What to Expect at a Student Conduct Hearing

If you appeal a disciplinary action, there will be a hearing. A hearing will be more formal than your student disciplinary meeting.  The format of the hearing depends on the disciplinary sanction.

  • For suspensions more than 10 days or dismissals, the case is referred to the Student Conduct Committee. A hearing with the Student Conduct Committee will have three to six decision makers (at least one student, one staff and one faculty). This is a formal hearing.
  • All other sanctions are referred to a conduct review officer for a brief adjudicative proceeding (BAP). A BAP has one decision maker, the conduct review officer.  A BAP is an informal hearing.

Your notification letter will tell you who to expect at the hearing.


Hearings will typically follow a set format and are audio recorded.

  • Hearings usually start with opening statements from each side.
  • After opening statements, the college (generally represented by the student conduct officer) will present its case. This will include any evidence (exhibits) and witnesses.  The college bears the burden of establishing the facts used to impose a disciplinary sanction by a preponderance of the evidence. Preponderance of evidence means that something more likely than not happened. You will be able to ask questions to the witnesses.
  • You will then be able to present your case.  You can testify, present evidence and call witnesses.
  • A hearing will end with closing statements from each party.

If the appeal involves sexual misconduct charges, both the complainant and respondent will present their cases and can call witnesses.  In this situation, the complainant and respondent cannot cross examine each other.  All questions must be submitted to the conduct review officer or committee chair to be asked.

Support Person

At a hearing, each party may be accompanied by a non-attorney assistant or support person.  You may choose this person.  Please notify natasha.pinto@bellevuecollege.edu if you plan to bring a support person to your hearing.

You can also choose to be represented by an attorney, but this is at your own cost. You must notify the chair or conduct review officer at least four business days before the hearing.  This means sending written notice of the attorney’s identity and intent to participate. If you do not submit the notice within four days of the hearing, you waive your right to an attorney. The Student Conduct Committee will ordinarily be advised by an assistant attorney general. If you are represented by an attorney, the student conduct officer may also be represented by a second, appropriately screened assistant attorney general.

For more information, refer to the Student Conduct Code (WAC 132H-126) and review how to prepare for a hearing.

Last Updated January 7, 2021