Fowler School of Law

» Student Conduct Procedures

The following information is related to actions taken and procedures followed as part of the student conduct process at Chapman University. Any student participating in a hearing are encouraged to read the sections below as well as Article IV: Student Conduct Code Procedures in the Student Conduct Code for information about correspondence, hearing procedures, hearing outcomes, and the appeals process.

+ - Hearings for Incidents Not Related to Sexual Misconduct

Hearings for Incidents Not Related to Sexual Misconduct

1.  Hearings shall be conducted by a conduct body according to the following guidelines:

a. Hearings shall be conducted in private.

b. Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the hearing officer in consultation with its Conduct Advisor (when applicable).

c. In hearings involving more than one respondent, the Presiding Officer or Hearing Officer, at his or her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted together with the consent of all respondents.

d. The complainant and the respondent each have the right to be accompanied by one Support Person at the hearing, as defined in Article I.EE., at their own expense.

e. The complainant and/or the respondent each are responsible for presenting his or her own case and speaking on their own behalf. Support Persons are not permitted to speak to the members of the conduct body unless directly questioned by the conduct body. Support Persons may not participate directly in the hearing other than quiet communication with the student they are accompanying. This communication must not interfere with the conduct process. Failure to comply will result in the removal of the Support Person. One 5-minute recess may be requested during the course of a hearing if the complainant and/or the respondent wish to consult with their Support Persons. Additional requests may be granted at the discretion of the hearing board/officer.

f. The respondents and complainants must identify their respective Support Persons, and state whether the individual(s) are attorneys, through written notification to the conduct body 2 business days prior to the hearing.

g. Except as provided in this section, the presence or participation of attorneys at hearings or otherwise in the process is not permitted, as the conduct proceeding is not meant to function as a court of law. An exception may be made only where the respondent has been charged with a crime arising out of the same operative facts as the charge under the Code and the criminal charges are presently pending.

h. Where an attorney is permitted, the attorney must conform to the same requirements as applied to a Support Person.

i. With reasonable written notification to the conduct body (2 business days prior to the hearing), the complainant and the respondent shall have the opportunity of presenting witness statements, provided the statements contain information directly related to the incident in question.

a. In the event that witnesses are permitted or requested by the board to attend a hearing, the conduct body and the other party shall have the opportunity to submit suggested questions for the witness(es) to the board. The board retains the authority to determine which questions will be helpful in its deliberation, and may exclude questions that are not helpful, including but not limited to questions that are unfairly prejudicial, cumulative, confusing, compound, argumentative, misleading, or not probative of the disputed facts or to the determination of the case.

j. Any pertinent materials and written statements must be submitted for consideration to the conduct body at least 2 business days prior to the hearing.

k. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the conduct body or Conduct Officer in consultation with the Conduct Advisor (when applicable).

l. After the hearing, the conduct body or Conduct Officer shall excuse all parties, engage in deliberation and determine (by consensus, or if necessary, by majority vote) which portion of the Code, if any, the respondent has violated.

m. The conduct body’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the respondent violated the Code.

n. The conduct body or Conduct Officer shall make determinations regarding the respondent’s responsibility for violations of the Code based solely upon material presented at the hearing. All sanctioning determinations will consider the finding(s) of responsibility and a student’s cumulative conduct history.

o. Should new charges surface as a result of, or during, a conduct process, and no additional investigation is needed, the charges will be verbally introduced and heard during the current hearing. If additional investigation is needed, the conduct body or Conduct Officer will question the respondent, clarify items in the report, and issue findings following the hearing.

p. Hearings before a conduct body shall ordinarily be recorded (the deliberation phase is exempt) although written notes may serve as a substitute. This record shall be the property of the University. Student respondents or complainants at the hearing are free to take their own notes, but they may not use an electronic recording device. At the discretion of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, student respondents or complainants may request the opportunity to review the recording of the hearing under the supervision of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or delegate. Hearing records are confidential.

q. Formal rules of process, procedure and/or technical rules of evidence, such as applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in Code proceedings.

Note: Students charged with violations of the Code of Conduct during Study Abroad, Interterm or other travel courses will be notified of the charges and have the opportunity to respond to those charges, as well as the opportunity to appeal the outcome of their cases. However, the condensed duration of these courses and the limited availability of on-site administrators may necessitate a modified conduct process in some situations.

2.  No student may be found to have violated the Code solely because the student failed to appear before the conduct body. However, failure to appear, without board approved documented proof supporting extenuating circumstances preventing such appearance, will result in the loss of the right to an appeal. In all cases, should there be a hearing, the material relevant to the charges shall be presented and considered regardless of whether or not the student(s) attended the conduct hearing. If the Respondent does not appear at the hearing after being given notice, the information in support of the charges may be presented and considered even if the respondent is not present.

3.  An individual’s (or group’s) cumulative community conversations, deferred incidents, and conduct history will not be considered by the conduct body until the sanctioning phase of the deliberations.

4.  The Conduct Body or Conduct Officer may accommodate the concerns for personal safety, well-being, and/or fear of confrontation by the Respondent, Complainant and/or other witness by permitting participation by telephone, video-conference, closed circuit television, videotape, audio, tape, written statement or other means, as determined in the sole judgment of the Conduct Board, Conduct Officer or Conduct Advisor (if applicable).

+ - Hearings for Incidents Related to Sexual Misconduct

Hearings for Incidents Related to Sexual Misconduct

1. Hearings shall be conducted by a conduct body according to the following guidelines:

a. Hearings shall be conducted in private.

b. Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the Hearing Body in consultation with the Conduct Advisor (if applicable) or Presiding Officer for that hearing (when applicable).

c. In hearings involving more than one respondent, the Hearing Officer, at his or her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted together with the consent of all respondents and complainants.

d. Both the respondent and the complainant have the right to have a Support Person of their choice, which may include an attorney, subject to the terms of this Section F. This person may not also be serving as a witness.

e. The respondent and complainant must identify their respective Support Persons, and state whether the individual(s) are attorneys, through written notification to the conduct body 2 business days prior to the hearing.

f. An attorney must conform to the same requirements as applied to a Support Person.

g. The complainant and/or the respondent each are responsible for speaking on their own behalf. Support Persons are not permitted to speak to the members of the conduct body unless directly questioned by the conduct body. Support Persons may not participate directly in the hearing other than quiet communication with the student they are accompanying. This communication must not interfere with the conduct process. Failure to comply will result in the removal of the Support Person. One 5-minute recess may be requested during the course of a hearing if the complainant and/or the respondent wish to consult with their Support Persons. Additional requests may be granted at the discretion of the hearing board/officer.

h. With written notification to the conduct body, the complainant and the respondent shall have the opportunity of presenting witness statements and/or other pertinent materials. Any pertinent materials and written statements must be submitted for consideration to the conduct body at least 3 business days prior to the hearing. Admission of any pertinent materials, written statements or witnesses is at the discretion of the conduct advisor (if applicable) and/or hearing officer(s).

a. There shall be a limit of 5 pages (12 point font, double spaced, 1 inch margins) for witness statements. For good cause, shown by either party, the Conduct Advisor (if applicable) or Presiding Officer may extend the length provided by these rules.

b. In the event that witnesses are permitted or requested by the complainant or respondent to attend a hearing, the conduct body and the other party shall have the right to submit suggested questions for the witness(es) to the board. The board retains the authority to determine which questions would be helpful in its deliberation, and may exclude questions are that are not necessary for the hearing officer/board to render a decision, including but not limited to questions that are unfairly prejudicial, cumulative, confusing, compound, argumentative, misleading, regarding past instances of complainant’s sexual conduct other than with respondent, or not probative of the disputed facts or to the determination of the case.

c. Witnesses not identified or materials not provided prior to the hearing will be disallowed unless it is shown by the party providing the witness or material that the witness or materials were unknown to the party prior to the hearing and could not have been disclosed prior to the hearing.

d. This provision shall not prevent either party from offering witnesses or materials at the hearing that is strictly in rebuttal to witnesses or materials from the other party.

e. For good cause shown by either party, the presiding officer may extend the times and deadlines required by these rules.

i. There shall be a limit of 2 character witnesses or written character references (each 5 pages, 12 point font, double spaced, 1 inch margins). The information provided by the character witnesses or written references shall only be considered during a sanctioning phase if the respondent is found to have violated the Code.

j. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the conduct body or Conduct Officer in consultation with the Conduct Advisor (when applicable).

k. A complainant, respondent, witness or Support Person may be removed from a hearing for reasons including, but not limited to disruption, waste of time, sharing irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitive information, or failing to adhere to requests by the hearing administrators. The conduct officers may have the individual leave the hearing and proceed with the hearing in the person’s absence.

l. After the hearing, the conduct body or Conduct Officer shall excuse all parties, engage in deliberation, and determine (by consensus, or if necessary, by majority vote) which portion of the Code, if any, the respondent has violated.

m. The conduct body’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the respondent violated the Code.

n. The conduct body or Conduct Officer shall make determinations regarding the respondent’s responsibility for violations of the Code based solely upon material presented at the hearing, including any investigation reports and attachments, with the exception of prior violations of the sexual misconduct code which may be considered when determining responsibility for the alleged violations. Additionally, if through a community conversation or a conduct hearing, a student has been found responsible for violating the dishonesty policy, then that may be considered in terms of an individual’s credibility. All sanctioning determinations will consider the finding(s) of responsibility and a student’s cumulative conduct history.

o. Should new charges surface as a result of, or during, a conduct process, and no additional investigation is needed, the charges will be verbally introduced and heard during the current hearing with the approval of the respondent. If additional investigation is needed or if the respondent does not give their permission to have the new charge heard during the hearing, the conduct body will refer the matter back to the Title IX Coordinator or Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students as appropriate.

p. Hearings before a conduct body shall ordinarily be recorded (the deliberation phase is exempt) although written notes may serve as a substitute. This record shall be the property of the University. Respondents, complainants, support people or witnesses at the hearing are free to take their own notes, but they may not use an electronic recording device. Respondents or complainants may request the opportunity to review the recording of the hearing under the supervision of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or designee. Hearing records are confidential.

q. Formal rules of process, procedure and/or technical rules of evidence, such as applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in conduct proceedings.

Note: Students charged with violations of the Student Conduct Code during Study Abroad, Interterm or other travel courses will be notified of the charges and have the opportunity to respond to those charges, as well as the opportunity to appeal the outcome of their cases. However, the condensed duration of these courses and the limited availability of on-site administrators may necessitate a modified conduct process in some situations.

2.  No student may be found to have violated the Code solely because the student failed to appear before the conduct body. Both the complainant and respondent will have equal opportunity to appeal, regardless of their level of participation in the process or appearance before the conduct body.

3.  An individual’s (or group’s) cumulative community conversations, deferred incidents, and conduct history will be considered by the conduct body during the sanctioning phase of the deliberations (if applicable).

4.  The Conduct Body or Conduct Officer may accommodate the concerns for personal safety, well-being, and/or fear of confrontation by the Respondent, Complainant and/or other witness by permitting participation by telephone, video-conference, closed circuit television, videotape, audiotape, written statement or other means, as determined in the sole judgment of the Conduct Board, Conduct Officer or Conduct Advisor.

+ - Preparing for a Hearing

Not sure what to do before a hearing? View the Preparing for a Hearing PDF for more information.

+ - Hearing Outcomes

+ - Appeals Process

Appeals are not granted automatically. Requests for appeal must be thoughtful, well-reasoned, substantive, and demonstrative of at least one of the following criteria:

  1. That there was a substantive procedural error that may have prohibited the hearing from being conducted fairly in light of the charges. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.
  2. The facts in the case were insufficient to establish that a violation of the Code occurred.
  3. The sanction(s) imposed was not appropriate for the violation of the Code for which the student was found to be responsible and the student’s conduct history.
  4. New evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing has become available, and is potentially sufficient to alter a decision.

View the Appeals Process PDF for more information. 

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Contact Us

Have a question that isn't answered? See below to send a private email to the Director of Student Conduct or to reach us through phone.

Email: conduct@chapman.edu

Phone: (714) 997-6721

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