearing, may be anticipated should an advisor be removed. A Party cannot serve as their own advisor in this circumstance.
If the Decision-maker determines that an Advisor violated the Rules of Decorum but in the course of asking a relevant question, the violation will not affect the question’s relevancy. The Decision-maker will notify the Advisor of the violation and permit the question to be re-asked (or permit a replacement Advisor in cases where the Advisor has been removed for the violation of the Rules of Decorum).
If the Decision-maker determines that a participant has violated the Rules of Decorum, the Decision-maker will first notify the offending person of said violation. Upon a second or further violation, the Decision-maker has the discretion to remove the offending participant. The Decision-maker will document any decision to remove an advisor as Party of the written determination regarding responsibility.