Why wasn’t I informed of these charges by the university?
A student’s involvement in any disciplinary proceedings is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which prevents university personnel from discussing the details of any conduct proceeding with anyone except the student – unless the student signs a waiver allowing them to do so. The Assistant Dean of Community Living would be happy to discuss the general student conduct process and answer any general questions for you, but is not able to discuss the specific details of your student’s case with you unless he/she signs a FERPA waiver and returns it to the Assistant Dean.
How can I help my student?
The best thing you can to do help your student is to be supportive while he/she goes through the process, but to also hold your student accountable to both your own expectations and LIFE’s expectations. Have an open conversation with him/her in which you set your expectations that they will attend scheduled meetings and respond to communication. Spend a few moments reviewing the Honor Code and Standards of Conduct, as well as the information on the Student Conduct website, to familiarize yourself with what your student is going through. Lastly, allow your student the independence to making his/her own choices and navigate this process. It is designed to be educational in nature and allow the student an opportunity to reflect on choices that have been made as well as the role that they play in the university community. It will not be helpful for your student if you attempt to take over or control the process.
Can I attend the student conduct meeting and/or hearing with my student?
The student may have an advisor present, who may be a parent/guardian. The role of the advisor is to support and advise the student but not to speak for or represent the student. You may communicate with your student in a non-verbal manner (i.e. writing notes).
Do I need to hire an attorney?
The student conduct process is not a legal process, so you do not need an attorney. An attorney may serve as an advisor, but the student may not be represented by counsel. The attorney can only act in the role of advisor. Once again, attorneys, like parents/guardians, cannot speak on behalf of the student but can communicate non-verbally to the student.
André L. Clanton
Director of Conflict Resolution and Accountability