A certified letter arrived for my student telling them to schedule an appointment but it did not say what it was about. What is going on?

What happens if my student is charged with violating the Student Code of Conduct?

Will I be notified?

What is my role in this process? Is there a way for me to help my student?

Am I allowed to attend a this meeting with my student?

Should I hire an attorney to represent my student in this process?

How are sanctions determined?

My student was placed on probation? What exactly does that mean?

Is there a way for my student to appeal a disciplinary decision?

Does the outcome of these proceedings go on my student's permanent record?

Will a disciplinary record keep my student from getting into law school, graduate school, etc.?

Why is a particular rule or policy in place?

How does the Student Conduct process relate to the criminal charges my student may face as a result of this incident?

This incident happened off campus. Why is the university involved?

This must be a misunderstanding. I know my student could not have done this. They have never been involved in this type of behavior before. Why is my student being charged?

How can I talk to my student about decisions relating to alcohol and drugs?



 

A certified letter arrived for my student telling them to schedule an appointment but it did not say what it was about. What is going on?

When an incident occurs on campus the primary administrative officer conducts an investigation by meeting with all parties involved, including witnesses. Your student received this letter as part of an ongoing investigation. For confidentiality reasons details of this investigation will only be discussed with your student in a face to face meeting, not over the phone. We encourage you to engage your student in a conversation as an adult to discuss the situation.

A student charged with violating the Student Code of Conduct will be issued a sanction letter called an informal disposition, along with a copy of the Rules and Procedures of Student Conduct Matters. These documents will be sent by certified mail to the address on record with the University. The student will then need to decide whether to accept or reject theses sanctions. If the informal disposition is rejected, the formal student conduct process will commence. The formal process involves the student appearing before the Student Conduct Committee to give their account of the incident. The primary administrative officer from Student Affairs will represent the University during these proceedings. Both parties will have the opportunity to present their case, including any evidence or witnesses, and answer questions from the Committee so they have a clear picture of what occurred. The committee then meets in a closed session following the hearing to determine the validity of evidence presented and what sanctions, if any, should be imposed. The student will be notified of the hearing outcome in writing by certified mail.

Will I be notified?

As an adult your student's educational records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). We may, however, notify parents if their student has an alcohol or a drug violation as allowed by this amendment. We encourage students to speak with their parents and believe that as adults, students should take responsibility for initiating that conversation. We also encourage students to sign releases that allow us to speak with parents about a situation, so that we can all work together to resolve it and help the student. In addition, you may be notified if there is an imminent risk to the student's health, safety, or welfare.

 



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What is my role in this process? Is there a way for me to help my student?

It is usually not helpful to the educational development of the student, or resolution of the matter, for you to attempt to take over the process for your student. You may help to guide the student through the process and be supportive but hold the student accountable to your expectations and the University's. You may also help identify and provide necessary intervention, such as alcohol or drug evaluation, anger management, counseling, etc. so your student may be successful at the University. The student should be responsible for setting appointments, attending meetings and fulfilling any sanctions they may have received.

 

Am I allowed to attend a disciplinary meeting or hearing with my student?

The student may have an advisor present, who may be a parent but the role of the advisor is to support and advise the student, not to speak for the student, represent the student, or address the committee during a hearing.

 

Should I hire an attorney to represent my student in this process?

A student may have an attorney serve as an advisor but as described above, the role of the advisor is to support and advise the student, not to speak for the student, represent the student, or address the committee during a hearing. This is not a court of law.

 

How are sanctions determined?

Sanctions are determined by considering the following factors: nature of the violation, the student's role in the incident, the effect of the incident on others, on the student and the campus community, the student's developmental and educational needs, the level of remorse, and the student's prior disciplinary record. Mitigating and aggravating circumstances may be considered.

 

My student was placed on probation. What exactly does that mean?

Probation is notice that any violation of the Student Code of Conduct or other condition of probation may subject the student to progressive disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. Probation lasts for a specific period of time and may be implemented by semester.

 

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Is there a way for my student to appeal a disciplinary decision?

Students can appeal a sanction which was rendered either during the informal or formal process. It is usually in the best interest of the student to consider all possible outcomes prior to appealing a sanction. In some instances, an appeal may yield a more severe sanction. The final appeal is to the Chancellor but that does not mean the student should skip other steps in the conduct process and go directly to the Chancellor for resolution.

 

Does the outcome of these proceedings go on my student's permanent record?

Generally sanctions do not appear on academic transcripts. However, with recent modifications to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), in certain instances some information can be provided to another institution about past student conduct. Though most often, a student will have to provide written permission to allow the sharing of information from a student conduct record.

 

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Will a disciplinary record keep my student from getting into law school, graduate school, etc.?

A disciplinary record does not automatically exclude a student from further study, jobs, etc. That usually depends on the type or severity of misconduct in which a student is involved. A disciplinary record may lead an admissions office to more closely scrutinize the student's application. We will only release information about a student's disciplinary record to another school or potential employer as allowed by the records policy, or with the permission of the student.

 

Why is a particular rule or policy in place?

Policies are designed to support the university's educational mission by providing a safe environment where people are able to work, study, and live without undue interference. These policies are also designed to build and support the academic and social community, teach students responsibility and interdependence, as well as promote moral and ethical development.

 

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How does the Student Conduct process relate to the criminal charges my student is facing?

The criminal justice system and UM Student Code of Conduct are not mutually exclusive. By virtue of being a student, your student is held responsible for upholding the standards of behavior in the Student Code of Conduct, as well as public laws.


This incident happened off campus. Why is the university involved?
 



The University has an interest in maintaining a safe community and appropriate standards of conduct for its students. This includes both on-campus and off-campus behavior, which may impact the University community and mission.

 

This must be a misunderstanding. I know my student could not have done this because they have never been involved in this type of behavior before. Why is my student being charged?

Developmentally this is a period of exploration, experimentation and testing for students. They may be in a period of transition from late adolescence to adulthood. They may also be away from home and the daily influence of their parents for the first time. As students are testing the beliefs and values they learned at home, they may make choices that are inconsistent with these values. Such testing is part of the developmental process and is normal. However, students must also learn that the choices they make may not be healthy and may have consequences.

 

How can I talk to my student about decisions relating to alcohol and drugs?

Alcohol and drugs are important issues to discuss with your student. As parents, you have a great opportunity to impact your student's success at this institution, and your involvement can be of tremendous influence.

 

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