Student Conduct Parent Frequently Asked Questions
What is FERPA and Student Confidentiality?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that affords parents the right to have access to their children’s education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records. When a student turns 18 years old, or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student (“eligible student”).
What happens if my student is alleged to have violated the student conduct code?
The student will receive a letter from a hearing officer regarding an upcoming disciplinary meeting and will include an explanation of the allegations. The student will have an opportunity to share their side of the story before a decision is reached and sanctions are shared. However, if the student doesn’t respond to the notification letter in a timely manner, it will be necessary for the hearing officer to make a decision without benefit of the student’s input.
Can parents attend the conduct meeting?
Most students attend conduct meetings on their own, however, if students wish, they are allowed to bring one person to the meeting as an advisor who is a support person for the student. The advisor can assist the student in understanding the questions and the process but cannot speak for the student or otherwise participate directly in the process.
Can I find out if my student was involved in an alcohol or drug violation?
In accordance with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Section 13.32, the University may disclose alcohol and drug violations to a parent or other third party upon request if the student gives written permission. Release of Information forms were distributed at Orientation. Forms are also available at the Office of Student Affairs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Students have the right to revoke consent at any time, under law.
My student is on disciplinary probation. What does that mean?
Disciplinary probation is a period of observation during which time the student is expected to demonstrate a willingness and ability to comply with University standards. A student on disciplinary probation is not in good standing with the University. If a student is alleged to have violated the student conduct code while on probation, more severe disciplinary consequences will be assigned. The conduct process is cumulative and progressive.
How is the conduct process different from a criminal investigation?
There are significant differences between the campus conduct process and the criminal justice process. The rules associated with institutions of higher education are NOT legal statutes and there are many university violations that are not violations of the law including, but not limited to, academic dishonesty. The conduct process is confidential whereas a criminal prosecution creates public records. Limitations regarding disclosure of student records can be reviewed through the Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Why is my student receiving a disciplinary action from the unviersity in addition to legal action off campus?
All students, regardless of the location of their actions, must demonstrate good character as members of the University community. The University will address all violations of the “Statement of Student Responsibilities” that occur on-campus, as well as certain off-campus incidents. The University exercises the right to discipline a student before, after or simultaneously with a legal proceeding. Campus disciplinary outcomes are not subject to change because criminal charges related to the incident were reduced or dismissed. The University may initiate conduct proceedings for off-campus incidents including, but not limited to, hazing, alcohol and drug violations, etc.
If my student is impacted by another student's conduct case, what is the process and what support will they receive?
An overview of the conduct process can be found here. Students will be given the opportunity to share their side of the story and will be provided the appropriate resources during the conduct process. If a student would like to report a situation, the Silent Witness Report Form is designed to allow individuals to report incidents they are aware of and remain anonymous if they so choose.