Witness Resource Page

This page has been provided for students invited to participate as witnesses at Conferences and Hearings managed by the Office of Community Standards as part of the University Conduct Process.  

Note: The information presented below provides a general guideline of what to expect. In some situations the information below may be modified.  If you have any questions, please e-mail ocs@nd.edu.

Invitation to Participate

Witnesses may receive an invitation in one of two ways:

  1. If you are invited by the Office of Community Standards to participate, you will typically be notified by phone or PDF letter (via e-mail) from the Office of Community Standards.  If you receive notification via letter, please keep in mind the following:
    • You will be notified of the date, time and location of the Conference or Hearing.
    • Pay particular attention to "your arrival time," not the start time of the Conference or Hearing.  Please arrive no later than "your arrival time."
    • Also pay attention to the location to which you are asked to report. Most Conferences and Hearings are held in the Office of Community Standards. Conferences and Hearings are sometimes held at other locations on campus.
    • Please know that you may be asked to wait in the reception area for an extended period of time, particularly if the Conference or Hearing has multiple witnesses.  Please bring something to keep you occupied (book, laptop, etc.) in case you have an extended wait.
  2. Witnesses who are invited by the Respondent (student who has allegedly violated a University Standard of Conduct) to participate are notified by the Respondent.  If you wish to verify the time you should arrive, please e-mail ocs@nd.edu.

When You Arrive on the Day of the Conference or Hearing

  • Unless otherwise instructed, please arrive in 306 Main Building (3rd floor, west wing) and check in at the front desk with Sherri, our administrative assistant.
  • If you need an excused absence from class (or other University obligation), please ask Sherri for the necessary paperwork (note: You will receive a slip of paper with an official excused absence that you will give to your professor(s). Your professor(s) will not be notified of the reason for your absence, only that you have an official excuse from class.).
  • Have a seat in the Office of Community Standards reception seating area (note: if you would like a more private place to wait, please ask Sherri or one of our staff members).
  • One of the Community Standards will greet you and ask you to enter the Conference or Hearing.
  • When you enter the conference room, you will likely see the following individuals:
    • For Hearing, 2-3 Conduct Officers will be present, one of which is For Conferences, a Conduct Officer (Community Standards staff member who is administering the Conference or Hearing) will be present.  In some Conferences, you may also see an additional Conduct Officers.
    • Respondent (the student who has allegedly violated the University's Standards of Conduct), along with up to 2 other individuals:
      • Respondent's Rector, Assistant Rector, or Resident Assistant (if the student lives in a residence facility on campus)
      • Respondent's University Support Person (ND student/faculty/staff member -- note: this is a non-speaking role)
  • For the portion of the Conference or Hearing where you are present:
    • The Conduct Officer(s) will likely ask you to share what you remember about the incident.
    • The Conduct Officer(s) will ask clarifiying questions.
    • All of your responses will be directed to the Conduct Officers.
    • The Respondent will then be provided the opportunity to be able to ask questions of you through the Conduct Officers (i.e. the respondent will propose the quesiton to the Conduct Officer, and the Conduct Officer will decide how to ask the question).  All of the Respondent's questions will be directed at the Conduct Officers, not you.  The Conduct Officers will determine to which questions you would be asked to respond.
    • After you are finished, you will be excused from the Conference or Hearing.
  • After the Conference or Hearing
    • You will be asked to type a brief summary of the information you shared at the Conference or Hearing so that the Office of Community Standards has a record of the information you provided in your own words. You will be asked to submit your summary online, typically within (two) 2 calendar days after the Conference or Hearing.  A Conduct Officer will provide guidance for a deadline based on the timeline of the Conference or Hearing process.

For More Information

If you are interested in learning more about the Conduct Process, visit these links from du Lac: A Guide to Student Life:



If you have any questions about your participation, please call the Office of Community Standards at 574-631-5551 or e-mail ocs@nd.edu.