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Student Conduct FAQ: For Witnesses

What do I need to do as a witness?     

As a witness and a member of the campus community, your job is to share your account of what happened at the time of the incident with university officials responding to the incident in question as well as at a future student conduct hearing, if necessary.  

Can I be called as a witness even if I wasn't directly involved and just saw what was going on at the time of the incident?

Yes.  Students are required to attend student conduct hearings if named as a witness to give an account of what you saw during the incident, even if you were not an active participant.

Should the party (Respondent or Complainant) that is calling me to serve as a witness be consulting with me before the hearing?

Yes. However, he/she should not be influencing your testimony or providing you with a script of what to say during the hearing. You are expected to give your account of what happened regarding the incident in question and to answer all questions honestly.

Is there a dress code I need to follow if I am participating in a hearing?

No, but it is important to maintain a sense of professionalism at a hearing. It is recommended that you refrain from wearing ripped jeans, t-shirts with logos, athletic apparel, sleepwear, etc. Hats or bandanas should also not be worn in the hearing.

What should I do if information I give towards the case will incriminate me?

A student witness has the right not to testify against themselves. 

Will my witness testimony show up on my transcripts or personal records?

No. Since you are not the one being accused of violating a university policy, the incident or your testimony will not show up on your records. However, each hearing is recorded so your testimony will be preserved in audio format as part of the Respondent's student conduct record.

What's going to happen to the Respondent (accused student) if he/she is found responsible for a conduct violation?

If the Respondent is found responsible for a violation, a hearing authority will determine a sanction for the student based upon a review of incident and a student's prior disciplinary record (if applicable). 

Is it mandatory for me to serve as a student witness if I am called to do so?

Yes. If you choose to not show up, you will be subject to conduct charges under the Student Code of Conduct for failing to appear as a witness . If you cannot make it to a hearing due to a schedule conflict, you need to let the Dean of Students's Office know as soon as possible by calling (610) 683-1320.  Participation in student conduct hearing is an excused absence from class therefore missing a hearing due to a class schedule is not a valid excuse.