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Formal Process

Complete hearing procedures can be found in Part 9 of the Student Conduct System Handbook.

The purpose of the hearing is to provide the opportunity for complainants and accused students to present all relevant information and other evidence with regard to alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct.  Hearings are not criminal or civil, in nature.  Rules of evidence and the criminal standard of proof do not apply. Hearings are confidential and closed to persons not directly related to the case.  The results of Student Conduct System hearings are held confidential in accordance with applicable law.  All parties, procedural advisors, witnesses, and hearing board members are expected to maintain the confidentiality of conduct system proceedings.

As allowed by the procedures, you are entitled to be advised by a member of the Syracuse University community.  An advisor has no standing in the proceedings, but may provide advice to you in a manner that is not disruptive to the proceedings.  Should you choose to obtain a procedural advisor, please contact the Office of Student Assistance via telephone at 315.443.4357.  Excluding interim suspension hearings, requests for a procedural advisor should be made at least 72 hours prior to the hearing, although it is highly recommended that students procure a procedural advisor as soon as they are notified of the hearing date.

The order of presentation at the hearing will be as follows:

  • introductions and reading of the complaint/appeal by the chairperson;
  • opening statements;
  • presentation of testimony/evidence/witnesses by the complainant/appellant;
  • presentation of testimony/evidence/witnesses by the accused student;
  • closing statement by the complainant/appellant;
  • closing statement by the accused student.

In cases involving nonconsensual sexual activity, felony arrest, or in other appropriate circumstances, the order of presentation at the hearing may be changed at the discretion of the board chairperson.

Hearing board decisions are made in private and by a majority vote of the board members.  All hearing board decisions are subject to confirmation by the appropriate University official.

All parties will be informed of the confirmed hearing board decision in writing within five (5) University business days after the conclusion of the hearing.  A hearing is considered concluded when all hearing board deliberations are complete.

Procedural Advisors

All students participating in the conduct process are entitled to be assisted by a procedural advisor.

Your procedural advisor is a faculty or staff member of the Syracuse University community who has been extensively trained on the policies and procedures of the Student Conduct System.

Your procedural advisor is primarily responsible for assisting you while preparing for the hearing. This person may attend the hearing, however, they have no standing in Student Conduct System proceedings except to provide advice to you in a quiet, non-disruptive manner. Procedural advisors do not represent or speak for their respective parties except at the request of the board chairperson.

To obtain a procedural advisor, please contact:

Office of Student Assistance
306 Steele Hall
(315) 443-4357

Role of Attorneys

No attorney who is not also a full-time member of the Syracuse University or SUNY ESF faculty, staff, or student body will be permitted to participate in the conduct process on behalf of the complainant or the accused student, except where criminal or civil proceedings are also pending.

When criminal or civil proceedings are pending, both the complainant and the accused student may be advised by an attorney, but the individual parties remain primarily responsible for conducting their own presentations.

Attorneys for the complainant and the accused student, when permitted to participate, are limited to the role of the procedural advisor described in the current Student Conduct System Handbook.

Any attorney who fails to conform his or her behavior to these requirements will be removed from the proceedings and barred from acting as a procedural advisor in future Student Conduct System proceedings. In such circumstances the hearing board will determine whether to proceed with the hearing without the presence of the procedural advisor or to forward the case to the Director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for resolution before a hearing officer.