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This page is designed to help answer questions about Appalachian’s disciplinary process and provide you with information to help you best support your student. It is important to remember that it is your student's responsibility to review and abide by University policies and procedures. We hope you find the information provided below helpful. If you have further questions please contact us at (828) 262-2704.
Below are common questions that our office receives from parents:
What is the Code of Student Conduct?
A set of community standards of prohibited conduct to promote student learning and accountability. The Student Code of Conduct (the Code) is available here.
What happens if my student has been involved with an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct?
Your student will receive written communication via official ASU email from the Office of Student Conduct or University Housing to schedule either schedule an appointment or with an appointment time and location. The letter will include the alleged violation(s) and details about next steps in the process.
If your student has been asked to meet with our office or University Housing, one way to help is to become informed about the disciplinary process. You can review the process by reviewing the Code. The Code is not comparable to criminal procedures. Formal rules of evidence and procedure do not apply.
Does the Office of Student Conduct address all off-campus violations?
No, the Office of Student Conduct only handles off-campus violations that interferes with the mission of the university by impacting the health and safety of students and the surrounding community. The primary types of off-campus violations referred to the Office of Student Conduct include (but not limited to):
- felony charges;
- assault and/or harassment charges;
- driving while impaired (DWI) charges or charges of driving by individuals less than twenty-one (21) years old after consuming alcohol or drugs;
- repeated alcohol misdemeanor charges;
- repeated drug misdemeanor charges; and
- activities of student or group of students that clearly conflict with the University’s interests and mission, including, but not limited to, patterns of behavior that put the health and safety of others at risk or show disregard for the policies of the University.
For more information regarding Off-Campus Violation, please visit our Off-Campus FAQs.
Do parents need to attend this meeting?
Generally, students attend the meeting alone. The information received is initially viewed as an allegation and the meeting provides an opportunity to discuss the incident in question. The student has the right to be accompanied by up to two support individuals and/or an advocate. As a parent/guardian, you may act as a support individual or an advocate with the student’s approval. Please refer to Article 6.04 of the Code for further details on support individuals, and Articles 1.01 and 6.08 for details on advocates.
How is responsibility of a violation determined?
Students have several choices in resolving an alleged violation of the Code:
- accept an informal resolution;
- be referred to a board through the formal resolution process; or
- be held not responsible or have the case dismissed.
In order to find a student responsible, the University must establish that the student is responsible for the alleged violation(s) by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., that it is more likely than not that the student violated the Code). This determination must be based solely on the information presented.
If a student fails to schedule an appointment to review his or her case, the Office of Student Conduct has the right to resolve the incident in the student’s absence.
If my student is found responsible for misconduct, what will happen?
To maintain fairness and consistency, there is a presumption that at least the minimum sanction will be imposed. A Conduct Review Officer or Board may impose a sanction less than or greater than the minimum when there is a compelling factor(s) that warrants such action. Please refer to Article IV- Prohibited Conduct of the Code to review the minimum sanctions for all violations, and Appendi A and B for standard sanctions of alcohol and drug violations.
What is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and how do I access my student’s disciplinary record?
Under the Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, Appalachian State University is restricted in releasing student information without the consent of the student. It provides the student a right to inspect his/her records and restrict the disclosure of those records. Further information about FERPA is available on the U.S Department of Education FERPA website .
“The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (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 Edcuation”.
Detailed information about FERPA at Appalachian State University can be found in the University Policy Statement at policy.appstate.edu/Policy_Manual and the “Annual Notification of Rights” at registrar.appstate.edu/records/FERPA.html
In order for the Office of Student Conduct to discuss details of your student’s case, the student must give permission to do so.
It should be understood that, at the post-secondary level, parents do not have automatic access the student’s educational record. The first step to having access to your student’s information is having open communication with them about what is going on with their grades, classes, etc. Secondly, the student can provide access to parents in Appalnet .
Students may also sign a waiver which would allow for more open communication between the university, the student and you as a parent/guardian. Signing the waiver is only a short term release of their educational record at the University.
Will I be informed about my student’s conduct record?
Generally, the University will inform the parent or guardian when a student under the age of twenty-one (21) is responsible for:
- high-risk (BAC of .10+) or second alcohol violation(s);
- high-risk or second drug violation(s);
- driving while under the influence;
- driving after consuming;
- alcohol poisoning;
- suspension and expulsion.
The purpose of Parental Notification is to open communication, collaborate with the parent and to develop strategies to help the student learn from this teachable moment. Parental Notification is sent by mail to the student’s permanent address.
How will this impact my student’s school record?
Disciplinary records are maintained for a minimum of eight (8) years from the date of resolution. If Suspension or Expulsion is given in resolution of a violation, the disciplinary record will be maintained indefinitely.
A student’s disciplinary record may impact their ability to gain approval to study abroad, participate in leadership roles on campus or varsity athletes, transfer to another institution or gain entrance into a graduate program.
If a student gives an employer or graduate/professional school permission to access his or her disciplinary record, information about the student’s violation(s) and sanction(s) will be shared.
How does a student disciplinary record affect my student’s application to graduate school?
Some graduate applications ask for information regarding a student’s criminal or disciplinary history, so be sure to carefully read what the application is asking. Your student should be honest about his or her disciplinary history. On occasion, universities will contact our office to verify the information your student has provided on his or her application. Most applications include this waiver in the fine print and by signing the application the student is typically granting you access to their disciplinary records.
Can our family lawyer be involved?
Attorneys and non-attorney advocates are allowed to be present during certain steps in the disciplinary process. Specifically, students going through the formal resolution process (University Conduct Board or Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board) and are also subject of pending criminal charges have the right to be accompanied by an attorney. The attorney may act as the student’s “Advisor” and may fully participate only to the extent afforded to the student they represent. Attorney and non-attorney advocates may participate in Student Conduct Board Hearings, but may only act as a support individual. For further information regarding the role of attorneys in the disciplinary process please refer to Article I, 1.01, and Article VI, 6.081.
What if my student is not satisfied with the outcome?
Students who resolve via the informal resolution process are unable to appeal the decision. If your student has resolved via the formal resolution process they may appeal based on the following grounds:
- A violation of due process
- A material deviation from Substantive and Procedural Standards adopted by the UNC Board of Governors, as set forth in UNC Policy Manual 700.4.1.
For more information regarding the Appeals Process, please review Article VII- Appeals in the Code.