Frequently Asked Questions by Students about the Office of Student Conduct
If I am being referred to the Office of Student Conduct, what will happen?
You will receive an e-mail from us telling you of an appointment with a conduct case manager. The letter will also describe any alleged policy violations that may apply and will include a copy of the complaint or report. The notification will outline that you may have participated in a behavior that is in violation of the Code of Student Community Standards and you will be given the opportunity to explain what happened during the incident and to present additional relevant information through witnesses and other means during your meeting. At the conclusion of the meeting, a decision of responsibility will be made. In addition, sanctions will be applied if necessary.
What if I don't attend for my meeting with the conduct case manager?
Ignoring the situation will not make it go away. If you don't attend your meeting, the conduct case manager will make a decision in the case without the benefit of your input and involvement. This decision could affect your status as a student.
What if I was not aware of a rule and didn't know I was breaking it?
Policies, or rules, are designed to support the University's educational mission and to ensure a safe environment where people can work, study, and live without undue interference. They are also designed to build and support the academic and social community, by teaching students responsibility and interdependence, and to promote moral and ethical development. Lack of knowledge of a policy is not an excuse for misconduct. Every student is responsible for knowing the policies and regulations of the University. It is important for you to read the Code of Student Community Standards and ask for clarification if needed.
What if the incident happened off campus?
The University has jurisdiction for behavior off campus. Our main concerns are serious behaviors and/or behaviors that may have an effect on the University community. So even if it happens off campus, it may still be a violation of the Code of Student Community Standards, which will be handled by the Office of Student Conduct.
If I am being charged in court, why do I also have to go through the University's conduct process? Isn't this double jeopardy?
Members of the Ferris State University community and their visitors are subject to
all University policies and regulations, including those contained in the Code of
Student Community Standards. Additionally, those individuals are simultaneously subject
to all local, state, or federal laws. The University conduct process does not constitute
double jeopardy for situations in which a student is facing concurrent criminal proceedings. This
is a constitutional provision that does not apply to the administrative process of
the campus conduct process.
Do I need to hire an attorney?
A student going through the conduct process has the right to consult an advisor of his/her choice before, during, and after any meeting, or appeal. Advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any conference or appeal.
How are sanctions decided?
Sanctions may be imposed independently or in combination with other sanctions. Sanctions can be assigned to an individual student, group of students, and registered student organizations. Sanctioning is determined case by case, as it reflects the needs of the individual student, the student's cumulative disciplinary history, and the impact of that student's behavior on the community.
Will my sanctions appear on my academic transcript?
A student’s conduct record is separate from his/her academic record. The only time that your academic transcript may reflect a conduct process outcome is if the decision included suspension or dismissal. For those individuals who are either suspended or dismissed from Ferris, an AW (Administrative Withdrawal) will be placed on the student’s transcript prior to the deadline for withdrawal from classes published by the University. This means that no grades will be issued for that semester in which a student was suspended or dismissed. After the deadline for withdrawal an AW/F (Administrative Withdrawal/F Grade) will be assigned in the same manner as other students who withdraw after the deadline. That is, after the withdrawal deadline, a suspended or dismissed student would receive a grade of F for the semester in which they were suspended or dismissed.
What if I do not complete an assigned sanction?
Failing to comply with a sanction is a violation of our Code of Student Community Standards and would warrant additional action. A registration hold will be placed on your account and additional sanctions may be added. In other cases, failure to complete sanctions may result in suspension or dismissal from the University. Remember that sanctions are placed as a result of your violation of the Code of Community Standards policies and are designed to educate you about the expectations and norms of the University community.
Can I appeal a conduct decision?
A student may request an appeal on one or multiple of the following grounds:
Do I have to complete the sanction if I am appealing the decision?
Sanctions do not become final until the opportunity to appeal has passed. If you have
filed for an appeal, the decision is placed
on hold and need not be acted upon until the appeal is finalized. Students who appeal a suspension
or dismissal decision may continue to go to class and engage in customary University
activities (unless otherwise stipulated) until an appeal decision is made. Once the
appeal has been decided, you will then take action. If the appeal decision upholds
the sanction, you must complete the assigned sanction. If the appeal decision grants
a new conduct conference, the previous assigned sanction becomes void and you will
have the opportunity to attend a new conduct conference.
Who will have access to my conduct record?
There may be University officials who have a need to know your conduct record. Beyond this, your conduct record will only be accessible to people beyond yourself only if you provide written permission allowing it through a conduct record FERPA release.
Why was my parent notified about my violation of the alcohol policy? Can he/she get more information about it?
Amendments to the Federal Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) permit institutions of higher education to notify guardians if their student is found responsible for an alcohol and/or other drug violation. Your parent will only be notified that a case exists if you were found responsible for violating the University's alcohol and other drug policy. They do not receive information regarding the content of the case from the Office of Student Conduct. Your parent may communicate with you for any additional information, or he/she may ask you to sign a conduct record FERPA release from the Office of Student Conduct. Please understand that this decision is left to you, the student.