For Parents & Families

Talking with students

How do I help my student navigate the conduct process? There are a number of ways to support your student during and after the conduct process:

  • Encourage your student to participate in the process. Students are not required to participate in the process in order for the case to be resolved. However, it’s important for your student to share his/her side of the story and have their voice heard.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Student Conduct and Honor Code as it outlines the conduct process, rights, and expectations for those participating. Your student should do the same. This way there are no surprises for anyone.
  • Ask questions of your student that motivate them to take ownership for the process, such as, “Did you read your letter to know when your information session is taking place?” or “What is your plan for responding?”
  • Ask questions that allow your student to tell you what they need, such as, “How can I support you?” or “What role would you like me to play?”
  • If your student is sanctioned, ask your student what sanctions were applied and what they learned from fulfilling them.
  • Talk about expectations between the two of you for future behavior.
  • Reinforce the correlation between academic success, on-time graduation, and responsible conduct.

We believe that parental support is critical to a student’s success in navigating the numerous decisions regarding alcohol, drugs, and relationships/intimacy during the college years. If you and your student are having conversations regarding these topics, they will be better prepared to make a positive decision in a critical moment.

FERPA Waiver

Now that your student is in college, the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act of 1974, more commonly known as FERPA, gives ownership and control of all education records, which include student conduct records, to your student. We recognize that this loss of access of information can be difficult and frustrating for parents and family members who want to support and assist their student who is going through the student conduct process. In light of this recognition, please find resources and information below that may help both parents/families and students navigate the sharing of information during the conduct process.

Learn more about FERPA and release of student records

Frequently asked questions

Our office understands that it can be stressful to know your student has been charged with a violation of the Student Conduct and Honor Code or is participating in an investigation with our office. The information below is designed to answer questions and alleviate some of the anxiety that can come with navigating the student conduct process.

  • What happens after my student receives a charge letter?

    Once a FIU student receives a charge letter, the student is scheduled for an Information Session where they will meet with a staff member in our office to review the rights of a Respondent going through our process, answer all the questions they may have, review the current information available regarding the case, and the student gets to make a decision about how to resolve the case.

  • What is the timeline?

    It varies depending on the severity of the case. Once a charge letter has been sent, our office aims to resolve the case as quickly as possible. It’s best to ask the hearing officer this question as it depends on the case.

  • Has a decision already been made about whether or not my student is guilty, since they were charged?

    Not at all. First, we use the terms, “responsible” and “not responsible.” Guilt is a term reserved for the court system, which we are not. Secondly, we have information that indicates your student may have been involved in a violation, but we know there is always more than one side to a story and the conduct process is their opportunity to tell their side. There will be a decision made at the end of the conduct process regarding responsibility, but no decision has been made yet.

  • My student was charged criminally, but the case was dismissed/resolved in their favor. Why is your office moving forward?

    The two processes are separate and must be resolved separately. Because your student is enrolled at FIU and agreed to abide by our standards and expectations, there must be accountability within the community if there is a concern regarding a potential violation. The goals and outcomes for the two processes are also very different, which can sometimes result in different outcomes for the student.

  • What could happen to my student if they are found responsible?

    Outcomes, or sanctions, vary on a case-by-case basis. You can find a list of all possible sanctions in Section 16 of the Code. When sanctioning, our staff takes into consideration the severity of the event, any prior student conduct issues, the safety of your student and the FIU community, and what is in the best educational interests of your student. There are a number of factors and combinations. The most serious sanctions are suspension or expulsion, and if that’s applicable in your student’s case, the hearing officer assigned should share that during the Information Session.

  • I plan to call your office. What will you be able to tell me?

    It depends upon whether or not we have a FERPA Waiver on file for you and your student. If we do not have a FERPA Waiver on file, there will be very little specific information we will be able to provide you, but we will be happy to answer general questions regarding the student conduct process and the Code. If we do have a FERPA Waiver on file, we will be able to speak much more freely about your student’s case. Please know that our goal is not to be difficult, but to protect your student’s confidential records.

  • Can I come to my student’s hearing or hire an attorney?

    Your student is allowed to have one advisor present. Please see Section 10 in the Code. It can be you, an attorney, a trusted family friend, or a faculty/staff member. Please note that your student is only allowed one advisor so he/she cannot bring both you and an attorney. If you think it is best to hire an attorney, that decision is up to your student and your family. Remember that the advisor cannot speak on behalf of your student - it is important that your student speaks for themselves.

  • What is Interim Suspension?

    Interim Suspension is defined in Section 7.iv.iii of the Code. Interim Suspension is a temporary separation from the university based on current information that indicates an emergency exists which impacts the health, safety, or welfare of your student, the university community, or a student organization.

    Once an Interim Suspension has been applied, the student may not attend nor participate in any classes, including any online components, during this time. The student is also banned from being on or in any university premises and/or on-campus housing, and from participation in any university-sponsored/related functions except the conduct process. From this point forward, our office will request and wait to receive the official report documenting the incident and move forward with the conduct process in the normal manner. All communication will be sent to your student’s FIU email account as the case moves forward. A student on Interim Suspension is eligible in the sanctioning phase for suspension or expulsion if found responsible for the alleged student conduct charges.

    A Student Organization may neither attend nor participate in any University-sponsored/related event or activity, use University space, register/host gatherings and events, except with the permission of the SCAI Director.