Tips on How to Help Your Student through the Student Conduct Process
Speak with your student about what has happened. Listen critically to what they say about what happened.
Discuss honestly with your student responsible decision making and how it affects their future. Be open to discussing difficult topics, such as substance abuse, intimate relationships, and other potentially risky behavior.
Discuss with your student your expectations for his/her behavior while s/he is attending the University of Bridgeport.
Encourage your student to personal responsibility for their choices and actions. Help them learn to not blame others for consequences resulting from their own personal choices.
Make sure your student knows the student conduct process. Encourage them to review Chapter 5 (Student Conduct) of the Key to UB: Student Handbook.
Be firm in your approach when speaking with your student, but always keep the lines of communication open to allow for honest conversations.
Parental Notification Policy
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with
respect to their education records; therefore, when a student is involved in the student conduct process, the Office of Residential Life and Student Conduct can only speak directly to student regarding the matter unless a waiver form is completed by the student authorizing us to speak with his/her Parent/Guardian.
The Dean of Students or designee has the authority to notify parents or guardians when dependent students under the age of 21 are found to be in violation of the University alcohol and/or drug policies for: 1) possession of a keg or large volume; 2) dispensing alcohol to a minor; 3) possession or distribution of controlled substances; 4) under age possession or open container in a public space for a second time; or in cases where a student is subject to residence hall separation, suspension, expulsion or required emergency medical care because the student became ill from the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs. The notification is permissive and at the discretion of the University. The notification of parents or guardians is indicated when: 1) the violation involved harm or threat of harm to persons or property, or 2) the violation involved an arrest in which the student was taken into custody.
Nothing in these guidelines shall prevent University officials from notifying parents or guardians of a health or safety emergency, or when a student, under the age of 21 is found to have violated
University policy with respect to the use and/or consumption of alcohol or drugs. Whenever possible, students will be informed that parental notification is planned in advance of their parents receiving the notice. The notification of parents is simply an act of notice and is not subject to appeal.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) I know my student did not do this because I didn’t raise him/her that way. Why is s/he being charged?
Speaking in terms of student development, college is often a period of experimentation in a living environment possibly very different than what they may be used to at home. This is a normal part of the developmental process they will undergo while at the university; however, students must also understand that choices they make may not always be correct and every choice could have consequences.
2) My student was charged criminally by the Police. Why is s/he also going through the student conduct process?
Students whose behavior violates civil and/or criminal law are considered in violation of University policy and will be subject to University disciplinary action and, in some cases, arrest. Living on campus does not relieve students of responsibility to greater community. Any act that disrupts or impairs the purposes of the University and its community is subject to penalty under the Student Conduct Code, whether this act takes place on or off campus. This is the general principle for determining whether a violation has occurred even if the action does not violate criminal law. Behaviors that violate the Student Conduct Code may also violate criminal or civil law and as such may be subject to proceedings under the legal system as well. Students at the University of Bridgeport are subject to the provisions of the Student Conduct Code. University disciplinary proceedings may impose sanctions regardless of the outcome of criminal proceedings arising from the same incident. As the University is charged with maintaining a safe environment, especially, although not only, for students, staff for other cultures who may not be familiar with their rights in our community, the University may take such action as it deems necessary to protect the community and its members under all circumstances regardless of whether a student is believed to have committed a violation beyond a reasonable doubt.
3) This incident happened off campus. Why is the university involved?
The university has an interest in maintaining a safe community for its students. Each student is accountable his/her peers and fellow members of the university community regardless of whether an alleged incident took place on campus or at some other location; therefore, the university reserves the right to address, through the Student Conduct Process, any behavior that can have an adverse impact on the university community and its mission.
4) Does my student need an attorney for his or her conduct hearing?
No. Attorneys are not necessary as this is not part of criminal hearing. Students are expected to speak on their own behalf during a conduct hearing; however, students may choose to have an advisor accompany him/her to the hearing. The Advisor is selected by the student and can be faculty/staff members, a peer, a parent, or another individual; however, attorneys are not allowed to serve as an Advisor during the hearing. The Advisor may only speak with the student and is not allowed to speak or interact directly with any other person including witnesses, members of the Student Conduct Hearing Board or any other person involved in the hearing.
5) Can I attend the Student Conduct Hearing with my student?
A Parent is permitted into the hearing, if and only if, s/he is selected by the student to serve as his/her Advisor and must act solely within the limitations of that role.
6) Who are the members of the Student Conduct Hearing Board?
The Student Conduct Hearing Board is formed out of members of the university administration including professional staff of the Office of Residential Life and Student Conduct and other offices. If the student feels that a committee member is biased and unable to conduct a “fair and impartial” judgment of the evidence, s/he is able to request the member recues him/herself from the hearing.
7) On what basis is a student determined to be “guilty” or “innocent”?
The standard of evidence used during the student conduct process is known as “Preponderance of Evidence”. Additionally, as the student conduct process is not a criminal proceeding, we do not use the terms “Guilty” or “Innocent” – students are found to be either “In Violation” or “Not In Violation” of the Student Code of Conduct. For a student to be found “In Violation”, the evidence must indicate that it is more likely than not that the violation occurred.
8) Who has access to my student’s disciplinary file?
The Office of Residential Life and Student Conduct maintains all discipline files regarding students at the university. These records are released to university officials who have a legitimate need to know and others as permitted by law. Students must sign a FERPA Consent Form if they wish any information contained in the file to be released to other individuals. Students may make a written request to have all discipline files destroyed upon receipt of a University degree. The Dean of Students reserves the right to refuse such a request depending on the seriousness of violations. All files may be destroyed seven years after date of activation with the following exceptions: dismissal records shall be permanently retained as official records unless the student is readmitted and successfully completes a degree, at which point, the record should be removed seven years beyond the date of readmission; expulsion records shall not be removed from the official files under any circumstances. Any records kept beyond these limits for statistical purposes will not be considered or released as official disciplinary records.