UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
CAMPUS COMMITTEE ON
NOTICE TO WITNESSES
You have been asked to serve, either by the University Presenter or the
accused student/his or her representative, as a witness in a hearing before the
Campus Committee on Student Behavior (CCSB). In order to help you better
understand what will happen at a formal hearing, the following questions have
What is a CCSB hearing?
It is not a court of
law, but rather a part of the University’s internal system for handling
alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code (Code). The fact that
allegations have been made and are taken seriously does not assume that they are
true. The question being considered by this hearing body is whether or not
there has been a violation of the Code.
What is a Witness?
person who is asked by either party to provide information that is relevant to
an incident being heard by the CCSB. You have been asked to be a witness
because you can provide information that may not be available from any other
source or because you can supplement information from a written report. Your
participation is valuable to the people involved. As a witness you are not an
advocate or helper for one side; your obligation is simply to tell the truth.
Your testimony will consist of: recalling events regarding the incident in
question, answering questions from the Panel, and answering questions from the
Will I have to "take the stand?"
The hearing room for a CCSB
hearing is ordered with designated spots for various participants. The parties
and the CCSB panel sit around a conference table, with witnesses to the side.
After initial introductions, all witnesses will leave. In accordance with state
law, CCSB procedures allow the primary reporting party/complaining
witness/victim of an incident of alleged violence, harassment, or assault to be
present in the hearing during any portion of the hearing he/she feels
comfortable observing and may be accompanied by a non-participating support
person. (This does not extend to the deliberative session.) Such individuals
will also be notified of the outcome of the procedures. You will wait outside
the hearing room until it is your turn to provide information. Separate areas
are provided for witnesses to each side.
How long does a hearing
On average, the hearings last a minimum of four hours, but there is
no true prediction. For each witness called, anticipate that s/he will be in
the hearing room for approximately 30 minutes. When the panel excuses you, you
are then requested to stay in the waiting room until the end of the hearing in
case the panel wishes to recall you for more information or clarification.
Consider bringing work or something to read; if possible the CCSB will provide
you with workspace. You may wish to bring a snack or beverage as well. CCSB
thanks you in advance for willingly sharing your time.
What if I want to attend, but have a class or another
A formal hearing is a serious event, so every effort should
be made to attend. Your presence at this hearing is essential in order for you
to provide the CCSB with all pertinent information. If you have a time conflict,
please call either the University Presenter or the accused student/his or her
representative. You may be able to make arrangements to come to the hearing
late or leave early, or in some cases, submit a notarized statement. Please
understand that formal hearings are difficult to schedule, and that the formal
hearing will likely proceed whether or not you are present.
should I prepare?
Most likely the person who has requested your presence
will address this question with you prior to the hearing. Your responsibility
will be to tell what you know in response to questions. You do not need to
prepare any statements or memorize your testimony. You should, however, take
some time to think carefully about the events you witnessed and about what you
remember so that you can testify clearly at the hearing.
Should I bring
notes to the hearing?
If you wrote an incident report, you will likely
receive a copy during the hearing to look at, but you should not bring any notes
Will I have to face the people involved in the hearing?
During your testimony, you will be in the same room and at the same
conference table except in special circumstances. If you have any questions or
special concerns regarding your presence in the hearing room, please address
them with either the University Presenter or the accused student/his or her
What if I am afraid that the information I provide will lead to acts of
The University wants all witnesses to feel secure. Talk to
either the University Presenter or the accused student/his or her representative
for the case to discuss the options available to you. They may be able to work
out a comfortable way for you to provide your testimony. If any harassment does
result from your testimony, please inform the CCSB Secretary, Becky Hippert at
612-626-8743, immediately so action can be taken.Can I be charged, if
it is revealed during the hearing that I also violated the Code?
general rule, the University is concerned with the more serious charge in a
case. Although it is possible, witnesses are not routinely charged by admitting
to minor violations during hearings. If you are concerned, talk with either the
University Presenter or the accused student/his or her representative prior to
the hearing.What if I know of other witnesses who should be at the
If you know of other witnesses who have firsthand
information about the incident, please notify the either the University
Presenter or the accused student/his or her representative. Will I be
informed about the decision?
Student judicial records are confidential
and are protected by institution policy and law. The parties involved have the
option of requesting that the hearing be "closed." If at least one party makes
that request, then the Chair will close the proceeding to the public. You
should not discuss the incident or the people involved with anyone who is not
directly involved with the case.Are the hearing room and waiting area
If you have special needs please let the CCSB
Secretary, Becky Hippert at 612-626-8743, know as soon as possible so
appropriate room arrangements can be made.Can I leave the witness
waiting room during the hearing?
Witnesses, when they are not testifying,
are permitted to leave the witness rooms for short periods to use the bathroom
or get something to eat/drink. Information on the location of bathrooms,
phones, food and beverage machines, and e-mail kiosks will be provided to all
witnesses at the hearing.What if I have more questions?
can contact the appropriate University Presenter or accused student/his or her
representative or the CCSB Secretary, Becky Hippert at
612-626-8743.This document was adapted from:
University Office of Community Development, Formal Hearing Witness
Marshall University Office of Judicial Affairs,
Student Conduct Hearings, Notice to Witness
. Huntington, WV
University of Michigan Office of Student Conflict Resolution, The
Witness, Questions and Answers