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Parent Guide to the Student Conduct Process

Parent Guide

Information and Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand our disciplinary process and the role of parents within.

Chances are you never thought that your student's UW-Eau Claire experience would include allegations of misconduct. First, we recognize that our students (like all of us) make mistakes. Sometimes this involves the consumption of alcohol. Other times it may involve a rash decision made at a late hour. Through our process, we want students to learn where they could have made different decisions and offer them strategies for making better choices in the future.

As you know from your own experience, actions carry consequences. This is no different at UW-Eau Claire. When students are found responsible for violating a University policy, they may face a set of sanctions. These sanctions may include a warning, probation, reflection papers, and, sometimes, separation from the University, either for a period of time (suspension), or permanently (expulsion). These are not consequences we take lightly. We recognize that any sanction imposed may impact a student.

However, we also feel strongly that our process and sanctions play an important role in a student's education at UW-Eau Claire, not just during their time with us, but in life beyond college. We encourage, but do not require, students to talk with their parents upon finding themselves in a tough situation that may involve violation of a university policy. We have found that students are often fearful to talk with their parents about their situation because of the reaction they think they will receive. While you will understandably be concerned about what may have happened, you will undoubtedly want to show support to your son or daughter. Listen to his or her perspective. Encourage him/her to accept responsibility for the role he or she played in a situation.

A common reaction from parents is that their student could not have possibly engaged in the behavior of which they are accused. Or, at worst, the behavior of their student was unintentional and simply a mistake. We strive for a fair and thorough process in determining the extent to which a student was involved in a situation. Intent, or lack thereof, is most often considered not in a determination of responsibility, but in a determination of the sanctioning. We have high expectations for our students, and this includes seeking appropriate help when facing a difficult decision.

This document is designed to help answer some of the questions you may have about our conduct process and give you information that can help you best support your student. Our office is happy to speak with you regarding our process or other concerns you may have. Feel free to contact us by phone at (715) 836-5626 or email at deanofstudents@uwec.edu.

Q: How can I help my student avoid becoming involved in the conduct process?

We encourage you to talk with your student about their values and how their actions can impact their future. Often students find themselves in a conduct situation because they did not fully consider the consequences of their actions. While your child is now technically an adult, college is a time of growth, change, and challenge. As a parent you can serve as a valuable ally by providing support for your child.

 

Q: How will I know if my student has gotten in trouble?

We do not mandate that students contact their parents when they are accused of or found responsible for misconduct. We often encourage them to do so, particularly when there are serious financial or academic implications. Federal law generally restricts our ability to share information about a student without his or her written consent. Consequently, we encourage you to talk regularly with your student about their adjustment to college life, academic progress and how you can be supportive.

 

Q: Where can I find a complete copy of the Student Nonacademic Disciplinary Procedures?

The Blugold Code is the official document containing policies and procedures for nonacademic disciplinary procedures. 

 

Q: My student has been asked to come in for a meeting about an allegation of misconduct. What can I do to help?

Often students and parents are anxious about the conduct process. One way to help is to become informed about how our process works. You can review the Dean of Students website to learn about our expectations as well as how our conduct process works. The best role you can play is to be a support person for your son or daughter. We understand you may want to take a more active role. However, a cornerstone of our conduct process is that each student is responsible for his or her own conduct. Learning to take responsibility for his or her actions and to develop self‐confidence and self‐reliance happens best when a student takes a principal role in representing him or herself in the conduct process.

 

Q: I have a specific question about my student's conduct case, with whom can I talk?

The staff in the Dean of Students Office can answer general questions about the conduct process. However, in order to speak with you about your student’s specific conduct case, your student must complete a Confidentiality Waiver Form available in our office. This is a requirement of a federal law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

 

Q: Can the University assert jurisdiction over behavior that occurs off-campus?

The University does have the authority, via the Blugold Code, 17.08, to assert jurisdiction over off-campus behavior. Jurisdiction over off-campus behavior can only be asserted when, in the judgment of the Dean of Students Office, the alleged conduct adversely affects a substantial University interest.

 

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