Advice for students called in for meetings with administrators about judicial processes
- Protect the safety of other students; you don’t have to provide any information about what anyone else did or didn’t do. You can say: “I’m not going to speak about the actions of anyone else out of concern for their safety.”
- Any information you give at this point could implicate you and you are not required to answer questions. You can say “I can’t comment on these allegations.” If your case advances to the judicial board, you will be able to describe your actions in detail then.
- You have the right to record the meeting on a voice recorder (check one out from the library) or a phone (see: one-party consent law). Be aware that the administration may ask to look through your phone or other personal electronic device; you are not required to give it to them because this is not a criminal investigation (and once shared, they have the ability to share your information with law enforcement without your consent).
- The meeting could be an opportunity for you to learn about the judicial process. You are welcome to ask for more information about why you’ve been asked to meet by email before the meeting or during the meeting.
- If the meeting conflicts with a class or another obligation, you can postpone it.
- You can say the same things over and over if you need to. Don’t be intimidated by many people asking the same questions; stick to your original response.
- If you need, ask to bring a friend to the meeting.
- You can ask for advice from a lawyer. It is common to have legal advice during a school judicial process.
- You don’t have to accept what the administration offers at this stage. Specifically, you don’t have to agree to a “disposition without a hearing” (aka a “plea bargain”, where they offer a punishment instead of going in front of the judicial board for a hearing). Oftentimes, it is more advantageous to refuse the “plea bargain” and continue with the judicial process, as the judicial process allows for more public intervention and support.
- You are not obligated to streamline this process for the administration—you should take care of yourself and pay attention to what you (and others) need. Get in contact with your counselor if you have one or schedule an appointment at Parton if you would like further support; they can help advocate for you.
Please distribute this information widely through postering, on social media, and verbally.
If you would like more support, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org using a non-Middlebury.edu email because Middlebury can access all emails sent using their server.