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Social Violations

Understanding the Judicial Process - Students

The following is a summary of the judicial process. For the official description of the judicial process, please see the Elon Student Handbook.

Process for Social Policy Violations
Hearing Sanctioning
Tips for Your Conference and/or Hearing
Preponderance of Evidence
Judicial Advisor

Process for Social Policy Violations

Judicial Conference

After notification of an incident, you received the “Notice of Judicial Action” and scheduled a “Judicial Conference”. During this meeting, the administrative hearing officer will:

  • review the potential charges;
  • review possible sanctions (based on standard guidelines published in the student handbook and your previous case history if applicable);
  • answer your questions regarding the judicial process; and
  • give you an opportunity to respond to the charges and provide information necessary to determine appropriate charges.

At the conclusion of the Judicial Conference, the administrative hearing officer will either:

  • discontinue judicial action (no charges);
  • set charges and (if you waive the 3-day option to prepare for a hearing) conduct the hearing at that time; or
  • set charges and schedule an administrative judicial hearing or Honor Board Hearing within a reasonable amount of time.

The Office of Judicial Affairs may elect to refer a case to the Elon Honor Board if it involves gross violation(s) of community standards or personal violations (fighting, other acts of violence, weapons, drug charges, etc.).

Administrative Judicial Hearing

During the administrative judicial hearing, the hearing officer:

  • will gather information on the incident by asking questions and listening to you – the responding student;
  • will present evidence or information supporting the charges and allow you to respond;
  • may postpone the conclusion of the hearing (for a reasonable amount of time) in order to conduct additional investigation;
  • will conclude with the rendering of a “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” decision and appropriate sanctions if warranted.

Honor Board Hearing

The Elon Honor Board is comprised of students, faculty and staff. Each hearing board is comprised of: three students, two faculty members and one staff member. During the Honor Board hearing, the board members:

  • will gather information on the incident by asking questions and listening to you – the responding student;
  • may gather information on the incident by asking questions of any witnesses or reporting parties;
  • will present evidence or information supporting the charges and allow you to respond;
  • will deliberate in private;
  • will review previous case history only if a student is found “Responsible” by a majority vote; and
  • will conclude with the rendering of a “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” decision and appropriate sanctions if warranted.

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Hearing Sanctioning

If a student is found responsible for a violation of the Elon Honor Code, the hearing officer or hearing board will consider the following items for determining sanctioning:

  • recommended sanctions (from the Elon student handbook);
  • previous case history;
  • totality of behavior related to the incident (compliance, truthfulness at time of incident, etc.);
  • educational opportunity for the student;
  • safety and well-being of the community; and
  • consistency (past precedent for similar violations with similar case history).

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Tips for your Conference and/or Hearing

Before attending your conference:

  • read the definition(s) and recommended sanctions for any potential policy violations;
  • read your student rights for the university judicial process;
  • write down any questions you have regarding the violations or judicial process;
  • discuss the matter with your parents/guardians and write down any questions they have; and
  • make any notes about the incident you want to remember during the conference or hearing.

During your conference and/or hearing:

  • dress appropriately;
  • ask questions;
  • be prepared to honestly and clearly describe your involvement in the incident; and
  • bring any written statements you wish to be considered as part of the evidence.

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Preponderance of Evidence

The Elon judicial system requires a preponderance of evidence for a finding of responsible. Unlike the criminal system, which requires evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the university system is based on the “greater weight of the evidence.” In other words, the university requires that the information show it is “more likely than not” that a violation occurred.

Formal rules of evidence used in a court of law are not applicable to the university judicial system. All information or statements with probable value, such as hearsay or anonymous reports, may be considered in the body of evidence. The responding student has the right to hear and respond to all information that may be utilized for a decision.

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Judicial Advisor

The responding students may select any member of the university community to serve as an advisor for and Honor Board or Appeal Board hearing. The faculty, staff or student serving as the advisor cannot directly address the board or the hearing officer, but may advise the student during the hearing. If the advisor has questions regarding his/her role, he or she may meet with a hearing officer or the Coordinator for Judicial Affairs prior to the hearing to better understand the position. In cases involving assault or sexual misconduct, the reporting student may also select an advisor to be present at the hearing (if the reporting student wishes to participate in the hearing process).

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