Cedar Crest College governs its student body through a set of Community Standards for Social Conduct. These standards can be found in the College's Student Handbook. The College seeks to promote a safe learning environment through its Community Standards. Students who fail to adhere to these standards will fall under the jurisdiction of the College's disciplinary process. Students that are found responsible for a violation of community standards will have harsh sanctions imposed on them by the College.
Potential violations are normally adjudicated through the College's hearing process, however, if appropriate, an attempt to mediate the situation between the two parties will take place. Mediation session results do not necessarily always carry disciplinary sanctions and are more of an informal, discussion-based method of resolution.
Cedar Crest College Formal Hearings
When students enter the formal hearing process, the student who issued the complaint will be known as the "complainant" while the student who is being accused of violations will be known as the "respondent." There are two types of hearings: Administrative Hearings and Sanction-only Hearings. Hearings will be run by Hearing Officers, who also makes the decision. Prior to hearings, the complainant and the respondent will meet separately with the Director of Community Standards and Residence Life to have their rights explained to them.
At the hearing, both the complainant and respondent will make presentations of their side of the events, and both sides may present witnesses. Neither party can directly question the other. After both presentations are heard out by a hearing officer, the hearing officer will also receive information from an impartial investigator regarding the events. After hearing all testimony, a decision will be made using the standard of "more likely than not." The hearing officer will also decide upon sanctions to be recommended to the Director of Community Standards and Residence Life to impose on students.
Hearings are generally kept between the students, witnesses, and University personnel relevant to the hearing, however, the College does allow both parties the opportunity to have a College advisor present. Although a College advisor may seem like a big help, an inexperienced representative from the College in a hearing will not provide the same level of counsel and advice that an attorney can. An attorney will provide students with insight on techniques and strategies used in court. Students who receive counsel from an attorney will come confident and prepared to hearings, equipped with courtroom-proven methods for presenting evidence and constructing arguments.
Cedar Crest College Appeals
Unlike a majority of Colleges, after a hearing as concluded, both parties can make an appeal. Either party has until 3 days from receiving the decision letter to make the appeal to Vice President of Student Affairs. The opposing party will be notified of the appeal and has until 3 days from receiving the notification of the appeal to make a response. The grounds for appeal are procedural error, new evidence, and dispute of sanction, which are all neutral issues that either party can use in their appeal. Because of this, respondents who were able to avoid an unfavorable outcome should be on the lookout for an appeal that may change the outcome. When facing stakes like these, it may be wise to get in touch with a student defense attorney, or to continue to retain the services used from the initial hearing.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Cedar Crest College, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.