The following sanctioning panel procedures are generally followed. The COD reserves the right to adjust these procedures as the Chair deems appropriate. As described in Section XV, special procedures will be employed for sexual misconduct sanctioning panels.
A. The sanctioning panel is scheduled as soon as is reasonably possible after any Investigation is completed and the respondent's written response has been received by the OSC staff or after the deadline for submission has passed.
B. In cases of a student organization, the governing council responsible for that student organization shall be notified of the pending case and be invited to submit a letter to the COD about the case.
C. The OSC will notify a complainant and respondent of the sanctioning panel date and provide both parties with guidelines for submitting documents for the sanctioning panel and a date by which any documents to be presented at the sanctioning panel must be submitted.
- All parties are required to affirm that materials they submit to the COD are their own work. Outside collaborators, including an advisor, must be cited.
- Information submitted following this date may only be included for consideration at the discretion of the Chair.
- Following receipt of this information, the OSC will provide documents and distribute them to the COD panelists, the complainant, the respondent, and their advisors.
D. The sanctioning panel usually proceeds as follows, although the Chair may vary the procedure at their discretion. If a witness is called for a sanctioning panel, it will follow similar procedure to witnesses during a hearing.
- The Chair reads introductions and description of the hearing procedures to the parties.
- The Chair reads the alleged violation(s) and confirms with the respondent that they are accepting responsibility.
- The complainant may make an opening statement followed by the opportunity of the respondent and the COD to ask questions of the complainant.
- The respondent may make an opening statement followed by the opportunity of the complainant and the COD to ask questions of the respondent.
- The COD may ask questions of both parties and the parties may question each other.
- The complainant may make a brief closing statement, followed by the same opportunity for the respondent.
- The Chair makes a closing statement, including when decision is expected to be made.
- The COD meets in executive session to deliberate.
E. Chair's Role (or Associate Chair, when applicable)
- The Chair convenes and facilitates the sanctioning panel.
- The Chair may postpone or suspend a sanctioning panel.
- The Chair may call a brief recess at any time during the sanctioning panel.
- At any time, the Chair determines whether any particular question, statement, or information will be allowed during a hearing. Formal rules of evidence that apply to civil or criminal judicial processes are not applicable.
- The Chair shall warn any participant deemed to be disruptive, harassing, or intimidating to any other participant and if appropriate, excuse any individual's presence at a sanctioning panel, or take any other action deemed necessary by the Chair to ensure an orderly sanctioning panel.
F. COD Deliberations and Decision
- Once the Chair concludes the sanctioning panel, the COD meets in executive session to reach its decision. Because the facts are agreed and the respondent has accepted responsibility for violating Institute policy, a formal finding of responsibility is entered and the only question during deliberation is the appropriate sanction. The COD will decide what is the appropriate sanction or sanctions to impose. The COD will make decisions based on a majority vote. In the event of a tie, the sanction voted for by the Chair will prevail. In deliberations on sanctions, the COD may review any prior findings of responsibility of the respondent. The sanctions available are described in Section XI.
- Except as provided in Section XII and Section XIII (C) of the Rules, or where the COD makes non-binding recommendations concerning a residence hall to MIT Senior Leadership as described in Section VII, the sanctioning panel’s decision is final. The Chair will usually meet with the respondent and complainant as soon as reasonably possible after the hearing. A written notice of the decision is usually provided to a respondent no later than ten business days after the hearing. This letter will be copied to MIT officials as appropriate.
- If the COD decides to make non-binding recommendations to MIT Senior Leadership concerning a residence hall (either in addition to or in lieu of traditional sanctions), it may consult with various stakeholders prior to making its recommendations. Recommendations to MIT Senior Leadership will be communicated directly to those officials. MIT Senior Leadership may meet with the parties and consult with various stakeholders prior to making a final decision. The decision of MIT Senior Leadership to accept, reject, or modify the COD’s recommendations will be communicated to the parties and the COD and will be final with no appeals.
G. Record Keeping
- No recording of any kind of a sanctioning panel is allowed. No electronic devices may be used during a sanctioning panel by anyone present.
- A documentary record of the proceedings will be kept in the files of the COD. This record should consist of: (1) the complaint and respondent's response, (2) all documents submitted at the hearing, and (3) the decision letter. This record does not summarize or otherwise attempt to preserve the hearing or deliberative discussions.