SRU seeks students to serve on conduct hearing boards
Sept. 7, 2017
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Part of a Slippery Rock University education is gaining experience outside the classroom and becoming a contributing member of a learning community. An excellent opportunity to do both is available to students interested in serving on student conduct hearing boards.
SRU students are invited to serve on hearing boards that review disciplinary cases involving other University students, provided that the student board member completes at least one of two 90-minute training sessions.
"We need to ensure students are given a fair process and we can't do it without our volunteers," said Leigh Ann Gilmore, director of student conflict resolution. "It's a great opportunity for civic engagement because it's providing a service for the University."
For each hearing that takes place, a hearing board conducts a one-time meeting to review the case and determine an outcome. Each board consists of three members including two faculty or staff members and one student.
Board members are trained on how to evaluate the information presented at the hearing, determine if the student is in violation of the code of conduct and determine an appropriate consequence or sanction. The board's recommendation is then approved by David Wilmes, associate provost for student success.
"Having students on the board is important because they provide the perspective of the student," Gilmore said. "Students appreciate having that perspective and the hearing board members learn so much from those student members because they are in the experience."
Gilmore collects the names of students who complete hearing board training and notifies them when a hearing is scheduled. Once a student confirms availability, the student is provided the name of the respondent and must indicate whether or not he or she knows the respondent. If a student board member knows the respondent, he or she is removed from serving on that panel to eliminate any bias.
The number of hearings and student board members available fluctuates each year, but Gilmore estimates that a typical year would have 15-20 students available to serve on boards for approximately 10 hearings.
"If they do one hearing they've contributed a huge amount to the University and we don't expect them to do multiple hearings," Gilmore said. "But some enjoy it. It is interesting because every case is different. It's also an educational experience because you are learning about the conduct process and you can use it to your advantage as a resume builder."
The length of hearings also varies. Some could be 30 minutes, while some, such as Title IX hearings that review cases of sexual assault, dating violence, rape and domestic violence, could take as long as seven hours.
Cases that are reviewed by hearing boards, such as those involving theft or physical assault, can be severe enough that removal from the University is considered on the range of potential sanctions.
Student interested in serving on hearing boards can choose to complete at least one of two training sessions:
-A General Hearing Board Training session that all student board members must complete. That will take place from 12:30-2 p.m., Sept. 12 in Room 225 of the McKay Education Building.
-A Title IX Hearing Board Training session for students interested in serving on hearing boards for Title IX-related cases that will occur from 12:30-2 p.m., Sept. 14 in Room 319 of the Smith Student Center. Students interested in serving on Title IX hearing boards must complete both training sessions in order to serve on the Title IX hearing board.
Students who complete the General Hearing Board Training are eligible to serve on non-Title IX cases for the remainder of their time as SRU students. However, Title IX training must be completed each year to serve on boards for Title IX cases.
Students are asked to reserve their spot for training by Sept. 8 by contacting Sarah McAllister at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional questions about the hearing board process, contact Gilmore at email@example.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | firstname.lastname@example.org