The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects against the disclosure of a student's educational record absent the written consent of the student. However, FERPA permits disclosure without consent when disclosure is determined to be necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others. FERPA also gives the University discretion to disclose to any parent or legal guardian of a student under the age of 21 information about a violation of any policy of the University governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance. The University also has discretion to disclose findings and sanctions imposed for conduct violations involving violence or non-forcible sex offenses.
The policy of Tulane University is to notify parents or guardians when students under the age of 21, at the time of the incident, are found in violation of alcohol or drug policies as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. In most instances, the Office of Student Conduct sends parents or guardians a letter with notice of the policy violation and the sanctions levied against the student. As part of the conduct sanction, students may be enrolled in an alcohol education program presented by staff in the Office of Wellness Services and/or the Student Health Center. Serious or repeated violations related to the alcohol or drug policies may result in an assessment and intervention by a licensed clinician in the Student Health Center, referral for counseling and treatment by an agency external to the University, or involuntary withdrawal from the University. Suspension from the University is also a possible sanction for repeated violations.
The University understands that parents or guardians want to know when their student is facing difficulties. More frustrating than learning that your student has performed poorly academically or learning that he or she has been suspended from the University for conduct reasons, is finding out that alcohol abuse or illegal drug use led to such circumstances. At the same time, Tulane University understands that students want to be treated as adults. The college years are often a time of trial and error for many students. They need opportunities to reflect upon their actions, accept responsibility, and learn from their mistakes. As parents and guardians, we hope you will take the opportunity to discuss the improper use of alcohol and other drugs with your student. In some situations like this, students are encouraged to make the phone call but if they are unwilling or unable, a University staff member will initiate the call. This policy does not apply to married students.
The policy of Tulane University is to notify parents or guardians when students are found to have committed conduct offenses involving violence in violation of the Code of Student Conduct. In most instances, the Office of Student Conduct sends parents or guardians a letter with notice of the violation, and the sanctions levied against the student. Conduct violations involving violence include arson, assault, burglary, manslaughter, murder, kidnapping, robbery, and forcible sex offenses (the U.S. Department of Education has supplied definitions of these offenses as part of Appendix A to its FERPA regulations). Suspension, revocation of admission or degree, and expulsion may be part of the conduct sanction for students found to have committed conduct violations involving violence.
Students should be aware that Tulane University reserves the right to notify their parents and guardians when, in the context of a serious incident, the student poses a threat to the health or safety of himself or others. Tulane will evaluate on a case-by-case basis how to proceed in such a circumstance. Some examples of health and safety-related situations are life-threatening illness, suicide attempt, and serious injury.08/09
Division of Student Affairs, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-314-2188 firstname.lastname@example.org