CONDUCTING REMOTE HEARINGS
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Remote Hearings: They are likely here to stay

Many schools have undergone a crash course in conducting remote hearings, thanks to the unexpected need to move students off-campus.  While schools have likely experienced some missteps and glitches,  the majority of campuses have hopefully seen the value of remote hearings.

First, remote hearings ensure complete physical separation of the parties.  This means the parties no longer need to request this approach and the school no longer has to scramble to accommodate it.  The fact that students are physically distanced from each other can help reduce some of the tension and stress that comes with Title IX hearings.

Second, the technology can be a help rather than a hindrance.  Hearing Officers can keep individuals muted, and/or keep their video feeds off when they are not providing testimony.  This allows the parties to have physical reactions — sighs, eye-rolls, and head shakes — without distracting the person providing testimony.  If an advisor chooses not to follow admonitions to remain silent, the Hearing Officer can simply mute their microphone, allowing the advisor to hear all testimony without disrupting others.

Third, many students feel more comfortable and safe conducting hearings from the location of their choice. They no longer need to worry about where they might be housed for a campus live hearing, or if the location will cause them discomfort or anxiety.  In their own space, the parties can rely on any stress-reducing items they choose, such as a favorite blanket or a soothing picture.  Again, this can lead to a noticeable reduction in tension and stress.

As your campus prepares for remote hearings, consider the following practices that help ensure a seamless and professional live hearing experience:

  • Teleconferencing Technology – Whatever provider you choose, make sure your Hearing Officer and Hearing Coordinator are well-versed and familiar with the platform.  This may mean conducting several test sessions with the parties individually, which is time well-spent.
  • Professional Backdrop – The Hearing Officer and any campus administrator participating in the hearing need to have a professional and appropriate on-screen background.  No bedrooms or bathrooms, and no personal items should be visible.
  • Questioning Process – If your process requires parties to submit proposed questions to the Hearing Officer, make sure you have a clear and easy method for them to do so.  This may mean a designated email address or dropbox.  No matter the method, the parties and Hearing Officer need to know the process and what is expected of them.
T9 Mastered faculty Liz Paris, an expert on Title IX investigations and hearings, will help you understand what steps colleges and universities need to take to move into compliance.
You can learn more about conducting remote hearings by accessing Liz Paris' webinar on this topic in the T9 Mastered Video Library.
The  Next Training for Hearing Officers is Online – Jan. 26-29, 2021

Remote Hearings: They are likely here to stay

Many schools have undergone a crash course in conducting remote hearings, thanks to the unexpected need to move students off-campus.  While schools have likely experienced some missteps and glitches,  the majority of campuses have hopefully seen the value of remote hearings.

First, remote hearings ensure complete physical separation of the parties.  This means the parties no longer need to request this approach and the school no longer has to scramble to accommodate it.  The fact that students are physically distanced from each other can help reduce some of the tension and stress that comes with Title IX hearings.

Second, the technology can be a help rather than a hindrance.  Hearing Officers can keep individuals muted, and/or keep their video feeds off when they are not providing testimony.  This allows the parties to have physical reactions — sighs, eye-rolls, and head shakes — without distracting the person providing testimony.  If an advisor chooses not to follow admonitions to remain silent, the Hearing Officer can simply mute their microphone, allowing the advisor to hear all testimony without disrupting others.

Third, many students feel more comfortable and safe conducting hearings from the location of their choice. They no longer need to worry about where they might be housed for a campus live hearing, or if the location will cause them discomfort or anxiety.  In their own space, the parties can rely on any stress-reducing items they choose, such as a favorite blanket or a soothing picture.  Again, this can lead to a noticeable reduction in tension and stress.

As your campus prepares for remote hearings, consider the following practices that help ensure a seamless and professional live hearing experience:

  • Teleconferencing Technology – Whatever provider you choose, make sure your Hearing Officer and Hearing Coordinator are well-versed and familiar with the platform.  This may mean conducting several test sessions with the parties individually, which is time well-spent.
  • Professional Backdrop – The Hearing Officer and any campus administrator participating in the hearing need to have a professional and appropriate on-screen background.  No bedrooms or bathrooms, and no personal items should be visible.
  • Questioning Process – If your process requires parties to submit proposed questions to the Hearing Officer, make sure you have a clear and easy method for them to do so.  This may mean a designated email address or dropbox.  No matter the method, the parties and Hearing Officer need to know the process and what is expected of them.
T9 Mastered faculty Liz Paris, an expert on Title IX investigations and hearings, will help you understand what steps colleges and universities need to take to move into compliance.
You can learn more about conducting remote hearings by accessing Liz Paris' webinar on this topic in the T9 Mastered Video Library.
The  Next Training for Hearing Officers is Online – Jan. 26-29, 2021
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