FAQ for Parents and Families
Which policies should concern me most?
Those policies with the greatest consequences and/or impact on your student should most concern you. Underage or over use of alcohol, in addition to use/possession of drugs can be very dangerous (impact: health and wellness), and is also against the law and the student code of conduct (impact: discipline / student conduct record). Students will be suspended for use/possession of drugs. The impact of suspension can be significant. Please speak with your student today about the student Code of Conduct and the implications of sanctions for your student (both immediate and long term).
My student was involved in an incident. What can I do to help?
First and foremost, be supportive. Listen to your student and find out what he or she needs from you – it may just be someone to talk with. Encourage your student to review the Code of Conduct and the specifically the policy in question and the procedure. If your student did violate the Code, encourage him or her to take responsibility for his or her actions. If your student did not do anything wrong, explain that the process is fair and that his or her side of the story will be heard. If your student is in violation and there are sanctions, remind your student to complete them on time to avoid further consequences.
My student is a good kid! S/he could not have done anything wrong!
Sometimes there are mix-ups and students find themselves “in the wrong place at the wrong time”. Your student will be treated fairly and given an opportunity to explain what happened. Experienced staff and a highly trained University Conduct Board (made up of faculty, staff, and fellow students) make determinations about what occurred. However, sometimes students make mistakes. Our process at its core is educational and that will be our focus when we meet with your student.
What can happen to my student?
If your student is in violation of the Code, sanctions can range from a disciplinary reprimand (a written warning) up to loss of housing or suspension and expulsion for more serious or repeat offenses. Often times there are additional sanctions added on including attendance at an alcohol class, service hours, fines, or other projects. These must be completed as well or there may be further consequences. Academic integrity violations could result in failure for the course or the assignment. If your student is not in violation or charges are withdrawn, there would be no sanctions and no conduct record.
Does my student have a “record”? Does this go on his/her transcript?
Conduct records are confidential and cannot be released without the written consent of the student. Many graduate, law, or medical schools or employers with sensitive information (like the United States Government) often ask for a release of the applicant’s conduct record. If that is the case, encourage your student to be open and honest about what happened and share any relevant details. Most places are pretty understanding about a relatively minor incident that happened years ago. Serious violations, repeat incidents, or lying about it can play a much more significant role.
Our office maintains files related to alcohol, drugs, and violence for seven years after the date of the incident. Most other files are kept until one year after graduation (or expected graduation).
Conduct records do not appear on transcripts.
Why can’t I know all the details?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) keeps university students’ academic records (including grades and conduct) confidential. A student must complete a FERPA waiver for our office to share details with anybody besides the student. Please go to http://drexel.edu/src/academics/ferpa/ for instructions on how your student can complete a waiver.
Why wasn’t I notified earlier?
We respect students’ privacy (see above regarding FERPA) and notify parents or guardians after the process is completed. Even then it is only for alcohol, drugs, or another serious violations. Often students appeal the decision to notify their parents or guardians, and that extends the process longer until a final decision can be reached. Students may choose to share any and all information at anytime with their family, and students are always encouraged to involve family members when they are involved in serious student conduct matters.
What rights does my student have?
Students’ rights include the assistance of an advisor, the right to review the complaint made against them, the right to have witnesses, and the right to appeal.
Should I get a lawyer?
Unless there are concurrent criminal charges, lawyers are not permitted to be a part of the conduct process. Lawyers are often not aware of the distinct differences between criminal proceedings and university student conduct procedures. Your student is permitted an advisor – someone internal to Drexel. Our office has a list of faculty and staff members who are well-versed in process and can help students prepare their cases.
What are some additional resources for my student?
University Conduct Board: A group of Drexel students, faculty, and staff that hear cases involving alleged student misconduct. The Board is trained to evaluate the information regarding a case, ask questions, and determine whether or not a violation has occurred. They also recommend sanctions. The University Conduct Board also hears appeals.
Disciplinary Reprimand: The student is warned that further misconduct shall result in more severe disciplinary action. This is the lowest sanction available.
Disciplinary Probation: A specific period of time during which the University provides the student with the opportunity to prove that he/she will contribute in a positive manner to the University community. Should a student violate University policies while on Disciplinary Probation, more severe sanctions shall be imposed. This is not academic nor does it appear on a transcript.
Deferred Loss of Housing: Serves as a final warning that any further violation(s) of University policy obligates the University to consider loss of housing privileges as a primary response.
Deferred Suspension: Serves as a final warning to a student that if he/she is again found in violation of any University policy, the University is obligated to consider suspension as a primary response.
Suspension: A separation of the student from the University for a specified period of time. A suspended student will be withdrawn from all courses and may not attend classes, take exams, receive grades, maintain a position as a co-op student, hold a leadership position or be on University premises. A student may return to Drexel after the suspension period is completed.
Expulsion: A permanent disaffiliation between the student and the University. An expelled student shall not be permitted on University property.