Parent & Families

Community Expectations:

Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and imparting knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous and respectful exchange of ideas, and community service.

The University Student Code of Standards and the Statement of Philosophy were developed to embody the values that we hope our students, faculty, staff, administration and alumni will demonstrate. We hope that individuals will respect these common principles thereby contributing to the traditions and scholarly heritage left by those who preceded them making Florida International University a better place for those who follow.

 

As a member of the University community, we expect that your student will: 

Respect the tradition of academic inquiry, the University’s rules of conduct, and its mission.

Respect the opinions and differences of all members of the FIU community.

Practice civility and demonstrate conduct that reflects the values of the institution.

Respect the rights and property of the University and its members.

Be diligent and honest in your personal and academic endeavors.

 

University community members owe it to themselves and this community to report behaviors that violate the campus standards. In addition, each member is responsible for asking questions and seeking information in order to understand the expectations of our campus community.

We encourage parents, families, and community members to partner with us to promote the educational goals of our institution.

 

If Your Student Has Been Reported or Charged:

If your student receives notification from Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution or Residential Life stating that he/she has been reported as possibly engaging in misconduct, here are some things to keep in mind as you support your student:

  1. Remember that receiving notice of possible violation does not mean that your student is responsible! There is a process in place to allow your student to share his/her perspective about whatever happened.
  2. Encourage your student to follow the process and meet with Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution or Residential Life staff member if he/she is interested in resolving the conduct case. Students have a right not to participate in the process, but we want to hear from your student if he/she wants to share information.
  3. Review our website and the Student Code of Conduct and encourage your student to do the same so he/she has information about the process.
  4. Encourage your student to be honest and to act with integrity during the process, including accepting responsibility if he/she did violate a policy.
  5. Remember that this process is not about judging your student’s character, it is about assessing specific behavior and considering consequences for those behaviors.
  6. Recognize that this is not a legal process or criminal process. In a majority of cases, students receive educational sanctions that assist them in learning from the experience while they continue with their coursework.
  7. Be aware that there are decisions your student may make through this process. If it appears there is responsibility for violating a policy, your student can accept an informal resolution or can elect to go to a hearing.
  8. Finally, allow your student to learn from this experience. Much of a college education comes from both inside and outside the classroom – this is a great opportunity for your student to be accountable for him/herself.

The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution and the Department of Residential Life administer the student conduct process. These offices provide students notifications of pending student conduct charges.

Releasing Information:

In compliance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), all conduct records are considered confidential records, with exceptions noted in FERPA. Only those persons authorized by the student or by Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution may have access to these records. This includes the ability of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution staff to discuss specifics regarding any student conduct matter.

How will I know if my student is subject to student conduct charges?

The best practice is for your student to inform you about any student conduct charges directly. Student can also authorize release of information within their student conduct file by contacting the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution and completing a Release of Student Conduct Information Authorization Form.

FERPA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education. The Department maintains a FERPA website (with links to FERPA regulation) at: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index/html

 

Resources:

  • Division of Student Affairs

www.fiu.edu/~studaff/

  • Housing and Residential Life

www.housing.fiu.edu

  • University Police Department

police.fiu.edu

  • Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)

counselingservices.fiu.edu

  • Victim Advocacy Center

advocacy.fiu.edu

  • University Health Services

healthservices.fiu.edu

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How is a conduct complaint filed?
    • Typically any Florida International University (FIU) community member can file a report using our online incident report form. Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (SCCR) receives reports from a multitude of different sources, most commonly reports are filed through the University Police Department, Residential Life, staff, faculty, and other students.

Please note that filing a report with the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution does not constitute filing a criminal complaint. In addition, all reports received by SCCR do not result in formal student conduct charges.

  1. How will I know if my student is subject to student conduct charges?
    • Student conduct records are confidential and protected under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) The best practice is for your student to inform you about any student conduct charges directly. Students can also authorize release of information within their student conduct file by contacting the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution and completing a Release of Student Conduct Information Authorization Form.

 

For more information regarding FERPA please visit http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index/html

 

  1. My student has been charged with a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, should I hire an attorney?
    • If your student is the subject of a pending criminal matter arising from the same incident an attorney may serve as an Advisor but may not be represented by counsel. The charged student has the primary responsibility for presenting his or her perspective on the incident, with the Advisor serving in a supportive and advisory capacity. An attorney may not represent or speak on behalf of the student.

All students are provided the opportunity to be accompanied by an Advisor throughout the student conduct process. An advisor must be a Member of the University Community (student, faculty, or staff). The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution maintains a list of Advisors that can provide assistance to students in preparing a response to an alleged Code violation.

  1. What is the student conduct process?
    • Students alleged with violating the Student Code of Conduct will be given notice of the charges and scheduled for an Information Session with a staff member from the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution or Residential Life.
    • During the Information Session, the student will be informed of the allegations and charges associated with his or her case, the student conduct process, rights afforded to him or her, and ways in which to resolve his or her case.
    • At the completion of the Information Session the student will chose to resolve the case by Summary Resolution, informal hearing, or by electing one of two formal hearings, Administrative Hearing or Student Conduct Committee.
    • The Hearing Officer or Student Conduct Committee will weigh the evidence and decide if a student is responsible for violating the offense(s) based on a preponderance of the evidence (otherwise known as more likely than not); and if so, will determine the appropriate sanction(s).

 

For more information regarding the student conduct process and the different ways in which to resolve student conduct cases, refer to the Student Code of Conduct and the student conduct flow chart found on our website.

 

  1. What is an Interim Suspension?
    • In situations where it is determined that an emergency exists which affects the health, safety, or welfare of the student of the University community, an interim (temporary) suspension will be imposed. During this interim period the student may not attend classes, participate in any FIU sponsored or related event or activity, and is not allowed to be on campus.
    • Typical incidents that may result in an interim suspension include, but are not limited to, sexual misconduct, physical assault, hazing, possession of a firearm or explosives, illegal drug possession, and other acts of a similar nature.

All incidents are reviewed on a case-by-case standard in order to determine if the alleged misconduct is of a nature in which an Interim Suspension is to be imposed.

  1. How are sanctions decided?
    • Sanctions are determined by considering the following factors: nature of the violation, the student’s role in the incident, the effect of the incident on others and on the student, the student’s developmental and educational needs, and the student’s prior conduct record.

A list of sanctions and their definitions can be found in the Student Code of Conduct and on our website.

  1. Does the outcome of a student conduct proceeding go on my student’s record?
    • If a student is suspended from the University, a notation will be placed on the student’s academic transcript for the period of the suspension. If a student is expelled, a notation will remain on the student’s academic transcript permanently. For any student receiving a sanction less serious than a suspension or expulsion, notations are not placed on a student’s academic transcript.
    • The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution will maintain a student’s conduct file. A student’s conduct file will be maintained by the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict for seven (7) years from the date of the last incident that the student was involved in the resulted in charges of the Student Code of Conduct. Student conduct files of students who have been suspended or expelled are permanently retained.

 

  1. Will a student conduct record keep my student from getting into graduate school, law school, etc.?
    • A student conduct record does not automatically exclude a student from further study, jobs, etc. That usually depends on the type or severity of the misconduct in which a student was involved. A student conduct record may lead an admissions office to more closely scrutinize a student’s application. We will only release information about a student’s conduct record to another school or potential employer as allowed by our records policy, or with the permission of the student.

 

  1. Can you give me some advice on how to work with my student who is involved in the student conduct process?
    • While we recognize that your goal is to provide support for your student, we ask that you provide this unconditional support for your student with the intent of also encouraging him or her to take responsibility for his or her behaviors and to learn from his or her mistakes. Understand that there is a process in place to hear all information regarding the incident in question. The best thing you can do is to encourage your student to prepare him or herself for the process. Ask questions that get your student to reflect on their role in a given situation and how this may have affected the campus or residence hall community.
    • We ask you to understand that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) precludes University staff from discussing information with you about your student’s academic and disciplinary records without written permission from your student except in emergency situations. Please understand our limitations in working with you.
    • When your student receives paperwork regarding student conduct procedures and has questions, direct him or her to contact a staff member in Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Residential Life staff for information. Due to federal and state laws protecting the privacy of students (FERPA), staff members are not permitted to give specifics to family members or other parties and will recommend to those inquiring that the student should contact our office. This also teaches and empowers your student to work on solving his or her own issues and concerns. Staying in the background can be an important developmental step for your student.
    • We recommend that you educate yourself about our philosophy and process by looking through the website. Many of your questions may be easily addressed through this medium
    • We encourage you to practice the “24 Hour Rule.” You may receive a phone call or email message from your student because he or she is upset about facing student conduct charges. You may be tempted to try to immediately fix the problem from them. This approach most often fails. We encourage you to instead allow 24 hours to inform, guide, teach, observe, and address your student as appropriate (if necessary). Lessons learned through participation in a student conduct process often must by experience to have the desired effect. Higher education is about learning and sometimes the lessons learned through mistakes can be among the most valuable.

 

*Adapted from the University of Florida “A Family Guide to the Student Conduct Process.”