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Supporting Your Student Through the Conduct Process

As a parent or family member of a student, your relationship may change when your student goes to college, but you will likely still be a person your student goes to for support or assistance. As a result, you may be one of the people that your student calls if they receive an email about possible conduct allegations. You might also be the voice of reason to remind your student that the conduct process is the way to hold other students accountable to the expectations of the University. Here is some information that can help you as you support your student through a conduct process.

  1. While we recognize that your goal is to provide support for your student, conduct staff ask that you provide this support unconditionally, but not blindly. Be aware that your student may not tell you all of the details of a situation.
  2. Understand that there is a process in place to hear all information regarding the incident in question and encourage your student to prepare for the process. You can review this website to learn more about the conduct process, but also encourage your student to do so.
  3.  When your student receives an email regarding a conduct case and has questions, direct them to contact a staff member in the conduct office for information. Staff members are not permitted to give specifics to parents or family members without a waiver. This also empowers the student to solve their own issues and concerns.
  4. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as well as University policies preclude college staff from discussing your student’s academic and conduct record without their written permission. Staff can answer questions about the process, but cannot provide specific details about a case without a written waiver.
  5. Practice the “24 Hour Rule.” You may receive a phone call or email message from your student because they are upset about being involved in a conduct case. You may be tempted to try to immediately fix the problem for them. Try to allow 24 hours to inform, guide, teach, and observe. Lessons learned through participation in a student conduct process must be experienced to have the desired effect. After all, gaining a higher education degree is about learning.
  6. Your student may ask you to serve as an advisor to them in the conduct process. This can be a challenging role for a parent, as the process is designed to allow your student to speak on their own behalf.  If your student asks you to serve as an advisor, please review the information on this website under Supporting a Student.
We take our responsibilities as educators very seriously and do our best to provide a fair and unbiased system for all students. While we understand that involvement in the conduct process may be difficult for students, we do their best to provide them support to effectively handle the situations in which they find themselves.

(The information referenced above is adapted from the Association for Student Conduct Administration's: "The Student Conduct Process: A Guide for Parents" 2006)