14.3.7. Rules for Cross Examination

During cross-examination, each Party’s Advisor is able to ask the other Party and any Witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. The cross-examination must be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the Party’s Advisor and never by a Party personally. If a Party does not have an Advisor present at the live hearing, the University will provide one to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that Party.

If a Party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the Hearing Panel will not rely on any statement of that Party or Witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility; provided, however, that the decision-maker(s) cannot draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a Party’s or Witness’s absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.

Only relevant questions may be asked of a Party or Witness. The Hearing Officer will be the arbiter of relevance. During the hearing, the Advisor will ask each question aloud, and pause. Prior to the Complainant, Respondent, or Witness answering a question, the Hearing Officer will make an oral determination of relevance as follows:

  1. If the question is relevant, the Hearing Officer will state “yes” and the Complainant, Respondent, or Witness should proceed to respond.
  2. If the question is not relevant, the Hearing Officer will state “not relevant.” The Hearing Officer will explain to the Advisor the decision to exclude the question. The Complainant, Respondent, or Witness should not respond to the question. The Advisor will then be directed to proceed with the next question.

There are no “objections” to relevance determinations or to any portion of a hearing; Advisors are not permitted to challenge a determination of the Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer may initiate engagement with the Advisor asking the question with a request to explain relevance. The Hearing Officer may also pause to confer with counsel or consider relevance as necessary.

14.3.7.1 Categories Not Relevant for Cross-Examination

Rape Shield: Questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent.

Privileged Information: Questions seeking information protected by a legally recognized privilege, or a Party’s medical, psychological, and similar records are not relevant, unless the Party has given voluntary, written consent.