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Student Conduct FAQ: For Parents

My son/daughter is being accused of a policy violation at KU. What can he/she do about it?   

Any member of the university community can make an allegation of a conduct violation towards another student. If your student is being accused of a violation then the student conduct process will commence in an effort to resolve the allegation. No one likes to be accused of something negative but the fairest way to arrive at an outcome is to provide both sides of a grievance with an opportunity to be heard and a chance to respond. Although this may be uncomfortable and inconvenient, it does provide the fairest avenue for addressing allegations of misconduct.

My son/daughter has told me he/she is involved in the conduct process. What can I do?

As members of the KU community, each student is expected to manage his/her own disciplinary matters with the university.  Parents can provide important moral support and assist their student in understanding the process and the expectations of the university. 

Can I attend my son/daughter's scheduled hearing?

Parents are not permitted to participate in student conduct hearings.  If students want an advocate, they may have a member of the campus community or a private attorney accompany them to a hearing. 

Are parents notified if their child is involved in an incident or is found to be responsible for a violation of university policy?

Following a second infraction and finding of responsibility for violations of alcohol and drug polices, the Dean of Students Office will inform parents or legal guardians of students that are under the age of 21. At the time of a first incident, students will be strongly advised to consult with their parents or guardians regarding their behavior.  If a student is involved in an emergency situation the person designated by the student as their emergency contact will be contacted.

If my child is found responsible for a conduct violation, how long will the incident remain on his/her educational record?

Student conduct records are kept on file for a period of two (2) years from the date a student graduates or officially withdraws from the university. Conduct records involving a suspension or dismissal will be kept on file for at least six (6) years from the date a student withdraws or graduates from the university. Some records may be held for up to seven (7) years for compliance with mandatory federal reporting of certain violations.

If I want to find out more, what resources are available to me?

To help you learn more about the student conduct process, you can read "The Student Conduct Process: A Guide for Parents," (pdf) from the Association for Student Conduct Administration.

My child is being charged with a crime that occurred off-campus. Can the proceedings be delayed until the criminal matter is resolved?

The student disciplinary process at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania does not attempt to determine whether a student has violated the law; the university is trying to determine whether a student violated university rules and regulations. As such, the goals and the means of the criminal justice process and the student conduct process are dissimilar. Generally speaking, no delays are given to students to accommodate their interests in the criminal process. Delays may only be granted when it is established to the satisfaction of Dean of Students Office that such a delay is in the interest in ensuring a fair process for those involved.

What happens if my child refuses to participate in the student conduct process?

Respondents (accused students) have a right not to respond or participate in the process.  However, the process will continue with or without the student's involvement and a decision will be reached based on the information that is provided to the hearing panel or administrator. The student may not use his or his refusal to participate as a later ground for appealing a decision.  A student's decision not to participate in the process is not held against him or her; decisions are made based on the presented evidence in relationship to the policy or conduct standards in question.  

If an incident takes place off campus, what interest does the University have?

Kutztown University reserves the right to address off campus behavior for acts that take place off campus as outlined in Article III (Jurisdiction; Off Campus Rights & Responsibilities) of the Student Code of Conduct. The university will determine on a case-by-case basis whether or not an individual's alleged conduct represents a substantial university interest.  Citations issued or arrests made by local law enforcement represent a substantial university interest and are addressed by the university. 

What is FERPA? How does it apply?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education (US Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office). Student disciplinary records are considered educational records governed under FERPA. For information, visit the KU FERPA page.