College Judicial Consultants

Information on college, conduct, Greek life, advocacy, and fairness-published every Tuesday and Friday morning.

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Know the People That Affect You In College (i.e. the Accidental Good Idea)

When I was in college, I was the classic example of a smart kid who made bad decisions. If there were 2 ways to do something and one way could get me in trouble that was the way I invariably chose…and chose it often. It was so bad that it became pointless for me to try and avoid mistakes, and success became learning a lesson early enough to not make the same mistake more than twice. Some of these mistakes were small and some involved police being called, but any one of them could have been the thing that got me sent home.

There was exactly one reason I was able to be that donkey and still graduate (and it wasn’t because I had good grades or my almost unbelievable charm.) The simple truth is that I got to know everyone in a position of authority that I could. I knew not just the RAs on my floor, but I knew the ones from my building and when someone came around I didn’t know I introduced myself. I knew the hall director, the student government advisor, the judicial officer, and every one of my professors. I met some of them when things went wrong, but for the most part I knew them simply because they directly or indirectly had authority over my life. This was not an intentional strategy, but it turned out to be a good one.

When I started working in higher education I was reminded of my relationship building because a small percentage of students took the time to do the same with me.  There are several reasons this is a good idea:

  1. Almost without exception the people working in student affairs and with students are good people with interesting stories. If you know that first hand it will improve your interactions down the road.
  2. People are more inclined to help when they know you. This is simple human nature. If you are “Jennifer” and you get caught smoking marijuana in the dorm, the first instinct will be to do more for you than if you’re “that girl in 205.”
  3. You get the chance to let someone know who you are so they don’t just judge you when they “have to.” This is similar to #2, but more positive. When I was in charge of judicial issues, if someone came up to me to change the way something was enforced I was a lot more open to it than if they tried to make the same argument because they were “caught.” The truth is that when a person in authority knows you he or she is much more inclined to trust the motives you present rather than make assumptions you may not like.
  4. There are numerous opportunities that get presented to these people, and the better they know you the more likely it is that you will be informed of them. This can be as simple as being on a committee or information about a paid internship.

If you are going to get to know someone, remember that they are busy as well. If the person is an administrator make (and keep!!!) an appointment. Go to programs, say hi, help out, and do other things that show you’re a good person before you need them to believe it. Besides being a good way to check out some other life options, it can also be fun.

Obligatory plug: Subscribe to this blog, check out our website, follow me on Twitter, or like us on Facebook (if people still do that.) Also check out our friends at The Greak Tweak if you’re in a fraternity, sorority, or just want some good advice.

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Looking for Greek Life photos for CJC’s website

This is a general plea to all Interfraternity Councils, Panhellenic Councils, Multicultural Greek Councils and National Pan-Hellenic Councils:

I am currently working on revamping the website to add a section regarding what we can offer Greek organizations and I am looking for pictures to use on the site.  They will be used the same way the pictures are used on the home page (i.e. here are images of the people we can help) and if you don’t like the way it’s used for some reason you can always let me know and I’ll take it down.

Fine print: any pictures you send me can potentially be used on the website for any purpose other than to imply an endorsement of our services by a particular organization or school. Sending the pictures does not mean that they will be used, and once you send them they are the property of College Judicial Consultants to be used at any time in accordance with the parameters described above. (i.e. in other words, we may not use them but if we have them we can use them as long as we use them the way I say we’re going to.) 🙂

You can email them to DaveK (at) CollegeJudicialConsultants (dot) com. Thanks!

Don’t Believe the Hype: Positive Implications of Greek Membership

The AFA (Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors) conference is happening right now (11/28/12) in Indianapolis.  There are great programs on expansion, creating change, advising local organizations, restorative justice, masculinity and feminism, social justice and other great topics.  What there aren’t are any programs like the one I’m going to propose for next year.  “Apologize for nothing: addressing the negative impressions of Greek life without accepting them.”

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An article in the Michigan Review details the results of the research done by James Turner at UVA who, after examining the mortality rates of 1150 schools found that for every 100,000 students there were just over 6 suicides and just under 5 alcohol deaths. (Note:  They say “alcohol-related traffic deaths” in the article so my rephrasing may be misleading.  If, as is likely, they specifically mean these types of deaths then when you add alcohol poisoning and the other alcohol deaths then I would imagine they eclipse the suicide rate.  Since the gist of the article is that suicide is the #1 cause of death for college students, that wouldn’t make sense. I’ve therefore made the assumption that they mean “alcohol” deaths.) This got me to thinking about the things I used to discuss with my colleagues on the student crisis teams, and the impact being Greek has on the at-risk students.  Since I’m not in grad school, I’m not going to do actual research studies (although if you do want a great thesis topic, feel free) but I thought I would post my thoughts and invite anyone who knows more to comment.

  1. Alcohol/dependency issues. I think there’s no doubt that Greeks have more students that are assessed in the “dependent” range for alcohol than their non-Greek counterparts.  I do not know if the same is true for drugs, but I assume that it would actually be drug dependent.  For example, I would not be surprised to hear that Greeks smoke more weed, but I would be surprised if they did more psychedelics or abused more pain medication. That being said, they drugs they do use may make them higher users of “drugs” in general. WINNER: Non-Greeks. That being said, I would be REALLY interested in comparing the alcohol consumption and drug use on campuses without Greek life (e.g. Bowdoin, Brandeis, Middlebury) with schools that have Greek life.  I suspect that the actual consumption rates would be similar and in which case I’d have to say “Tie,” but I can’t prove that.
  2. Depression/Suicide.  I think that Greeks are clearly the winners here. No matter how you feel about the types of connections people make in their fraternity/sorority, the fact remains that once you join these organizations you are rarely alone.  You are usually sharing meals and running in the same social circles as a large group of people you like, so I would expect that there is a lot more “dude, what the f*#k is wrong with you” type of intervention than there would be in traditional male relationships. I can actually think of dozens of examples of fraternity men and sorority women supporting their brothers and sisters through disease, parental death, and other situations, and have heard from students directly that they wouldn’t have “made it through” without their brothers or sisters. WINNER: Greeks!
  3. Violence (non-dating):  When you hear of a student writing manifestos, buying guns, or doing other crazy stuff that necessitates a threat assessment, it is almost never a member of a fraternity or sorority.  In fact, find me one example without the word “loner” attached to the description of the student and I’ll be stunned.  WINNER: Greeks!
  4. Inter-Personal Violence (e.g. sexual assault, dating violence, stalking.)  I think the literature makes it pretty clear that Greeks have a higher incident rate for sexual assault (both as perpetrator and victim) but I would bet that stalking is lower mostly because of the ease of intervention both for the perpetrator (“dude!  Let it go.”) and the victim (“That guy’s a freak.  I’m taking you to the police.”) (That bet is based in nothing, so please feel free to correct me with actual data.)  At schools with Greek life I’d have to probably say WINNER: Non-Greeks, but again the difference is narrow (and when you compare numbers of actual students I’ll bet there are more INCIDENTS among non-Greeks) and where there is no Greek life I would be interested to know once again about the actual incident rates to see if there are fewer per capita.
  5. Missing Students. Students occasionally get fed up and “disappear” for a while, usually by staying with a friend or taking a small road trip of some kind. Usually a parent will then call campus police after not hearing from their kid and file a campus missing persons report which triggers a pretty specific (and potentially lengthy) administrative process.  As with the depression/suicide category I would bet that there are many more of these among non-Greeks for the same reasons.  WINNER: Greeks!
  6. Campus Retention and Graduation. This isn’t a crisis matter, but another big issue on campuses is retention.  One of the biggest selling points I see on Greek Life websites is that membership in Greek organizations make a student more likely to complete their college degree. (see, for example http://arizonagreek.orgsync.com/benefits) WINNER: Greek life!

So what’s the point?  College administrators are quick to point out the areas of Greek life where the members are higher risk than non-Greeks, but I can’t think of a single upper administrator who has stood up and said “While drinking may be a bigger problem in the Greek community, membership in a fraternity or sorority decreases the likelihood that a student will drop out, be overwhelmed with depression, or commit suicide.” I’m not saying that you have to be Greek to have a happy and healthy college experience, but I encourage all or you to challenge your administrators, newspaper editorials, or anywhere else that tries to polarize people into “Pro” or “Anti” Greek camps.  Constantly remind everyone that the things that people use to vilify Greeks are also true for non-Greeks while the positive aspects of being Greek are not easily replicated in traditional residential situations.  Schools push co-curricular involvement to get a student vested in the college and the college experience, but completely disregard these benefits so they can talk about “hazing” and “binge drinking”–like that occasional aspect of Greek life is the ONLY purpose of Greek life. It isn’t, and I encourage you to refuse to accept that it is.

NB: A few housekeeping notes:

1.  Go to our website to know more about what we do and what we can offer.  We are working on a separate site/section for student organizations, but the services are similar.

2.  If you are in college (or recently graduated and can remember what you were like in college) please fill out our survey.  It should only take you 3 minutes, but it will really help us.

3.  We are raising funds to (hopefully) tour colleges around the country this spring.  Go to http://tinyurl.com/CJCSpringTour to donate.  Any amount helps (especially since we have no donors at this point.)

4. Like us on Facebook, follow me on Twitter or LinkedIN, and subscribe to this blog for updates!

5.  I think the photo is Kent State Greeks.  Completely snagged off the internet without permission. 🙂

Brief survey, but it will really help us out.

Brief survey to help us out1

We are trying to understand our clients and how we can get the word out in the least annoying way possible.  If you are currently or were recently a college student (grad or undergrad) please take 3 minutes and help us! (No personal data will be collected.)

Following up on college journalism blog

I would be remiss if I didn’t address some opinions I received on the earlier blog on college journalists and printing student and organization names.  Julia Shumway, the news editor at the ASU State Press, wrote me on Twitter and said “Student journalist view: don’t name a troublemaking student unless the student is prevalent on campus or gave permission…Groups, though, should be named for the sake of credibility and transparency.”  She told me that the journalism standard is to “minimize harm wherever possible” and that printing names would be in violation of that standard. *

So it looks like at least some college papers make it a practice to protect the identity of students in most cases to minimize harm, but that groups are fair game.  We had an example of that recently in the newspapers at both UNC Chapel Hill and Cornell where  general storys about fraternities being under investigation for numerous charges including “hazing” were published and some fraternities were names. The argument for printing the names of the organizations is, as I understand it, even if an employer or grad school has a negative impression of the group, that entity should know that the student they’re considering is not to be lumped in with the group.  As Julia stated much better “any smart employers would recognize that orgs do not define all members.”

I am very glad to hear that there is some thought as to the impact of using identity as part of a story.  I hope that most schools share ASU’s standard, but I still disagree with publishing the names of any organizations (or well-known students) until a finding has been made about that student/organization’s identity.  I don’t think transparency needs a “who” when it comes to students or student organizations, and even if it does I believe that the potential consequence of listing the name to the individuals involved outweighs the value of that transparency.   Despite Julia’s belief in the sensibility of employers and outside entities, I do think that if you’re trying to trim down applicants and a quick Google search tarnishes something on their resume, it will hurt that person.

I also understand that we, as Americans, have developed almost a sense of entitlement when it comes to knowing things.  We trip over ourselves to learn everything we can about politicians and celebrities as if somehow our knowing those things is a price they pay for doing a particular job or having a certain status in society.  I think we need to change that.  If a person is not a continued threat to the community around him or her, let’s give them their anonymity because that anonymity helps protect the right for them to be innocent until proven guilty (or responsible.) The taint of an accusation is as bad as the revelation of wrongdoing, and for us to pretend otherwise is naive.

I think that college papers have an opportunity to change the expectations of their readers to one where they expect privacy to be paramount until someone or some group is found responsible.  If there is an article about Delta Tau Delta (my old fraternity) being accused of hazing, wait until we are found responsible to reveal who we are.  Saying “a fraternity of campus has been accused of hazing” and then providing the details does not obfuscate the story or make it less than honest.  It allows a potentially innocent group to not have to publicly defend itself against, allows a freshman rushing that group the next year to not have to convince his mom that they aren’t a bad group, and it saves the fraternity president from having to talk to an employer about a potentially baseless accusation down the road. As readers we will get used to it, and as students you have the power to protect other students in ways that literally nobody else can on campus.

I love college newspapers.  I think the students who work on them work hard, without any real acknowledgement, and are passionate about getting to the truth for the good of their fellow students.  I just think they are missing the boat on this issue and can do better, and do it easily. Of course that’s until the student or organization is found responsible.  Then all bets are off.

*Please keep in mind that Julia made her points within the 140 character limitations of Twitter. I’m sure she could have destroyed some of these points in a face to face.

New Flyer

New Flyer

Thanks to the amazing Eric Panke (http://www.ericpanke.com) for the continued design work we have a new flyer. I’ll be postering the Boston-area, but if you would like copies for you school let me know and I can mail you copies or just send you the PDF for you to share. Let me know!

We Are the 5% Solution

We recently were featured in an article in The Dartmouth. The journalist, Ms. Amanda Young, discussed what we do and then spoke with their Director of Undergraduate Affairs, Mr. Nathan Miller, and Ms. Jessica Womack, a junior on Dartmouth’s “Committee on Standards (COS),” to get a sense of whether or not we are a resource that Dartmouth students should use.  It was a fair article with both Mr. Miller and Ms. Womack saying what you would expect from people in their positions.  Neither of them thinks that a student needs to use our services to get through the process; although they both seem to acknowledge that a student should use anything he or she can to maximize their readiness for the process.  While that position is inherently contradictory, since we essentially agree with them I thought I’d explain it.

To make the math easy, let’s say that, on average, 5% of college students get into some kind of trouble each year.  This trouble can be anything from the silly (violating copyright through “illegal” downloads) to the horrible (sexual assault.)  To make it even simpler, let’s pretend that Dartmouth has 2000 students so each year 100 of them get in some sort of trouble.  Ms. Womack and Mr. Miller both think that the process works well and that the support offered is sufficient for the students involved.  Let’s say they’re right, and give them an A on their process and the support offered.  That means that there is a 95% rate of what I call “sufficient fairness” where the resources and the process are enough to ensure that a student is prepared to obtain the best result possible. That would be an amazing system, and something that the people on the COS (like Ms. Womack) and the person responsible for the process (Mr. Miller) should be understandably proud.  In fact, at College Judicial Consultants we assume that every system is at or near 95% with the people involved in the process acting beyond reproach and really doing the best they can for students.

That still leaves 5% of the time where some additional help is needed or would help a student be more prepared.  Using the numbers above that means that at Dartmouth every year, 5 students could benefit from competent outside help.  In other words, it is completely consistent for the world to have judicial systems with an efficiency and customer satisfaction rate higher than almost anything offered anywhere by anyone, and also that the students subjected to that system could on occasion, use help and support beyond that system. We are here for that 1%, 3%, 5% or higher percent of the cases where the resources either are not sufficient or the student/student organization cannot use them fully so they are, in practice, not sufficient.  We are not trying to suggest that systems are out to get students or are happy when a student organization gets screwed over. We believe that systems of accountability are good things, managed by good people who work hard, and adjudicated by good people with the best intentions.  The problem is that sometimes that isn’t enough.

I can hear the defensiveness of some of our critics now “you’re just making up numbers!” Correct. I did. I have no way of knowing how many students that have gone through a process believe that they understood it all, did everything they should have, and would change nothing about how it went.   I do know, however, that if systems were perfect there would be no need for an appeal process.  If everything worked out as it should AND the students subjected to it were always satisfied with the result, they wouldn’t want to appeal because there would be no need. However, the appeals process is there for when a student believes that something very wrong has happened, and that the result is unfair. (I talk about appeals in an earlier blog so I won’t go into it more, but if you don’t see this point let me know and I’ll explain more.)

We love to assign blame in this country. If something isn’t working, or if there is a breakdown in something that does work, we love to point to someone and say “this is why it doesn’t work.”  If a student thinks the system is unfair, then it is that student or that fraternity that is “broken,” not the system. ($5 to the first person who can send me an article where the upper administration of a school, before any legal action began, said When we say that systems with underprepared participants are inherently unfair, we are not criticizing the people involved in that system (usually.)  We believe that most systems are inherently fair and that almost administrators and board members are trying to get the right result.  In fact, we count on it.  Our fundamental belief is that no matter how fair a system is the outcome will not be fair if the person subjected to it is not able to use it fully.  We are not challenging the fairness of a system when we say that.

Schools do have varying levels of support–some have advisors they train on the process, student advocates who help they prepare their responses, and other resources to help a student be prepared.  As I’ve said, in most cases they are probably fine and will be enough help.  However, when something is really serious, when a student or student group feels that they want someone who’s goal is to help them minimize the sanction against them or make sure they are not held accountable for something they didn’t do, when they want judgment free help, or when they just don’t trust the resources, we are here.  We have seen thousands of cases in different kinds of systems.  We have seen administrative hearings (run them in some cases,) all student boards (advised/created them in some cases,) boards made up of faculty, staff and students (trained them in some cases,) and “special” boards made up of more highly trained people to hear more serious cases (and served on them in some cases.)  We study the judicial system of every client’s school, and by the time the hearing happens understand it better than almost anyone. More than that, when we help a student or student group, our only obligation is to them.  We have no obligation to disclose and will never tell anyone what our client tells us, a promise that administrators simply cannot make. We also do not care about any political pressure on an office to deal with hazing, the anger of a faculty member about allegations of academic misconduct, the ego of a dean who believes that he should be able to control student behavior, or any of the other things that consciously or subconsciously shape a system. It is also worth noting that we encourage our clients to ALSO take advantage of the resources on campus.  Go to the counseling center, the academic resource center, your RA, and get yourself a hearing advisor so you don’t have to sit there alone!  Just don’t think that any of them have the combine expertise, experience, and knowledge that we do about Greek life, judicial systems, and case preparation.

If you have any questions about what we do and why we do it, email me.  We try to be as transparent as possible, so if we are doing something and you want to understand why, just ask. You can email me at DaveK@collegejudicialconsultants.com, or the office in general at Info@collegejudicialconsultants.com, or you can call us at (617) 287-8782.

Interesting assessment of Greek life today

From my friends at http://www.onlinecolleges.net.  

http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2012/09/05/15-telling-stats-on-the-state-of-greek-life-today/

 

What do you guys think?

 

Internship opportunities

We are looking for 2-6 people for an UNPAID internship.   We are located in Boston, but if your school does not require in person contact we will take applications from anywhere.  Preference is given to people in areas of high-student concentration like Boston, NYC, DC area, Raleigh/Durham, Berkeley, Chicago, etc. There are 2 major types of positions:

1.  Non-media marketing–We need 1-3 creative people to help develop marketing strategies and materials for campus campaigns for College Judicial Consultants.  Depending on how many people we hire, this may also include contacting student leaders directly and/or responding to communication. We are pretty flexible with the details so we can accommodate your school’s requirements for interns. (No 1st semester freshmen, please.)

2.  Web design and/or marketing.  We have a good site, but we have some additional ideas and need someone who can program websites to either integrate directly into http://www.collegejudicialconsultants.com or that parallels the site. Other ideas, especially that can be integrated into a marketing strategy, are welcome.

Again, these are non-paying internships, but they will (hopefully) develop into paid internships after a semester.  No promises.  We will write the final position descriptions to suit you and your school’s needs.

Send your resume along with a brief statement describing the reason you’re interested and any relevant skills to davek@collegejudicialconsultants.com. 

Words for the accused in sexual assault cases

You’ve been accused of sexually assaulting someone on campus.  Immediately you’re angry because you know that you have never assaulted anyone.  You remember the person you’re accused of assaulting and you can’t believe that she would claim that it was sexual assault.  You had a great time together at that party, and hooked up after hanging out for a couple of hours.  You even gave her a ride home and talked about hanging out later in the week, but she blew you off after you texted her so you figured she wasn’t interested.  This is going to ruin your life!  How could she do that? 

Almost every student I have worked with who was accused of sexual assault told some version of the above story when I informed him he was being accused of sexual misconduct, although they weren’t always that polite. I understand.  If you’ve been accused of sexually assaulting someone, you immediately realize that sexual assault is just a pretty term for rape, and being accused of being a rapist makes you mad.  Even more confusing is that the accusation can come months or even years after the event, and you might not even remember the details well.  You may have a new girlfriend. You may have mutual friends. You may even live on the same floor or have classes together. So what do you do?

This blog is for those people accused of some form of sexual misconduct.  As with the other entries I’m making several assumptions:

  1. You do not think you did it.  This doesn’t mean that the accuser is “making it up,” but rather that you truly think that there is some sort of horrible misunderstanding.
  2. You know for a fact that the judicial case is the only action that’s going to be taken.  Do not forget-sexual assault is a crime and there are criminal and civil penalties if you are found guilty in the courts.  MOST cases of college sexual assault will not go to court, but it is a possibility.  I will probably repeat this, but it is probably worth hiring a lawyer to make sure you are protected in case it goes to court.  This is true even if you retain us because we will ONLY be advising you as it relates to the judicial hearing, and that does not mean that we will be trying to protect your legal situation.
  3. You do not have a judicial history for this (i.e. you have never been accused before.)
  4. The complainant may be from your school or from another school, and regardless the process will remain the same.
  5. I’m assuming the gender norms here so the accused will be male and the accuser female. I am well aware that this is not always the case, but it is most frequently the case when a case comes forward.

So without further ado, here are some suggestions for preparing for a hearing as a respondent (i.e. accused person) at your school.

  1. Talk to a lawyer.  I almost never think that it is a good idea to use an attorney for a judicial case, but in these situations participating in the hearing may expose you civilly or criminally.  A good legal strategy may be completely different than a good judicial strategy.  That doesn’t mean that you should treat the judicial case like a law suit, but you (or us if you are using us) should work with an attorney to make certain you are not accidentally hurting yourself legally.
  2. Cooperate without admitting anything. Your school will likely take some interim steps to “protect” the accused that may seem unfair. At a minimum you should be told to have no contact with her, but you may be forced to change classes or move to a different residence.  While this may seem (and indeed be) unfair, the school must assume that there is a risk to the accuser and the consequence of not acting is much worse.  This does not mean that you have to like it, but saying “I don’t think this is necessary, but I understand” is a good response.  The exception to this is if you are being moved out of a class that you must take that semester in order to graduate on time.  In that case work with your academic advisor and the Dean’s office to see what options are available.
  3. Never ever try to contact or have someone contact the accuser.  This is very similar to #2, but it is SO important that it should stand-alone.  Even if you think that the accuser is completely full of it, any contact can be seen as intimidation and moves you from “innocent until found responsible” to a threat.  To give you an idea of what that means, when I was chief judicial officer I would tell people to “have no contact of any kind, either directly or indirectly.”  If someone were to violate that command I would not only slap a “harassment” charge on them, but I would move to have them suspended until the hearing to protect the accuser. 
  4. You cannot mediate this issue.  Some schools may still think that they can arrange a mediation in these cases, but they are wrong.  Ask the University of Washington-sexual assault (and some other issues) can NEVER be mediated, and if it is you (and the school) should expect a lawsuit.
  5. Understand what aspects of the accusation make it sexual assault.  Accused students frequently focus on what happened physically when the craft their defense.  While that may be an important part of the response, it is usually not the crux.  If you are being accused of sexual assault and what you actually did together is not disputed, then the issue is consent.  Consent is tricky and is defined differently at many schools, but essentially it is that a woman must give consent to any sexual act.  This means that she cannot be intoxicated (to some level), under the influence of drugs, underage, or have any other sort of “diminished capacity” which made what seemed like consent insufficient.  In other word, if she was wasted, she did not consent even if she said she did.  (Side note:  ALMOST no cases happen where a woman says “yes, I want to have sex” and then claims diminished capacity where the guy did not have a strong role in getting her intoxicated (e.g. drugging her or making her drinks stronger than expected.))  Consent is an affirmative act by someone so simply “not saying no” is not consenting.
  6. Unless you have clear evidence that the accusations are knowingly false, never attack the accuser.  Nothing will turn a committee against you like reading or hearing about how you think she is only accusing you because she’s “embarrassed” or “had a boyfriend.”  There are ways to examine her motives, but basing your response on her motivations is ALWAYS a bad idea.
  7. Think about your witnesses carefully.  An accusation of sexual assault means that on a particular night you were accused of doing something.  It does not mean that you are a serial rapist, that you hate women, that you don’t believe in Jesus, or anything other than that.  People often try to bring in character witnesses to show that they did not do something because they are such “good people.”  It is fine if you have one of those to support your response, but if that is your only defense you are in trouble.  If the accusation includes statements like “he does this all the time” or “everyone knows he does this” then it makes sense to have more of those type of counter-witnesses, but that’s usually not the issue.  Also, ask your judicial officer whether there is a difference to the board between live and written witness statements.  If written statements are considered like testimony try to use them for any “redundant” claims and only have your strongest witnesses live.  A strong witness is someone who either saw the events or has direct knowledge about your thoughts/feelings after the event. 
  8. Think about your questions for the complainant and work on phrasing them so that they are not aggressive.  You are being accused of committing an act of controlling and aggressive violence.  You can tell the board you are not that person, but the best way to convince them is to show them through your actions and attitude during this process.
  9. Seek support!  This is a VERY stressful time and it will affect you.  Take advantage of your school’s academic and psychological support options.  I used to tell people that if they spoke with a psychologist they can tell that person anything they wanted and be as angry as they wanted without worrying that it would get back to me or be part of this hearing. You will need to process and you will need to vent, so choose someone you know is legally obligated to keep it to themselves.
  10. If you feel that this process is starting to seem like it may lead to any other sort of process, go to #1.  The stakes are too high to take this lightly.

I know that many of these suggestions are very general.  That is because these cases, even more than others, are very different.  There is not really a good “general strategy” to dealing with these accusations so I STRONGLY recommend that you get help when working on these.  You don’t have to use us, but we are the only company dedicated solely to a non-legal approach to the disciplinary process

NEXT:  General ways to avoid putting yourself in these situations.

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