Preparing for Your University Hearing
- Know the Student Code of Conduct
The University of Houston disciplinary policy is outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. This policy should become your best friend! It outlines the entire disciplinary procedure and appeals process while providing you with an idea of the potential sanctions you could receive, if found responsible. Your understanding of this document and its outlined violations could directly impact your perception and approach towards your upcoming university hearing. If you are in doubt about any aspect of the disciplinary policy, please contact your Hearing Officer immediately for clarification. The Student Code of Conduct can be accessed online.
- Be Prompt & Dress Professionally
Plan to arrive at your university hearing at least 15 minutes before your scheduled time. This will allow you an opportunity to collect your thoughts and prepare to present your case. All university hearings begin on time. The dress code for the university hearing is business casual.
- Speak Clearly
All university hearings are audio recorded. It is important to project your voice and to speak clearly. In the event of a university appeal request, a previous audio recording of your hearing may be reviewed in order to make a final determination. Therefore, having a clear recording of your proceedings will only benefit you.
- Remain Calm
It is natural to experience nervousness during the disciplinary hearing process; however, the best thing you can do for your case is to remain calm and collected. Do not allow your nerves to get the best of you. Take deep breaths when necessary and take some time to think about your answers before answering questions. Remaining calm allows you to be more in control when presenting your case.
- Be Prepared & Organized
Be sure to organize all of your thoughts and outline all of the events associated with the incident. Taking the time to write out a thorough opening and closing statement would help to present your side of the incident clearly. In addition, all related evidence should be concise and witnesses for your case need to be prepared. Keep me in mind that you can have access to your conduct file at least three business days prior to the hearing. Being organized and prepared for your university hearing increases the chances of the outcome being in your favor.
- Be Honest
There will be opportunities during the hearing for the university hearing board to ask you questions regarding the incident. It is very important to answer all of these questions as open and honestly as possible. Honest responses will make it easier to create a better Preparing for Your University Hearing picture of the incident. There are additional disciplinary sanctions that can be imposed if someone is proven to be dishonest during a university hearing.
- Ask Questions – Early & Often
The disciplinary process is about student development and growth. Your Hearing Officer is here to assist you during this process. Be sure to get all of your questions answered prior to your hearing and do not hesitate to follow up.
- Your Advisor can be Present
You have the right to be accompanied and assisted by an Advisor of your choice during your university hearing. Whether it is a family member or an attorney, your advisor can be there to support you. It is important to remember that our process is student led and educationally based. This means you are responsible for representing yourself in the hearing. Your advisor will not be allowed to speak on your behalf or appear for you. Remember, you must notify your Hearing Officer of your advisor’s name and phone number at least three business days prior to your hearing. Failure to do so could result in your advisor not being allowed in the proceedings or your hearing could be rescheduled.