Carnegie Mellon University

The Word

Student Handbook

Important Definitions


University official authorized to resolve allegations or impose outcomes for students alleged to have violated community standards. This person is usually a housefellow or college liaison, but the dean of students or designee may also act as an adjudicator.


The person(s) or group bringing allegations forward in the community standards process. In cases where there is no individual bringing forward an allegation, the university may act as a complainant. 

Hearing Officer

The Hearing Officer is appointed by the dean of students or designee. A Hearing Officer may be an employee of Carnegie Mellon or a third party engaged by the university, who has been trained to serve in this role. The Hearing Officer is responsible for conducting the hearing, making a determination regarding the relevance of information as well as responsibility for each allegation. If applicable, the Hearing Officer will recommend outcomes to the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs for Community Life.


The Student Affairs staff member who facilitates a University Disciplinary Committee hearing. Moderators are appointed and trained by the Office of Community Standards & Integrity. The hearing runs at their discretion according to process guidelines.

Process Advisor

As a member of the team in the Office of Community Standards & Integrity, the Process Advisor is responsible for the logistics of convening a University Disciplinary Committee. The Process Advisor schedules the hearing, assembles the hearing board, informs the complainant(s) and respondent(s) of the procedures for the hearing, and manages other administrative tasks.


Typically, the result of a complaint being adjudicated through the community standards process which may entail administrative resolution or the University Disciplinary Committee. However, a complaint may be resolved informally outside of the community standards process at the discretion of the dean of students or designee and the individuals involved in the matter.

Resolution Review Board

The team of designated and trained staff that reviews and approves initial allegations and determines appropriate venues for resolution through the community standards process. The Resolution Review Board also reviews and approves proposed outcomes stemming from Administrative Resolution Meetings.


The person(s), group, or student organization alleged to have violated community standards.


Any person registered for, enrolled in, or auditing any course(s) at Carnegie Mellon University at the time of the alleged violation. For community standards purposes, an individual is also considered to be a student if they have accepted their offer of admission and are not yet enrolled. Examples include but are not limited to, students who are enrolled but not taking classes due to an academic break, medical leave, suspension, or other personal leave; students who were enrolled at the time of the incident; persons who demonstrate an intent to enroll by registering for courses; and students participating in study abroad programs.

Support Person

A person of the student's choosing who accompanies the student to any meeting related to the community standards process, including a University Disciplinary Committee hearing. The role of the support person is limited to supporting the student in meetings or a hearing. Support persons may not actively participate in meetings, the hearing process, or communicate on the student's behalf.


Individuals positioned to provide direct information related to the alleged violations being reviewed by the University Disciplinary Committee, such as direct observation of the incident in question and/or direct interaction with any of the parties before, during, or after the incident in question.