Supporting a Student
The idea of confronting someone about their decisions or behavior, as well as being held accountable for our own actions can be stressful. Student conduct procedures are in place to ensure fair processes for all involved. Whether you are a faculty member who wants to support a student who may have cheated, a student who wants to support a friend who was assaulted, or a staff member trying to support a student who has been accused of violating the Code, this information may be helpful to you.
- The student conduct process is not about judging a student's character. It is a process designed to evaluate whether behavior is aligned with the expectations of the campus, and to issue appropriate consequences if warranted.
- Conduct staff may not be able to share information with you due to FERPA and University policy. Encourage the student to ask questions of conduct staff directly so they can be informed about the process.
- Conduct staff and hearing panels are not "out to get students". Both of these groups have the unique role of balancing individual students' circumstances with the needs of the campus community. All parties value having a fundamentally fair process, so there are checks in place (through appeals and designation of decision making) to ensure that student is being treated fairly.
- This is not a criminal or legal process. This is an educational and administrative process relating to a student's relationship with the University. Lawyers may serve as advisors or observers in the process. Students who may have criminal or civil charges as well may want to have an attorney to consult with prior to making decisions, but should not expect that an attorney represent them in campus conduct proceedings.
- Conduct proceedings have two parts - determining responsibility and determining sanctions. Responsibility has to do with whether a student violated a policy or not. Sanctions are the consequences related to what we hope a student learns, or what repairs might need to be made to the community. If a student admits responsibility for violating a policy, but has learned from the experience, that means that he/she will likely be held responsible for the violation but the sanction may be impacted depending on the specifics of the case.
- Having a conduct record and receiving sanctions are not the end of the world. While students may feel that way in the moment, there are many individuals who have graduated and been successful after receiving sanctions.
Individual student learning and the educational mission of the University are at the heart of the conduct processes. It may not feel comfortable for a student to reporting an incident, serve as a witness, or respond to charges against him/her, but these processes provide a way to ensure that the standards of our campus community are upheld.