The mission of the Office of Student Conduct is to enhance student learning, personal
development, and a student's role as a responsible citizen in an ethical community
that is conducive to and focused on academic and personal success.
The Code of Student Community Standards, which is the official policy of the University, is comprised of principles and policies
on Student Rights, Student Dignity, Misconduct, Victims' Rights, Alcohol and Other
Drug Policies, Disciplinary Procedures, and other principles and procedures.
This website is designed to help our visitors better understand our policies, processes,
procedures, and philosophies. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions,
concerns, or feedback of any kind.
Adapted for Ferris State University from Meyer Schrage, J. and Geist Giacomini, N.
(Eds.). (2020). Reframing campus conflict: Student conduct practice through the lens of inclusive
Ferris State University, through its core values of collaboration, diversity, ethical
community, excellence, learning, and opportunity, brings people with a variety of
backgrounds, ideas, and talents together. As we come together to learn, grow, and
teach, the different perspectives and experiences that create a vibrant educational
community can also result in conflict. Conflict is a natural part of living, learning,
and working with others. Conflict helps us learn and grow in our understanding of
ourselves, others, and the world. Some conflicts can be addressed informally while
others benefit from a more structured process of resolution. The nature of the conflict
resolution may depend on preferences of the impacted parties, the desired outcomes,
and the severity of the alleged conduct.
Not all conflicts require resolution and not all individuals involved in a conflict
desire a resolution.
Conversation to gain understanding and/or independently manage a conflict can occur
without the intervention of Ferris administrators. Sharing your concerns/needs/perspective,
listening to understand the concerns/needs/perspective of another person, and working
toward a solution are important skills.
Successfully navigating and resolving conflict is a skill that can be developed. Conflict
coaching is one-on-one coaching with a trained facilitator to help an individual gain
the knowledge and skills to address a conflict. Office of Student Conduct staff can
help students better understand and deescalate conflicts, gain comfort in addressing
conflict with peers, and prepare to engage in a dialog to address a conflict. Conflict
coaching can also be beneficial when the other party(ies) involved in the conflict
is unwilling to engage in conflict resolution.
Working with a facilitator to resolve a conflict can help parties gain greater perspective,
ensure that everyone is heard, and keep the conversation focused on resolving the
conflict at hand. Office of Student Conduct staff are trained in Social Justice Mediation,
in which the facilitator helps parties reach a mutually agreeable solution to the
Restorative Practices identify the harm that conflict and/or acts of misconduct cause
and focuses on repairing harm for all involved and restoring trust and community.
Office of Student Conduct staff are trained in restorative justice practices.
Informal Resolution focuses on student education (rather than whether or not a violation
of policy occurred). When informal resolution is available to a student, the student
will receive an email from either the Office of Student Conduct or Housing/Residence
Life staff with more information.
Some reports of alleged low-level misconduct result in an opportunity to have an educational
conversation with staff instead of a student conduct conference. Intentional Conversations
focus on student support, education, and expectations.
Compliance letters inform the student of a concern that exists and instructions to
correct the concern. Failure to address the concern may result in a student conduct
Waiving the Student Conduct Conference
A student may take responsibility for a violation of policy and accept a recommended
educational outcome instead of participating in a student conduct conference.
Student Conduct Conferences focus on enhancing student learning, personal development,
and a student’s role as a responsible citizen in an ethical community that is focused
on academic and personal success. When a Student Conduct Conference is occurring,
the involved student will be notified from either the Office of Student Conduct or
Housing/Residence Life staff with more information. The purpose a student conduct
conference is to allow the student alleged of misconduct to share their perspective
on the situation. A conduct case manager will determine if it is more likely than
not that a violation of university policy occurred based on the information available.
If the student is found to be responsible for violating Ferris policy, the conduct
case manager will assign administrative and/or educational outcomes appropriate to
the situation and the needs of the student and community.
Student Conduct FAQ
I've been documented.... Now what?
Keep an eye on your Ferris email account. You can expect to receive a notification
letter via email with more information. Your letter will let you know where, when,
and with whom you are meeting with.
Your meeting will be scheduled at least 3 days in advance and will not conflict with
your class schedule. Your conduct meeting, on average, will last around 15-30 minutes.
If for some reason you are not able to attend your meeting time, please reach out
to your case manager or by emailing [email protected] to reschedule. You do not have to attend your meeting, but a decision will be made
in your absence.
After your conduct conference, your case manager will review all information gathered
and determine if a policy violation occurred. The Office of Student Conduct uses a
preponderance of evidence standard. If found responsible, you may receive actionable
outcomes in which you will need to complete to be in good standing with the university.
You will receive a outcome letter via email to your Ferris email account with more
What is a conduct conference?
It is a one on one civil conversation between yourself and your case manager. This
is your opportunity to share your side of the story and discuss the alleged policy
A majority of conduct conferences are 15 to 30 minutes long.
We schedule your conduct conference to avoid conflicting with your classes. If you
need to reschedule your conduct conference, you must contact your case manager as
soon as possible prior to your scheduled conduct conference. Your case manager’s contact
information can be found in your letter.
What are my rights?
1. The opportunity to read all written reports regarding the circumstances and allegations
of the case. 2. The opportunity to attend a conduct conference. A student’s conduct conference
shall be scheduled minimally three days after the date of the notice. However, a student
may waive their right to this three day provision. 3. The opportunity to give a response to the reports and to offer any additional information
which might help in the resolution of the case. 4. The opportunity, during the conduct conference, to review all information related
to the case information that may adversely affect the student and to ask questions
(or choose not to ask questions) related to this information. 5. The opportunity to present witnesses who may substantiate information related to
the incident. A list of witnesses must be submitted no later than one business day
before the conduct conference. The Director of Student Conduct or Conduct Case Manager
reserves the right to limit the number of witnesses based on the relevancy to the
facts of the case. Character witnesses are generally not considered relevant. 6. The opportunity to have an advisor present during the conduct conference; the advisor
may not participate in presenting the case, question witnesses, or make statements
during the conference. 7. The student is not required to attend their conduct conference or to answer any
questions asked during the conduct conference; the choice to remain silent will not
be taken as an admission of responsibility. However, a decision will be made in the
student’s absence and based on information available at the scheduled time of the
conduct conference. 8. The student will receive written notification of the decision of the conduct conference
within ten days, barring unforeseen circumstances. 9. The opportunity to submit an appeal, subject to the conditions of the appeal process,
by the appeal deadline stated in the written outcome.
The Code of Student Community Standards outlines all Ferris policies with regard to
the student conduct process. Please refer to the Code of Student Community Standards for further information.
Can I bring an advisor/support person?
An advisor’s role is to support you as a person. They are there to help you feel more
comfortable, but may not participate in presenting the case, question witnesses, or
make statements during the conference. Your advisor may attend your conduct conference
in person or over the phone.
You are responsible for selecting your own advisor, one will not be provided for you.
This can be a parent, faculty/staff member, friend, or anyone of your choosing.
Only one advisor may attend your conduct conference with you.
A lawyer may serve as your advisor. As an advisor they will be held to the same expectations
as any other advisor and may not present the case, question witnesses, or make statements
during the conference.
Who will know?
No, participation in the conduct process is not marked on your transcript. Conduct
records are maintained in accordance with federal law and are kept separately from
Usually no. Your conduct records are confidential and protected by law (FERPA). However,
FERPA allows for parents/guardians to be notified if a student under 21 is involved
in an alcohol or drug incident. If you would like the details of your conduct record to be discussed with anyone,
you will need to complete a waiver that is available in the Office of Student Conduct
or with your case manager.
Can I be documented off campus?
The Code of Student Community Standards applies to students whether they are on campus
The student conduct process and the legal process are independent of one another.
The student conduct process is designed to be educational in nature and uses a different
standard of evidence than the legal system. The outcome of the legal system has no
bearing on the student conduct process.
What are my outcomes?
The student conduct process is designed to be an educational experience. When a student’s
behavior is not in line with University policy, outcomes are assigned to help a student
learn from this incident and make different decisions going forward.
The student conduct process uses the standard of preponderance of the evidence to
determine the outcome. This means your case manager will consider the report, the
information you shared, and any other information available when deciding whether
it is more likely than not that you violated each of the policies listed in your letter.
While a vast majority of cases do not result in a student being suspended or dismissed,
there are instances where the severity of the behavior or persistence of the policy
violations warrants this outcome.
You have the opportunity to appeal the decision. Appeals must be submitted within
seven calendar days of the date of the decision letter and meet the criteria outlined
in that letter.
While the specifics of your case will not be discussed until the conduct conference,
we welcome you to call the Office of Student Conduct at 231-591-3619.
Office of Student Conduct
129 David L. Eisler Center 805 Campus Drive Big Rapids, MI 49307 (231) 591-3619 [email protected]