Answers to Parent’s Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is a particular rule or policy in place?

    Policies are designed to support the University's educational mission and to ensure a safe environment where all people in the University community 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.

  2. When my student was notified of an alleged policy violation, does he/she have the opportunity to defend him/herself?

    Every student is afforded the opportunity to explain what happened during the incident and to present additional relevant information through witnesses and other means.

  3. What is my role in the conduct process? 

    You can help to guide your student through the process and be supportive, while holding the student accountable to your expectations and those of the University. Expect your student to set appointments, attend meetings, and fulfill sanctions. It is not beneficial to the educational development of the student, or resolution of the matter, for you to take over the process for your student. It is the student’s responsibility to regularly check his/her Ferris email account and respond to University notices appropriately. Ferris State University expects all students to maintain a current local and home address and use their Ferris email account.

  4. I know my student could not have done this, so why is he/she going through the conduct process?

    Perhaps they did not do it, and they are considered not responsible unless proven otherwise at a conduct conference. However, please consider that developmentally, college is often a period of exploration, experimentation, and testing for students. Many are in a period of transition from late adolescence to adulthood and could be away from home and the daily influence of their parents for the first time. As students are testing the beliefs and values they have learned at home, they sometimes make choices that are inconsistent with these values. Such testing is part of the development process and is normal; however, students must also learn that the choices they make have consequences.

  5. My student was charged criminally. Why do they have to go through the conduct process too?

    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 also 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. The constitutional right regarding double jeopardy is solely a Constitutional provision concept and is not applicable to the University conduct process.

  6. Do I need to hire an attorney to represent my student?

    The accused student has the right to engage a support person of his/her choice before, during, and after any conference or appeal. Support persons are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any conduct conference or appeal.

  7. 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, or to registered student organizations. Sanctioning is determined case by case, as it reflects the needs of the individual student, the student's cumulative conduct history, and the impact of that student's behavior on the community. The University has many resources available that, when assigned to a student, may help a student make better, more informed choices in the future. Our goal is to provide a sanction or combination of sanctions that will aid in a student’s success.

  8. Can I appeal a decision?

    A student may request an appeal on one or more of the following grounds:

    1. Failure by the conduct case manager or committee to afford the student due process, or a procedural error in the conduct conference which may have been substantial enough to change the case outcome.
    2. The discovery of substantive new evidence which was unknown to the charged student at the time of the conduct conference that could have a significant effect on the case outcome.
    3. The severity of the sanction (only in cases of a suspension or dismissal from the University).

    Conditions for an appeal are specified in the Code of Student Community Standards.

  9. Does my student have to complete the sanction if they are appealing the decision?

    For reasons that meet the required grounds, a student may file a written notice of appeal. If your student has filed for an appeal, the decision from the conduct conference does not go into effect until the appeal is finalized. Students who file to appeal suspension or dismissal decisions may continue to go to class and engage in customary University activities (unless otherwise stipulated) until an appeal decision is made. If the appeal decision upholds the sanction, your son/daughter must complete the assigned sanction. If the appeal decision grants a new conduct conference, the previous assigned sanction becomes void and the student will have the opportunity to attend a new conduct conference.

  10. Does a conduct decision go on my student's record?

    A student’s conduct record is separate from their academic record. The only time that a student’s academic transcript may reflect a conduct 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.

  11. Why was I notified about my son/daughter’s violation of the alcohol policy, but I can’t get more information about it?

    Amendments to the Federal Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) permit institutions of higher education to notify parents if their student is found responsible for an alcohol and/or other drug violation. You will only be notified via letter that your student was found responsible for a violation of our Alcohol and Other Drug policies. You may communicate with your student for any additional information, or you may have your student sign a conduct record FERPA release with the Office of Student Conduct.