Parents & Families FAQ

We understand that the student conduct process can be confusing and difficult to deal with when you are home and your student is in college. We have compiled this list of questions and answers to help address some of the most common questions parents and families have about the student conduct system. If you have additional questions you may reach us at 315.443.3728.

The University values your role as a partner in helping your student make choices that improve their ethical decision making. There are several things you can do to help your student before they arrive on campus.

Before your Student Arrives on Campus:

  • Have an open discussion with your student about the process of making good decisions, taking responsibility for your actions, and responding to peer pressure.
  • Make sure your student knows clearly what you expect and what you value.
    Remember that your student will look to you as a role model for dealing with and responding to conflict.
  • Be open to discussing difficult topics such as substance abuse, intimate relationships, and other risky behavior.

Student Reports that they have been Accused of Violating the Syracuse University Code of Student Conduct:

  • Have an open discussion with your student about making good decisions, taking responsibility for their actions, and responding to peer pressure;
  • Make sure your student knows clearly what you expect and what you value;
    Remember that your student will look to you as a role model for dealing with and responding to conflict;
  • Be open to discussing difficult topics, such as use and abuse of alcohol and drugs, intimate relationships, and resolving conflicts;
  • If you choose to discuss your own college experiences with your student, please keep in mind that he or she will look to your behavior as a guide for their own.

Remember that your student will be working to develop as an individual. Some of their choices may not be the decisions you would have made in college or would make now. Be open to talking with them about how they made their decisions.

  • Speak with your student regarding the situation. Make sure that you listen carefully and critically.
  • Make sure your student knows the student conduct process. Your student should review the Code of Student Conduct, Sanctioning Guidelines, and the Student Conduct System Handbook.
  • Discuss with your student your expectations for their behavior at Syracuse University. Discuss ways your student can modify their behavior to meet those expectations.
  • Brainstorm with your student appropriate resources for help and support (e.g., alcohol education, personal counseling, etc.).
  • Let your student know where you stand regarding their behavior, while continuing to support them.
  • Brainstorm with your student ways to overcome past mistakes.
  • Be firm in your approach but always keep the lines of communication open.

Students may be advised throughout the student conduct process by a procedural advisor, who is a full-time member of the Syracuse University community. In cases where criminal or civil proceedings are also pending, students may be advised by an attorney. In cases involving sexual assault, stalking, gender-related harassment, or domestic/relationship violence, students are permitted to be advised by an advisor of their choice, which includes attorneys or parents.

There are ways you can support your student. When your student has been accused of violating the Syracuse University Code of Student Conduct:

  • Speak with your student regarding the situation. Make sure that you listen carefully and critically.
  • Make sure your student knows the conduct process. Your student should review the Code of Student Conduct, Standard Sanctions, and the Student Conduct System Handbook.
  • Discuss with your student your expectations for their behavior at Syracuse University. Discuss ways your student can modify their behavior to meet those expectations.
  • Brainstorm with your student appropriate resources for help and support (e.g., alcohol education, personal counseling, etc).
  • Let your student know where you stand regarding their behavior, while continuing to support them emotionally.
  • Brainstorm with your student ways to overcome past mistakes.
  • Be firm in your approach but always keep the lines of communication open.

We appreciate that being accused of violating University policy is stressful and may be scary for some students. Students do have the right to have a procedural advisor assist them throughout the conduct process. Depending on the type of allegation made against them, and whether they have criminal or civil proceedings pending against them, the type of Proecural Advisor your student may have is different. Please review our Procedural Advisement section for more details on options available to your student.

In addition, requests for disability accommodations should be made to the Office of Community Standards. Students may also work directly with the Center for Disability Services. Please contact their office at disabilityservices@syr.edu if needed. Since accommodations may require early planning and are not provided retroactively, students should contact the Office of Community Standards regarding accommodation needs or the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible.

The University values parents/guardians as partners in helping them improve their decision making and raising your standards of behavior. As such, the University will inform the parents/guardians of dependent students in the following situations:

  • in an emergency;
  • after assignment of educational intervention, for a case involving amnesty for help-seeking behavior;
  • after final adjudication and finding of responsibility in all alcohol and drug-related offenses; and,
  • after final adjudication and finding of responsibility in all offenses resulting in disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion.

This letter is meant to notify you of the outcome of either your student's informal or formal resolution. It is our hope that students will communicate with their parents or family members prior to the arrival of a letter from our office. If you have questions about the letter, you are encouraged to discuss it with your student. Additionally, staff in the Office of Community Standards are happy to discuss the conduct process with parents or family members, and in the cases where a FERPA request has been filed, are willing to discuss the case more specifically.

In some instances, students standing with the University Student Conduct System can impact the experiences in which they can participate. Please visit our "Sanctions" and "Change in Status" sections to learn more.