Columbia University Student Services for Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct
The below information was created to assist witnesses in preparing for a hearing panel or investigative meeting in cases involving gender-based misconduct.
The information is a supplement and does not constitute Columbia University policy. Gender-Based Misconduct Policies for Students can be found on the policies and procedures page.
Role & Rights of the Witness
- The main role of a witness is to provide information to the hearing panel or investigator about an incident that occurred.
- All witnesses should be truthful and truthfully answer questions asked by the hearing panel or investigator.
- Witnesses do not need to answer questions that they feel may incriminate them in any way.
- Witnesses should be aware that the hearing proceedings are recorded and kept confidentiality in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The investigative materials are also considered confidential materials.
- The hearing proceedings and the investigative reports are confidential. Information revealed in the hearing should not be discussed with others.
The Investigative Interview
- The investigator is a neutral party responsible for gathering information related to cases involving allegations of gender-based misconduct.
- In most circumstances, the investigative interview will be a one-on-one interview.
- The investigator will contact all witnesses to schedule a meeting time and location.
Hearing Panel Process
- The witness should arrive at the time designated by the Senior Manager for Student Services for Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct.
- The witness will enter the room with hearing panelists. The respondent and complainant may be in separate rooms viewing the testimony via closed-circuit television.
- The witness will read the statement prepared for the hearing panelists, if applicable. If the witness has elected not to prepare a statement, the panel may begin by asking questions of the witness.
- At the conclusion of the panelists' questions, both the respondent and complainant will be allowed to provide written questions to the panelists to ask of the witness.
- The panelists may chose to recall and question any witness in the interest of fairness. If a witness needs to be recalled, he/she will be contacted by the Senior Manager for Student Services for Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct.
How to Prepare for the Hearing Panel or an Interview
- Prepare a statement. Many witnesses find that writing a statement can be helpful in arranging their thoughts about the events that occurred. Statements should be organized in a concise manner and address the events that occurred.
- Seek additional assistance. The Senior Manager for Student Services for Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct is available as an impartial, neutral party to consult with a witness regarding her/his preparation for the hearing panel or investigative meeting.
Questions about being a witness during a hearing or investigation can be directed to Melissa Tihinen, Senior Manager for Student Services for Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct at (212) 854-1717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Student Services for Gender-based and Sexual Misconduct
||212 854 1717
|Counseling and Psychological Services
||212 854 2878
|Furman Counseling Center
||212 854 2092
|Peer Advocates (24hours/7days)
||212 854 WALK
|Peer Counselors (8pm-11pm/7days)
||212 854 HELP
|New York City Police Sex Crime Unit
||212 267 7273