The majority of conduct hearings are completed with an Administrative Hearing Officer. During Administrative Hearings, the Hearing Officer meets with the accused student to discuss the alleged incident and corresponding alleged conduct violation. If the accused student accepts responsibility for the violation, then the Hearing Officer assigns appropriate sanctions. If the accused student does not take responsibility for the violation, then the Hearing Officer has the discretion to refer the case to a hearing board.
College Conduct Council and Peer Conduct Hearing Panel Procedures
Conduct hearings are closed. Once a hearing has begun, entering and leaving the hearing is to be restricted by the Chair in order to maintain the objectivity and privacy of the proceedings. The Chair of the College Conduct Council is appointed by the faculty Committee on Committees and is one of the three faculty members on the Council. In the event that the Chair is unable to serve, another faculty member of the committee may be appointed to serve as chair during the hearing. In Peer Conduct Hearing boards, the Chair is the administrative Peer Board Advisor or a representative from the Dean of Students
All non-academic discipline hearings will be informal and strict rules of evidence shall not apply. The student(s) in question shall be notified, in writing, of the alleged charge(s) and of the date, time, and place of the hearing. Every effort will be made to set up a hearing within ten (10) working days after a charge letter is issued; however, factors – such as holiday breaks, end of academic term, on-going investigation, etc. may prevent the College from meeting this guideline.
Advisors The respondent and complainant may seek assistance from an advisor who must be a member of the Hendrix community (faculty, staff, or student) of the student’s choosing for College Conduct Council and Peer Conduct Hearing Panels. College conduct hearings are internal conduct proceedings; therefore, the advisor may not be an attorney or anyone outside of the Hendrix community.
Responding to the Charge. For each charge, a student will be asked to enter a statement of Responsible or Not Responsible. In rare cases in which a student faces suspension
or expulsion, a student may be given the option to enter a statement of No
Responsible Statements If the student in question accepts responsibility in a minor complaint, an appropriate College official will determine an appropriate sanction for the violation. If the student in question accepts responsibility in a major complaint, the student will have his/her meeting with the College Conduct Council or Administrative Hearing Officer to determine an appropriate sanction.
By making a statement of responsible, the student in question is waiving his or her right to appeal the merits of the allegation or any procedural matters. However, students may appeal based on severity of sanctions.
Not Responsible Statements If the student in question does not accept responsibility, a hearing is scheduled. In minor complaints, the student in question will have his/her case heard by a Peer Conduct Hearing Panel or an Administrative Hearing Officer. In major complaints, the College Conduct Council will be convened. From this point on the student in question is assumed not-responsible concerning the charges which have been leveled against him or her. It is the responsibility of the College or complainant to provide convincing evidence.
No Contest Statements If a student is facing suspension or
expulsion if found responsible for a conduct violation(s), then that student
may be eligible to provide a statement of No Contest to the conduct violations.
Allowing a No Contest Statement is at the discretion of the Dean of Students,
Associate Dean of Students, or Chair of the College Conduct Council. Students
who enter a Statement of No Contest accept the sanctions issued to them without
contesting the conduct charge(s). If a student enters a Statement of No Contest
after being informed of the sanction(s) that would be issued as a result of the
statement, then the student waives his or her rights to appeal. If the student
enters a Statement of No Contest before being informed of the sanction(s) that
would be issued as a result of the statement, the student waives his
or her right to appeal the merits of the allegation or any procedural matters.
However, the student may appeal based on severity of sanctions. Conduct
violations for which a student enters a Statement of No Contest will appear on
that student’s conduct record.
A “preponderance of the evidence” standard will be used when a hearing body is determining responsibility. This means that the conduct in question “more likely than not” occurred. In the context of a board hearing, the accused student will be found to be responsible for the alleged conduct violation if the hearing board, by majority vote, concludes that the conduct violation more likely than not occurred based upon careful review of all evidence presented.
Student’s Rights in the Process
The student in question has the right to:
• Be charged with a specific violation of College standards or policies in order to adequately prepare his/her case. When a Peer or College Conduct Council hearing
is necessary, notice of the hearing will be electronically mailed or delivered via campus mailbox to the student(s) at least three (3) days prior to the hearing. During the hearing phase of the proceedings, it is the right of the student to only answer the charges with which he/she has been charged.
The student in question and the complainant have the right to:
• Be present at the hearing. However, if either or both the student in question and complainant fail to appear at the hearing after being properly notified, the hearing may be held in their absence and a decision rendered accordingly, based on evidence presented.
• Present evidence by witness, or by signed written statement if a witness is unable to attend the hearing. Witnesses appearing before the hearing board generally must be members of the Hendrix community. Non-members of the Hendrix community may present written statements pertinent to the charges in question. The Chair of the hearing board has the discretion to allow witnesses who are not members of the Hendrix community to appear before the board. It is the responsibility of the student in question and the complainant to notify their witnesses of the date, time, and place of the hearing. If witnesses fail to appear, the hearing may be held in their absence. Evidence must be pertinent to the charges in question. Character witnesses are not allowed. Evidence is generally restricted to written reports and witness testimony. The complainant and respondent, along with their advisors, will be granted access to all written materials concerning their complaint at least three (3) days prior to the hearing. These written materials may be viewed in the Dean of Students Office. They may not be copied, reproduced, photographed, or taken out of the Dean of Students Office.
• Bring an advisor to the hearing. The advisor must be a current member of the Hendrix community – faculty, staff, or student- for CCC or Peer Hearings. Advisors may not participate in examination of witnesses or presentation of materials or information to the hearing officer/board. The advisor’s role is limited to providing support and private advice and consultation to the student who is a complainant or respondent in a conduct hearing. Once students receive notification that they will
be referred to a Peer or CCC hearing process, advisors may accompany a complainant or respondent to any meeting or hearing related to the conduct case. Advisors of record may review hearing board materials in the company or absence of their advisees, but are not permitted to copy or record materials in any way. The advisor may assist the student in
preparation of his or her complaint/response, be present during the hearing,
and assist the student during the hearing, but may only address the hearing body
at the pleasure of the chair of the hearing body. Advisors must remain quiet and respectful during the conduct hearing. Facial expressions or body movements that are distracting or intimidating will not be allowed. Advisors may be removed from the hearing if these guidelines are not followed. In addition to these specific guidelines for advisors, advisors must follow the timelines and conduct process procedures provided to their advisees.
• Question all witnesses present at the hearing. At the discretion of the Chair of the hearing board, the accused and the accuser may be asked to direct their questions for each other to the Chair of the hearing board.
• Provide testimony in
alternative locations. A complainant or
respondent can request to give their testimony via alternate means to being in
the physical presence of the other person. Screens and closed-circuit
broadcasts may be permitted, but not to the disadvantage of the other student.
• Right to be Present for
Entire Proceeding. The complainant and
respondent have the right to be present for all testimony and questioning. Only deliberation is conducted in
closed-session without the parties present.
The respondent is allowed to be present if findings and sanctions are
presented orally at the end of the hearing. The complainant is permitted to be
present during this presentation only in cases involving violence.
• Right to Present Own
Complaint or Use Proxy. The alleged
victim has the right to present his/her own complaint if they want to, or to
ask the college to stand as complainant in their place.
• Right to Know Outcome
and Sanctions. If the complainant is an alleged victim of violence then the
complainant and respondent will receive the outcome and sanctions (if
necessary) of the hearing in writing at the same time. In such a case, if
findings and sanctions are presented orally at the end of the hearing, the
complainant is permitted to be present. Whether or not findings (and sanctions
if necessary) are presented orally, notification of the hearing outcome will be
sent within two (2) working days of the decision of the hearing board. If there
is a change to the result of the hearing, such as when an appeal is filed and
accepted, then the complainant and accused will receive the notice of the
change in writing at the same time. At the conclusion of such cases, the
complainant and accused will receive the notice of the final outcome in writing
at the same time. If the complainant is not
the victim of violence or gender-based misconduct, then the outcome and
sanctions will not be disclosed to
• Right to Appeal. Both
the complainant and the accused have a right to appeal the outcome of a hearing
in cases involving violence. The respondent has the right to appeal in all
other cases. A written request for appeal must be submitted to the Vice
President for Student Affairs within three (3) business days after a conduct
decision is rendered. The decision rendered during the appeal is final. There
is no appeal of appeals.
If the victim is deceased as a result of the violation, the Dean of Students Office will provide the results of the conduct hearing to the victim’s next of kin, if so requested in writing.
The following procedures and rights pertain to the college conduct process:
Attempted Violations. In most circumstances, Hendrix College will treat attempts to commit any of the violations listed in the Student Code of Conduct as if those attempts had been completed.
College as Complainant. As necessary, Hendrix College reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as complainant, and to initiate conduct proceedings without a formal complaint by the alleged victim of misconduct. In cases in which the accuser is not a member of the Hendrix community, the College will serve as the complainant.
False Reporting. Hendrix College will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to make an intentionally false report of any policy violation, and it may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws.
Group Action. When members of groups, individuals acting collusively, or members of an organization act in concert in violation of any policy, they may be held accountable as a group, and a hearing may proceed against the group as joint accused students.
Amnesty Policy. The Hendrix College community encourages the reporting of crimes. Sometimes, complainants or those who witness allegations of
misconduct are hesitant to report to college officials because they fear that they themselves may be accused of policy violations, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident. It is in the best interests of this community that as many individuals as possible choose to report to college official.
To encourage reporting, Hendrix College pursues a policy of offering complainants and witnesses of allegations of
misconduct of crimes immunity from minor policy violations related to the incident.
Notice of When Complaint Delivered to Accused Student. Complainants are notified as to when notice of the complaint is delivered to the accused student.
No-Contact Order. Students are entitled to seek a no-contact order that imposes reasonable restrictions on student contact. The Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Students will issue the no-contact order.
Witnesses and Documentary Evidence. Our procedures call for an exchange of information between the parties in advance of the hearing, including an exchange of the complaint and answer, witness statements, other written statements, and other evidence that may be available.
Right to Advance Notice of Board Composition and Right to Challenge. The complainant and respondent will receive advance notice of who will serve on the conduct board or panel and will be given the right to challenge any member on the basis of actual bias prior to the hearing (at least 48 hours prior to the hearing). Any challenge will be decided by the Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Students for CCC and Peer hearings.
Jurisdiction of the Student Conduct Process. If the complainant is a student, but the accused is a Hendrix faculty or staff member, then the case will be processed by Human Resources. If the accused is a student, but the complainant is a Hendrix faculty or staff member, then in most instances the case will be processed through the Student Conduct Process.
If the accusing individual is not a member of the Hendrix community, but the accused is a Hendrix student, then the case will be processed through the Student Conduct Process, with the College serving as the complainant. The Student Conduct Process does not have jurisdiction over non-Hendrix community members, so it is unable to process cases in which a Hendrix student accuses a non-Hendrix member of misconduct. However, the Dean of Students office will assist students in filing complaints with the appropriate officials regarding this category of accused.
Procedural Rule for Addressing Prior Conduct Violations
While previous conduct violations by the accused student are not generally admissible as information about the present alleged violation, the Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Students may supply previous complaint information to the board, or may consider it if he/she is hearing the complaint, only if:
1) The accused was previously found to be responsible or took responsibility;
2) The previous incident was substantially similar to the present allegation; or
3) Information indicates a pattern of behavior and substantial conformity with that pattern by the accused student.
General Timeline for Conduct Hearings
Actions prior to a student being charged with a conduct violation:
• An alleged incident is reported.
• The Dean of Students Office investigates the allegation.
• The Dean of Students Office determines there is enough information to charge a student with a conduct violation.
The following provides a general timeline of events leading to the hearing date:
Day 1- Accused student receives the written conduct charge letter
Day 1-3- Within 48 working hours from receipt of the charge letter the following occurs:
The accused student should provide a written statement in response to the charge(s) (if this information has not already been
The accused student should ask witnesses to provide a written statement (if this information has not already been
The complainant should provide a written statement and ask witnesses to do the same (if this information has not already been
Day 3- All initial written statements are due to the Dean of Students office
Day 4- All initial written statements are processed by the Dean of Students office
Day 5 & 6- The accused student and complainant have 48 hours to review all initial
statements, and to provide any additional written evidence or witness statements.
*The initial statements submitted cannot be modified or retracted during this time. Any changes in statements can be presented orally during the hearing, or through written addendums to the statement if the witness is not present during the hearing.
Day 6- After 48 hours of review, all written evidence available for the hearing is finalized.
The accused and complainant will have access to review all final written materials at least 3 working days before the hearing.
Day 7- Either party who wants to contest the composition of the hearing board must do so
to the Dean of Students Office at least 48 hours before the hearing.
Day 9- Hearing takes place. The hearing will typically take place within 9-10 days of the issuance of a charge letter.
*This timeline may be modified to allow for an expedited hearing process only if both the complainant and respondent agree to the modified timeline.