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Student Life

When Your Student is Involved in a Conduct Matter

The following section provides some recommendations for parents when they discover that their student is involved in the campus conduct process.

1. While colleges and universities recognize that your goal is to provide support for your student, conduct officers ask that you provide this support unconditionally, but not blindly. Understand that there is a process in place to hear all information regarding the incident in question and encourage your student to prepare him or herself for the process.

2. When your son or daughter receives paperwork regarding conduct procedures and has questions, direct him or her to contact a staff member in the conduct office for information. Staff members are not permitted to give specifics to parents and will most likely recommend that the student call or visit the office anyway. This also empowers the student to solve his or her own issues and concerns.

3. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 precludes the college or university from discussing your student’s academic and disciplinary record without his/her written permission.

4. Educate yourself on the institution’s student conduct process by exploring this website or by requesting a copy of the conduct code. Many of your questions may be easily addressed this way, and many colleges and universities are putting information on the Web to assist parents in understanding the student conduct process.

5. Practice the “24-Hour Rule.” You may receive a phone call or e-mail message from your student because he or she is upset about facing conduct charges. You may be tempted to try to immediately fix the problem for him or her. This intervention invariably fails. Try to allow 24 hours to inform, guide, teach, observe, and chastise (if necessary). Lessons learned through participation in a student conduct process must be experienced to have the desired effect. After all, gaining a higher education degree is about learning. College and university conduct officers take their responsibilities as educators very seriously and do their best to provide a fair and unbiased system for all students. While these professionals understand that involvement in the conduct process may be difficult for students, they do their best to provide them support to effectively handle the situations in which they find themselves.

Talking with your college student

…about their academic and social life
How can I learn how my student is doing?

The best approach is to ask your son or daughter directly. Communicating with young adults isn't always easy. They are not often as forthcoming as we would like. The college years, however, are a period of remarkable growth and maturation. The ability and willingness of students to share information and insights usually grows, especially as they acquire the confidence that comes with assuming greater responsibility for their own lives.

How will I know if my student is subject to University disciplinary action?
Student disciplinary records are protected under FERPA. The best practice is for your student to inform you about any disciplinary charges directly. Students can also authorize release of all the information in their disciplinary files. A Marymount University staff member can then discuss the file with a parent or legal guardian. (Please note: to protect others who may be involved, the file will be adjusted to protect personally identifiable information of other involved students.) Marymount University staff routinely advise students verbally and in writing to notify parents about any pending disciplinary charges.

…about alcohol use
First, you should make your student aware that Marymount has a policy prohibiting the consumption and possession of alcohol by individuals under the age of 21. The complete policy on this matter can be found in the Community Conduct Code of the Student Handbook.

It is important for parents to recognize that college students, especially first-year students, are at a significantly higher risk for alcohol-related problems than almost any other population.


The first few weeks while at college, students’ primary concerns are about seeking acceptance and making social connections. Many will find very healthy ways to do this, such as joining student organizations. Others will resort to alcohol to break down some of their inhibitions. While students are informed of some of the physical risks associated with alcohol, very few are aware of the legal, academic, and social consequences of high risk drinking. Making poor choices regarding alcohol and drug use can negatively impact your student’s success in higher education.

Here are some suggestions for beginning a discussion about alcohol with your student:

1. Set clear and realistic expectations regarding academic performance and the use of alcohol.

2. Make sure your student knows the legal penalties for underage drinking, using a fake ID, public intoxication, and DUI. In addition, make sure your student understands the academic consequences of underage drinking and alcohol use on campus.

3. If your student is of legal age to drink, stress to your student that drinking alcohol to the point of impairment or intoxication is dangerous.

4. Examine your own values and behavior and the messages you send regarding alcohol and other drugs. Refrain from “glorifying” alcohol-related stories from your college days.

5. Encourage your student to stand up for his/her right to a safe academic environment.

6. Encourage your student to intervene when classmates or roommates are in trouble with alcohol.

7. Stay in touch.

8. Know where to go for help. If you suspect that your student is having problems, please encourage him or her to seek help at the following on-campus locations:
  • Counseling Center
  • Student Health Center
  • Office of Campus and Residential Services
Your student may also talk to his or her academic advisor for assistance.