Court case questions on-campus due process

One case heard at yesterday’s on-campus appellate court appearance regarded whether or not a Texas A&M University student was given due process during a student disciplinary hearing – one where the university allegedly barred the student from being advised by a lawyer.

At Sam Houston State University, according to Dean of Students John Yarabeck, students won’t run into that problem.

“A student is allowed an advisor,” Yarabeck said. “That advisor can be an attorney, it can be a family member, it can be a friend. They can bring this to the disciplinary administrative review or the actual hearing.”

Yarabeck said the only restriction on lawyers is they cannot speak for the student at the hearing.

“This isn’t a court of law,” he said. “The attorneys aren’t the ones dealing with it. We’re just trying to find out what happened. It’s informal. We ask the students questions, students have to answer. The attorney cannot answer for them. They can consult with the attorney before they answer it, but [the students] still have to be the ones to answer.”

The university does not have attorneys present at disciplinary hearings, and that’s why students are the ones representing themselves. Yarabeck also said when students are accused of violating Title IX statutes, the dean of students’ office requires notice that an attorney will be present at the hearings.


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