In the student disciplinary process, a student charged with an alleged violation of the Honor and Student Conduct Codes that will be resolved through a judicial board hearing has 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 University of Lynchburg student, faculty, or staff member who is not participating (or did not participate) in the judicial board 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 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. The character reference 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.