I received an email, call, or text asking me to participate in a hearing – what does this mean and what should I expect?
Witnesses may be asked by one of the parties or by our office to attend and participate in a formal live hearing. Parties and witnesses are not required to participate in Title IX Hearing.
However, if a hearing is held to resolve a Complaint of Sexual Harassment I, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, or Stalking, and you choose not to participate or decline to answer questions in a formal hearing, the decision-maker will not be permitted to rely on any information you provided during the investigation. For this reason, we strongly urge you to participate. Your participation will assist the decision-maker(s); the presence and participation of witnesses is crucial to evaluating the information reported by the investigators and making a decision regarding the complaint.
If a hearing is scheduled, you will receive notice of the time in advance. The hearing will be conducted in person or using Webex or other technology that enables participants to simultaneously see and hear each other in real time. If it is conducted by video, you must have your camera on during the portion of the hearing where you are being asked to speak.
The Complainant will testify first, followed by any witnesses the Complainant wants to call. Then the Respondent will testify, followed by witnesses the Respondent wants to call.
Witnesses will be held in a private waiting room (or virtual one) until it is time for their testimony; so you will not see or hear the testimony of the Complainant or Respondent or any other witnesses.
When it is time for you to speak you will be invited into the hearing room or digital hearing room and given the opportunity to answer questions from the decision-maker(s), Investigator or the advisor for each of the parties. Both parties will be able to see and hear you, and you will be able to see both parties. Once you have provided your testimony, you will exit the hearing room and leave the hearing.
NOTE: Matters that were reported to OEI before August 14, 2020, and matters reported after August 14, 2020 that involve Gender Discrimination, Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Harassment II or Retaliation are decided using a Review Meeting, and not a Hearing.