Information for Witnesses

If you are agreeing to serve as a witness or provide a witness statement, you play an important role in sharing information to help the Committee on Discipline (COD) or other disciplinary body make a thoroughly considered decision. As a witness, you may submit a witness statement or provide your information related to a situation in person (either by meeting with staff in OSC or during a COD panel meeting).

Witnesses are those who are not a party in a hearing and who may present information in the course of the COD process. Witnesses are not required to be eyewitnesses to the incident in question, but should have relevant information to present. Character witnesses are not permitted, per COD rules. Witnesses may not serve as advisors. Both parties have equal rights to have witnesses or witness statements presented. Parties are responsible for contacting and for arranging the participation of their witnesses.

Unable to appear in person?

When necessary, we can arrange for you to participate via video conference or phone. If you need to participate remotely, please contact the Office of Student Conduct as soon as possible, so technological arrangements can be made.

Additionally, witnesses who are unable to appear in person can submit a written statement. A witness statement does not allow the Panel to ask you questions, but can still be a useful source of information.

During a COD Panel

Witnesses only participate in the COD Panel during their portion to speak to the Panel.  Most witnesses wait outside the panel room in a nearby location. When it is your turn to present, the staff to the COD walk you into the room and to your seat. The Chair will ask you to introduce yourself and provide a brief statement about your understanding of the incident. Following that, you will be asked questions by the COD Panel and the involved parties. You are not required to answer questions; you may respectfully decline. Once the questioning has concluded, you will be excused. Youwill be instructed to either leave or wait nearby until the end of the hearing. The panel occasionally asks witnesses to remain in the event of follow-up questions.

Additional Information to Consider

You may be providing a statement for a friend, a supervisor, a professor, or someone else important in your life. Be honest with them about what you will say and be honest during the hearing. You are not obligated to answer any questions.

Given that you have not been present for the entire hearing, the panel may already have some of the information you share. That said, please feel free to provide a general summary of your perspective. Following that, clarifying questions may be asked.

Some witnesses find it helpful to submit a witness statement prior to the hearing to be included with the panel documentation. If you want to do this, you should check with the person you are serving as a witness for regarding any deadlines to submit documentation. This is not required, but can help the panel understand your perspective. It also provides you an opportunity to write down your recollections before the hearing. You may simply write a statement for yourself and read or refer to it, as well.