We encourage you to engage your student in an open dialogue about his or her life at Tulane, including your student’s classes, friends, behaviors, actions and choices. Talk with your son or daughter about his or her values and how actions taken while at Tulane can impact your student’s future. While your child is now technically an adult, college is a time of growth, change, and challenge. As a parent, you can be a valuable ally and support for your student, while at the same time encouraging your student to think about the consequences of his or her actions and holding him or her accountable for upholding the expectations that both you and the University have for your student.
First, know that the Office of Student Conduct strives to have a fair and unbiased process in which all students have the opportunity to be heard. Your student has been charged because the Office of Student Conduct received a report suggesting that he or she may have violated the Code of Student Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct recognizes that the reports we receive reflect only part of the story. Before any decisions are made, your student will have an opportunity to share his or her side of the story with the Office of Student Conduct. (Note that some students waive their right to a hearing by not opening our emails. Encourage your student to regularly check his or her e-mail.). The charges are not a finding that your student has violated the Code of Student Conduct and will not create a conduct record unless the student is found in violation of the Code of Student Conduct after an opportunity to be heard.
Second, ask your student about the incident and listen to your student’s response. You can help your student by being supportive while holding him or her accountable for the behavior.
Third, take some time to familiarize yourself with the conduct process. We encourage you to review our website, particularly the Accused Student Frequently Asked Questions [LINK], which provides detailed information about the process. We also encourage you to discuss this process with your student.
Fourth, ask your student if he or she has prepared for his or her pre-hearing or procedural review, the initial meeting at which a Conduct Officer will review the conduct process, your student’s rights, and the incident. The best way for your student to prepare for this meeting is to reflect on the event and be ready to describe his or her perspective on what happened.
If you have questions prior to your student’s pre-hearing or procedural review meeting, please contact the Office of Student Conduct at 504.865.5516 or email@example.com.
Many college students face challenges, freedoms, and choices that they may not have experienced before attending college. Developmentally, college-aged students may be in a period of experimentation and exploration. Students are transitioning from adolescence to adulthood and adjusting to an independent lifestyle in an unstructured environment, often without parents being physically present. Sometimes, college-aged students engage in behaviors or make choices that are surprising to their parents or that are inconsistent with the expectations that you and the University have for them. These choices and behaviors may be a part of growing up for some students, and Tulane’s student conduct system recognizes and reflects this reality. At the same time, the conduct process seeks to inform students that their actions carry consequences and that not all choices are healthy or productive.
When a student is found to have violated Tulane’s standards of behavior, he or she will receive sanctions. These sanctions typically consist of both a status sanction (sanctions that reflect the student’s status at Tulane) and educational sanctions (sanctions that require the student to engage in an educational action). Status sanctions may include Admonition, Warning Period, Disciplinary Probation, Deferred Suspension, Residential Relocation or Expulsion, Suspension, or Expulsion. Educational sanctions may include community service, reflection papers, or educational programs, among others. Sanctions will be based on your student's conduct record, the seriousness of the incident, the effect the incident had on the community, and your student's demeanor during the conduct process. Please visit the Sanctions page for more information about these sanctions.
These are not consequences that we take lightly. We recognize that any sanction imposed upon a student is a burden, but we also believe that the conduct process and sanctions can play an important role in a student’s education at Tulane -- not just during his or her time at Tulane, but in life beyond Tulane.
Students going through the student conduct process do not need an attorney. In most cases, students going through the conduct process are not permitted to have an attorney present. However, the exception to this rule is for hearings where the student has been charged with one or more violations that fall under section III.E in the Code of Conduct, gender-based personal violence, including dating violence, domestic violence, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or stalking. If your student has been charged with one or more violations from section III.E, they are permitted to have an advisor of their choice, including, but mot limited to an attorney.
In cases where a student is not charged with any violations of Section III.E in the Code of Conduct, a student may select any member of the Tulane community who is not a witness, TUPD officer, or practicing attorney to serve as his or her advisor, the Office of Student Conduct maintains a list of individuals who have volunteered to serve as advisors. These individuals have been trained in the conduct system and most frequently work with students who are under investigation for a possible violation of university policy.
The conduct process is designed to ensure that the student has an opportunity to share his or her side of the story without the assistance of an attorney. Although the vast majority of our students do not retain an attorney, students sometimes elect to retain an attorney when they are facing serious consequences. Because the conduct process is an educational rather than an adversarial system, lawyers are generally not permitted to attend conduct hearings.
Sometimes behavior that is prohibited under the Code is also a violation of criminal law, and a student may be held accountable under both systems. In these cases (except in cases involving sexual misconduct), a student may request that we defer the conduct proceedings until the criminal matter is resolved or the student may elect to proceed to the hearing before resolution of the criminal case. In either case, the criminal attorney may participate in pre-hearing meetings but may not participate in the hearing.
If your student requests your presence at a pre-hearing meeting, you may attend that meeting. But, if the case proceeds to a hearing, parents cannot attend the hearing, other than to participate as a character witness in event the student is found responsible.
We recognize that some parents may want to intervene on behalf of their son or daughter. But, sometimes the best role you can provide -- and the most growth-enabling for your son or daughter -- is to support him or her while he or she works with university processes to resolve the matter. Of course, we are happy to address questions or concerns you may have, but we encourage you to allow your son or daughter to take the lead in working with our office. By taking a principal role in representing him or herself in conduct process, your student may learn to take responsibility for his or her actions while developing self-confidence and self-reliance that will serve your student well in life beyond Tulane.
If your child has received this letter, the Office of Student Conduct has determined that he or she could be suspended or expelled if found responsible for the charges, either because of the severity of the alleged conduct or because of your student’s conduct record. We recognize that the possibility of being suspended or expelled is overwhelming, both for our students and their families. The Office of Student Conduct will work with your student to ensure that he or she understands the hearing board process, his or her rights, and the steps that he or she can take to present him or herself to the Hearing Board in the best possible light. We encourage you to review the section of our website devoted to the hearing board process, including our Hearing Board Guide [LINK – once it is ready, also – where would you want to put it on the website?].
Because sanctions involving suspension or expulsion hold significant implications both financially and in terms of a student’s academic progress, we strongly encourage students to involve their parents or those responsible for assisting the student with financing his or her education.
The university hopes that students will keep their parents informed of their lives at Tulane. Pursuant to the Federal Educational Right to Privacy Act (1974) (FERPA), which protects against the disclosure of a student's educational record absent the written consent of the student, the Office of Student Conduct does not routinely contact parents when their son or daughter has violated University rules. We will notify parents when their student is involved in the conduct process in the following cases:
· If a student is under the age of 21 and has been found responsible for an alcohol violation;
· If a student has been found responsible for a drug violation;
· If a student is placed on deferred suspension, suspension, or expulsion;
· If a student is found to have engaged in conduct involving violence, sexual misconduct, or a violation of our weapons policy;
· If a student’s health or safety is at risk.
Except where the student’s health or safety is at risk, the Office of Student Conduct generally will notify the student’s parents after your son or daughter has been found responsible. This notification generally is made by letter and includes a copy of the student’s outcome letter in that communication.
In cases where the student’s health or safety is at risk, the Office of Student Conduct or another Tulane staff member generally will notify the student’s emergency contact by telephone.
We are more than happy to speak with you regarding your student’s conduct history. Before doing so, however, we will have to verify that your child has signed the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) waiver. You may find a copy of Tulane’s FERPA waiver on our website. We also encourage you to speak with your student concerning the incident before reaching out to our office.
Division of Student Affairs, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-314-2188 firstname.lastname@example.org