Formal Process

Complete hearing procedures can be found in the Student Conduct System Handbook.

The purpose of the hearing is to provide the opportunity for complainants and accused students to present all relevant information and other evidence with regard to alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct.  Hearings are not criminal or civil, in nature.  Rules of evidence and the criminal standard of proof do not apply. Hearings are confidential and closed to persons not directly related to the case.  The results of Student Conduct System hearings are held confidential in accordance with applicable law.  All parties, procedural advisors, witnesses, and hearing board members are expected to maintain the confidentiality of conduct system proceedings.

As allowed by the procedures, you are entitled to be advised by a member of the Syracuse University community.  An advisor has no standing in the proceedings, but may provide advice to you in a manner that is not disruptive to the proceedings.  Should you choose to obtain a procedural advisor, please contact the Dean of Students Office via telephone at 315.443.4357. Excluding interim suspension hearings, requests for a procedural advisor should be made at least 72 hours prior to the hearing, although it is highly recommended that students procure a procedural advisor as soon as they are notified of the hearing date.

The order of presentation at the hearing will be as follows:

  • Introductions and reading of the complaint/appeal by the chairperson;
  • opening statements;
  • presentation of testimony/evidence/witnesses by the complainant/appellant;
  • presentation of testimony/evidence/witnesses by the accused student;
  • closing statement by the complainant/appellant;
  • closing statement by the accused student.

In cases involving nonconsensual sexual activity, felony arrest, or in other appropriate circumstances, the order of presentation at the hearing may be changed at the discretion of the board chairperson.

Hearing board decisions are made in private and by a majority vote of the board members.  All hearing board decisions are subject to confirmation by the appropriate University official.

All parties will be informed of the confirmed hearing board decision in writing within five (5) University business days after the conclusion of the hearing.  A hearing is considered concluded when all hearing board deliberations are complete.

Procedural Advisors for Formal Hearings

Parties may be advised during the hearing by a procedural advisor. Persons who may serve as procedural advisors are limited to full-time students, faculty, and staff of Syracuse University. Parents/guardians are not permitted to serve as procedural advisors nor can they attend hearings.

The Dean of Students Office maintains a pool of trained University community members who may be available to provide procedural advice and support. Assignment of a procedural advisor from the Dean of Students Office is based on availability and is not guaranteed. Requests for a procedural advisor should be made at least 72 hours prior to the hearing to the Dean of Students Office via email at or via telephone at 315.443.4357.

Role of Attorneys in Formal Hearings

The following information regarding the role of attorneys in the student conduct process pertains to the formal hearing process for cases not involving sexual assault, stalking, gender-related harassment or dating or domestic violence.

No attorney who is not also a full-time member of the Syracuse University faculty, staff, or student body will be permitted to participate in the conduct process on behalf of the complainant or the respondent, except where criminal or civil proceedings are also pending against the respondent. When criminal or civil proceedings are pending against the respondent, both the complainant and the respondent may be advised by an attorney, but the individual parties remain primarily responsible for conducting their own presentations. Attorneys for the complainant and the respondent, when permitted to participate, are limited to the role of the procedural advisor described in Part 9.5 (Procedural advisors, including attorneys where applicable, have no standing in University Student Conduct System proceedings, except to provide advice to their respective parties in a quiet, non-disruptive manner. Advisors, and attorneys when applicable, do not represent or speak for their respective parties, except at the request of the Board chairperson or hearing officer. Excluding interim suspension hearings, requests for a procedural advisor should be made at least 72 hours prior to the hearing to the Dean of Students Office via email at

Any attorney who fails to conform their behavior to these requirements will be removed from the proceedings and barred from acting as a procedural advisor in future University Student Conduct System proceedings. In such circumstances, the hearing Board or hearing officer will determine whether to proceed with the hearing without the presence of the procedural advisor or to forward the case to the Director of Community Standards who will determine if the case will be forwarded to another hearing officer for resolution or if another Board will be convened. If a student has an attorney present at a hearing, the University reserves the right to have one of its attorneys present as well.