About Sanction Panels

Details on the sanction panel process

Sanction Panel Basics

1. A complaint is submitted to the Office of Student Citizenship.

2. Staff from the Office of Student Citizenship meet with the complainant to review the complaint, confirm alleged violations, and answer any questions they may have about the process.

3. Staff from the Office of Student Citizenship contacts the respondent(s), informing them that a complaint has been received and the alleged violations in the complaint.  A request to meet is included in this notification.  At that meeting, OSC staff will review the complaint, answer questions, and discuss options for responding.  Following this meeting, the respondent has five business days to submit a written response to the complaint.

4. Once all the respondents submit their response or that deadline passes (whichever comes first), OSC staff reviews all case information with the Chair of the COD.  The Chair reviews it and determines if a case will be handled administratively, via sanctioning panel, or via COD hearing.

*Note: If the case is handled administratively, OSC staff sends a decision letter on the Chair’s behalf.  The decision may include a finding of responsibility, a letter to file, disciplinary probation, as well as educational sanctions. Cases involving suspension or expulsion may not be resolved via administrative resolution.

5. If the case proceeds to a hearing or a sanctioning panel, OSC confirms the availability and impartiality of the hearing panel, schedules the hearing or panel, and, prior to the hearing, sends document packets to both parties, and all COD members who will serve on that hearing. 
Sanction Panel Preparation

  • Read all the documents you have received or written.
  • Review the Mind and Hand Book, particularly the sections you are alleged to have violated.
  • Consult the Rules of the Committee on Discipline 
  • Consider what questions you think the COD may ask and brainstorm your possible answers
  • Consider what questions you have and prepare a list of questions you would like to ask and key points you would like to discuss.
  • Reflect on the situation that prompted your hearing or sanction panel.  What factors influenced your behavior? What can be learned from this situation?
  • Consider having an advisor.  Your advisor can be any member of the MIT community who is not a media representative.  
  • If you would like assistance with language translation or accommodations for a disability at your hearing or sanction panel, please notify us prior so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Sanction Panel Process
Please note that this outline is intended to provide those participating in a Committee on Discipline (COD) hearing with information about how such hearings typically proceed.  Each case is unique and the COD rules permit the COD to adjust procedures when appropriate.  Refer to http://cod.mit.edu/rules/section10  for more information.
Questions about these procedures can be directed to the Office of Student Citizenship at citizenship@mit.edu or 617-253-3276.
I. Prior to the hearing

  1. At least two days prior to the hearing, all parties, including the complainant, respondent, and advisors, will receive copies of all documents submitted for review in the case.
  2. Immediately before the hearing, the COD will convene briefly in private.
  3. Parties will be brought into the room and seated.

II. Introductions 

  1. The chair and other members of the COD will introduce themselves
  2. The chair will provide a brief overview of the proceedings, including any case specific comments.

III. Review of the complaint and alleged violations

  1. The chair will review the alleged violations.
  2. The Chair reads the alleged violation(s) and confirms with the respondent that she or he is accepting responsibility.

IV. Complainant’s Opening statement and questions

  1. The complainant may make an opening statement.
  2. The respondent may ask questions of the complainant.  Either party may request that this be done indirectly through the chair.
  3. The COD may ask questions of the complainant.

V. Respondent’s Opening statement and questions

  1. Opening statement and questions.
    • The respondent may make an opening statement.
    • The complainant may ask questions of the respondent.  Either party may request that this be done indirectly through the chair.
    • The COD may ask questions of the respondent.

VI. General Questions

  1. Time will be available for the COD to ask questions of either party as well as for the parties to ask questions of each other.
  2. At this time, the COD may recall any witnesses for additional questions. 

VII. Concluding Statements

  1. The complainant may make a closing statement.
  2. The respondent may make a closing statement.
  3. The complainant, respondent, and all witnesses are excused.  The hearing is concluded.

VIII. Deliberations and Follow-up

  1. The COD will deliberate to determine what are the appropriate sanction or sanctions to impose.
  2. The respondent will meet with the COD Chair or the Director of OSC to receive the outcome in writing.