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PRB Hearings

Residents of Cornell's undergraduate residential communities may be referred to the Peer Review Board for violations of the House Rules.

Peer Review Board (PRB) hearings are designed to enable the resident to voice his/her opinion about the alleged policy violation, and for this reason it is highly recommended that students attend hearings should they be referred to the PRB.

During hearings, the following activities will always take place:

  1. The incident report filed by the residential staff person will be read.
  2. The resident will be permitted to testify as to their opinion on the case and will be asked to provide a plea of "responsible" or "not responsible" for the alleged policy violation.
  3. The board will be able to question the student about the alleged policy violation.
  4. The student will be asked to exit the room while the board deliberates on whether the individual is responsible or not, and what the corresponding educational sanction should be.

Residents have several choices that they must make during a hearing:

  1. If a group of students is being heard, they may opt to have a hearing jointly or separately. A joint hearing is permitted only for smaller groups (five or fewer) and only when pleas are different.
  2. Students are permitted to bring witnesses who were present at the actual event. Character witnesses are not .
  3. Students have the right to remove one board member, with the exception of the Chairman, from deliberations for any reason which need not be presented.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I'm referred to the PRB?

You will have a hearing with student peers on either the Tuesday Board or the Thursday Board. See above for details.

What do I need to bring to a hearing?

You should bring your "Request to appear" form. If you lose it or forget it, however, there will be extras at the hearing. Nothing else is required, although you may bring witnesses who were present during the documented event. Character witnesses are not permitted, and we respectfully request that all mobile devices be placed on silent and not answered during the hearing.

What happens if I'm found responsible for the House Rules violation for which I've been cited?

If you are found responsible, various educational measures (sanctions) may be taken – for example, being referred to Gannett's BASICS program. Sanctions are specific to the incident, with all relevant information taken into account, including previous hearings at the PRB. Case information is not disclosed outside of the board and is not placed on a permanent record.

What if I don't agree with the sanction I've received?

If you feel that the sanction is too harsh for the violation and serves more to punish than to educate, or if you feel that your student rights have been violated, you may appeal the decision to the Peer Review Executive Board. Please keep in mind that your appeal request can be accepted or rejected at the discretion of the Executive Chairman.

What if I don't complete my sanction by the deadline I've been given?

If you do not complete your sanction by the deadline, you will be charged with non-compliance and referred to the Peer Review Executive Board (see below).

How is the Peer Review Board structured?

There two main boards to hear House Rules violations, called the Tuesday board and the Thursday board, for the days that they meet. There is also an Executive Board that hears appeal and non-compliance cases and sets the general policies for the board as a whole. The Executive Board is comprised of the Chairs, Vice-Chairs, and Board Coordinators of the two boards, plus the Executive Chair.

What if I have a conflict with the date scheduled for my hearing?

If you have a time conflict, please contact the PRB at to set up a hearing during a more suitable time.

Still have questions?

Please contact the PRB at and allow up to five business days for a reply.

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