In the student disciplinary process, a charged student and a complainant have two opportunities to provide a written statement from a character reference, as described below: 1) one opportunity during a judicial board hearing; and 2) one opportunity as part of a post-hearing appeal request.
A character reference must be a current Lynchburg College student, faculty, or staff member who is not participating in the hearing in another capacity. Unlike a witness, a character reference does not have first-hand knowledge of the incident addressed during the hearing. Instead, a character reference knows the charged student or complainant in a broader context, and therefore, can comment on the student’s citizenship, achievements, and contributions to the campus community. Information provided by a character reference is not considered in the determination of a charged student’s responsibility or lack thereof for alleged misconduct. Information contained in a character reference’s written statement is considered only in the determination of sanctions appropriate for assignment to a charged student who has been found responsible for violating the Honor and Student Conduct Codes.
During a judicial board hearing conducted by either the Student Judicial Board or the Administrative Board, a charged student has the right to provide a written statement from one character reference to the hearing panel. Also, when a charged student elects to appeal the outcome of a judicial board hearing, the written appeal request may include one letter from one character reference. This letter submitted with an appeal request may be the same as or different from the character reference statement provided to the hearing panel, if one was provided.
When a charge of possible interpersonal misconduct (A3.1; B1.5) is resolved through an Administrative Board hearing, both the complainant and the student respondent (i.e., charged student) have the right to provide a written statement from one character reference to the hearing panel during the hearing. Also, when electing to appeal the outcome of an Administrative Board hearing addressing alleged interpersonal misconduct, both the complainant and the student respondent may include one letter from one character reference with his/her written appeal request. The character reference letter submitted with an appeal request may be the same as or different from the character reference statement provided to the hearing panel, if one was provided.