FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I just received a letter from the Office of Judicial Affairs. What is it / what should I do?
Your letter outlines the alleged incident, date of incident and the corresponding conduct violation(s). The violation(s) is/are further explained in the Student Code of Conduct, Regulation 2.012. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.
What happens if I don't make an appointment or skip my appointment?
A Judicial Hold will be placed on your student account, which will prevent you from registering for classes and obtaining transcripts. Additionally, you may be prohibited from attending classes and participating in extracurricular activities. It is in your best interest to schedule and attend your appointment with a staff member.
What will happen at this appointment?
You must bring picture identification, preferably RattlerCard, to your appointment. At this meeting, a staff member will explain the student conduct process, including your due process rights and the alleged violations. You will have an opportunity to select a resolution path (an administrative hearing or informal disposition) and sign the appropriate forms. You may have an advisor of your choice present throughout the student conduct process; however, the advisor may not represent or speak for you.
What are my rights?
To whom does the Student Code of Conduct apply?
Any student registered for study at the University. This includes persons not officially registered or enrolled for a particular term but who are eligible to enroll or are associated with the University because he/she has not completed a course or program. The term “student” will also refer to student clubs and organizations will be subject to the Student Code of Conduct. Discipline may be imposed for any conduct which occurs on University property, at University-sponsored events, at University approved events conducted by certified clubs/organizations or off campus, including non-University related activities.
Do student disciplinary records appear on the academic transcript?
Disciplinary actions do not appear on academic transcripts. However, if a student is suspended or expelled from the University, a notation will appear on the academic transcript noting that the student is not in good standing with the University. Once the suspension period is over, the notation is removed. If a student is expelled, the notation is permanent and cannot be removed.
Will my disciplinary records be made public? Will the records be given to the media? Who has access to my record?
The Office of Judicial Affairs is bound by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Students may choose to sign a release form granting Office of Judicial Affairs permission to discuss any and all information related to their disciplinary file with any individual that they designate. This form is available from the Office of Judicial Affairs. Additionally, any educational institution or agency requesting a disciplinary check on a current or former FAMU student must be in writing and accompanied by a signed release from the student.
PARENTS & GUARDIANS
Will I be notified if my student is charged with violating the Rules of Conduct?
We may notify parents if their student has an alcohol and/or drug violation as allowed by state and Federal laws. We encourage students to speak with their parents and believe that as adults, students should take responsibility for initiating the conversation. Students may also sign a release(s) that would allow us to speak with parents about any situation at hand. In addition, you may be notified if there is an imminent risk to the student's health, safety, or welfare.
What is my role in the university student conduct process? How can I help my student?
You can help the student through the process by being supportive while holding the student accountable to your expectations and the University's. You can also help identify and provide necessary interventions, such as alcohol or drug evaluations, anger management, and others, so that your student can be successful at FAMU. Allow and expect the student to set appointments, attend meetings, and fulfill sanctions. It is usually not helpful to the educational development of the student or resolution of the matter, for you to take over the process from your student.
Can I attend the student conduct meeting and/or hearing with my student?
The student may have an advisor present, who may be a parent/guardian. The role of the advisor is to support and advise the student but cannot speak for or participate directly in the student conduct proceeding. You may whisper or write the student notes in a manner which does not disrupt the student conduct process.
Do I need to hire an attorney to represent my student?
No, some students choose to have an attorney accompany them. An attorney may serve as an advisor but cannot speak on behalf of the student or participate directly in the student conduct proceeding. The attorney can whisper or write notes to the student in a manner which does not disrupt the student conduct process.
Will a disciplinary record keep my student from getting into law school, graduate school, etc.?
A disciplinary record does not automatically exclude a student from further study, jobs, etc. That usually depends on the type or severity of misconduct in which a student is involved. A disciplinary record may lead an admissions office to more closely scrutinize the student's application. We will only release information about a student's disciplinary record to another school or potential employer as allowed by the records policy, or with the permission of the student.
My student was charged criminally. Why go through student conduct process too?
The criminal justice system and the Code of Conduct are not mutually exclusive. By virtue of being a student, your student is held responsible for upholding the standards of behavior in the Code of Conduct, as well as public laws. Note that the University may proceed with the student conduct process prior to, concurrent with or subsequent to criminal arrest and/or prosecution.
This incident happened off campus. Why is the University involved?
The University has an interest in maintaining a safe community and appropriate standards of conduct for its students. This includes both on-campus and off-campus behavior, which can have an impact on the University community and the University mission.
ATTORNEYS & ADVISORS
I have been asked to represent a student facing student conduct review. How do I establish this with the University?
Students must represent themselves in all student conduct matters, whether or not the student is also facing other proceedings related to the same conduct. Students may have an advisor present during all student conduct proceedings, but the advisor is restricted from any participation in the proceedings. This advisor may be an attorney or a friend or another person. In addition, the Office of Judicial Affairs will correspond at all times directly with the student and not through any third party. Any communications between the University and the student’s attorney are through the Office of the General Counsel.
The student is charged with a crime off-campus. Can the proceedings be delayed until the criminal matter is resolved?
The student conduct process at FAMU is not attempting to determine whether or not a student has violated the law; the University is trying to determine whether or not a student violated University regulations. As such, the goals and the means of the criminal justice process and the student conduct process are dissimilar. A student may request to have the administrative hearing postponed for no more than sixty (60) business days provided the student agrees to accept the imposition of probation, suspension, or withdraws voluntarily depending upon the gravity of the offense. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall make the final determination regarding the student’s status.
Isn't the student conduct process double-jeopardy for someone also facing criminal charges?
No. "Double-jeopardy" is a concept that applies solely to criminal proceedings. Criminal proceedings do not in any way offer exemptions from civil or administrative proceedings.
Why isn't the student being afforded the same protections that he or she would receive in the criminal process?
The student disciplinary system is not judging criminal guilt, but rather, whether a student has violated campus regulations. The courts have long recognized the differing interests of the University community from that of the criminal justice process. Although there are basic concepts of fairness that apply to student disciplinary proceedings, the student disciplinary system serves administrative and educational functions relating to the mission of the Florida A and M University. Many of the intricate rules and processes found in a court system are not applicable for the campus.
What is the "burden of proof" in the student conduct process?
Decisions with respect to student responsibility for alleged actions are made based on a preponderance of the evidence; that is, the hearing panel or judicial staff will determine what is "more likely than not" to have taken place.
NOTE: For official language and procedures governing student conduct, please consult the Student Code of Conduct found on this website. Any questions concerning the University Student Conduct Process should be directed to the Office of Judicial Affairs, Room 101 Student Union, (850) 599-3541.