In a recent article featured in The Huffington Post, the author wrote about West Virginia University by stating, “Students and fans at one of the top party schools in the country won a big football game Saturday. So they lit some fires and flipped a car.”
Unfortunately for the West Virginia University community, the idea of students who love to set fires and flip over cars has become almost a tradition of sorts. What many students and their parents may not know, however, is that a student from West Virginia University who participates in these activities may face suspension or expulsion from school. This outcome is life-changing as suspension or expulsion may affect your ability to finish your college degree or secure gainful employment.
Student Disciplinary Hearings – Suspension and Expulsion Hearings
If a student faces suspension or expulsion, the student faces a hearing panel organized by the Office of Student Conduct to determine what action the University is going to take against the student. The hearing panel consists of both faculty and students, and the hearing panel serves as both judge and jury in the matter. The accused student is given an opportunity to present opening and closing statements, testify on his/her own behalf, call and question witnesses, and introduce evidence. If you are a student facing this situation, here are some common sense types for preparing for the hearing:
1) Take responsibility for your actions.
2) Be prepared to explain to the hearing panel your plan for changing your behavior in the future, and how the decision of the hearing panel will affect your future.
3) Be prepared to explain the hearing panel why you are proud to be a Mountaineer, and why it is meaningful for you to be able to graduate from West Virginia University.
4) Provide the hearing panel with character references either by submitting letters of reference to the Office of Student Conduct prior to the hearing, or calling a witness on your behalf at the hearing to talk about your good character.
5) Read the possible sanctions listed in the University Student Conduct Code, and be prepared to suggest sanctions that you think would best help you and be appropriate in the situation.
During hearings for suspension or expulsion, students are entitled to have a lawyer appear on their behalf at the Student Conduct Hearing. Because these hearings involve opening and closing statements, the introduction of evidence, questioning of witnesses, and statements by the accused student — all things present in a court hearing or trial — you may be best served by retaining counsel to assist you throughout the hearing process. Likewise, if the hearing panel has issued a ruling that you do not agree with, you have the right to appeal and you may be best served by seeking the counsel of an attorney to assist you in this process.
Should you face an upcoming suspension or expulsion hearing at West Virginia University, please feel free to contact the attorneys at Adams Legal Group, PLLC, (304) 381-2166 for assistance.