Student Conduct FAQs

Students | Parents & Guardians


Student FAQs

What is the Student Code of Conduct?

The Student Code of Conduct is a set of standards of behavior which are expected of St. John Fisher College Students. It is expected that all students are knowledgeable about the Student Code of Conduct and abide by the standards of behavior at all times.

I received a letter from the student conduct office, what should I do?

Read the letter carefully, it outlines everything you need to know including the date, time and location of your student conduct hearing.

The letter talks about things I didn’t do, what do I do?

Your letter contains what we understand from reading the incident report. In your student conduct hearing, you will have the opportunity to share your account of the incident or behavior in question.

The situation happened off-campus, why do I have to come in for a hearing on campus?

The College reserves the right to address misconduct by students that may relate to the College in any way.

What is a student conduct hearing?

The purpose of a student conduct hearing is to hear your side of the story and to determine if the Student Code of Conduct was violated. The hearing takes place with an individual hearing officer or a student conduct committee. You can review the student conduct process on our website.

Should I attend the hearing?

Yes! It is in your best interest to attend your hearing. This is the opportunity for you to discuss the alleged violation or behavior with the hearing officer.

What happens if I don’t attend the hearing?

If you do not attend your scheduled hearing the hearing officer will make a decision in your absence based on the information in the reports and will be notified of the outcome of the decision.

What is a sanction?

Sanctions are assigned to students who are found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct conclusion of the hearing. The hearing officer or the hearing committee determines appropriate sanctions. Prior violations for which a student was held responsible and subject to previous sanctions are taken into consideration when sanctions decisions are made in all cases. You can review our website for examples of College sanctions.

What is a student conduct file?

A student conduct file is the record kept documenting a student’s participation in the student conduct process.

Who gets access to my student conduct file?

Records may be released to College officials on a “need-to-know” basis. Student conduct records may be released to persons and agencies external to the College with the student’s permission, or in compliance with the law. Records subpoenaed or ordered by a judge may be released without the student’s permission. A record may also be released if it is in the College’s legal interest to do so.

Will my family be able to read my student conduct file? Will an employer? Another school?

You would need to provide your written permission before we allowed access to the information in your student conduct file, outside of the reasons above, including to your family and any background checks for transfer institutions or jobs.

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Parent and Guardian FAQs

How will I know if my student is involved in the Student Conduct Process?

Generally, the best practice is to maintain open communication with your student about his/her college experience. Discuss the Student Code of Conduct in advance and add what your expectations are regarding his/her behavior. The best approach is to directly ask your student questions about how he/she is doing at college - both academically and behaviorally.

In addition, during our interactions with students we encourage them to talk to their families when they are involved in this process. We understand being open and honest with parents/guardians concerning their standing brings fewer surprises in the long run.

Student conduct records are protected under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA sets privacy standards for student educational records and therefore a student's conduct file is not released without a written consent from the individual student.

What do I do if my student is involved in the Student Conduct Process?

Talk to your student. Allow your student to honestly share with you the circumstances of the situation. Visit our website to learn more about the student conduct process. The more you know the College's Student Conduct Process, the more you will be able to listen and support your student during his/her experience. Lastly, encourage your student to attend his/her scheduled conduct hearing.

How can I best support my student through this process?

Students bring with them to college everything you have taught them and use that information when making decisions. This is why it is important to be clear about your expectations for your student. We find that if students don't know what your standards are and what the consequences are, they fear the worst and are less likely to share with you when they are struggling or need help.

Here are some tips for you to follow if your student informs you that s/he is currently going through the student conduct process:

  • Allow your student to honestly share with you the circumstances of the situation.
  • Learn as much as you can about the student conduct process and encourage your student to do the same.
  • Encourage your student to attend his/her scheduled hearing.
  • Encourage your student to be honest and cooperative throughout the process.
  • Remember that all people make mistakes. Try to help your student find ways to learn from this experience.

Will I get any information about my student's participation in the process?

Ordinarily you will not be contacted by the College about a student conduct matter. However, at its discretion and per FERPA guidelines, if your student is involved in multiple violations of the College's alcohol or drug policies, you may receive notification from the College.

Does my student need a lawyer?

Hiring a lawyer is always a decision for a family to make together. Student Conduct hearings are private and closed to everyone except the involved persons. A student may not be accompanied by legal counsel (whether a practicing attorney or not) unless criminal charges are pending or foreseeable, in which case an attorney may accompany the student for the sole purpose of advising the student during the hearing. The ability to have legal counsel present is restricted to the Student Conduct Hearing. Legal counsel may not be present during subsequent appeal hearings, if any.

Can I attend my student's hearing?

In accordance with FERPA and the College's view of its students as adults, parents and/or guardians are not permitted to attend student conduct hearings. However, you are welcome to come to our office to support your student before and after the actual hearing. We also welcome any questions you may have concerning the process, and with your student's permission we are available to talk to you about the situation.

Who will be present during my student's hearing?

There are two types of hearings, an Administrative Hearing and a Student Conduct Committee Hearing.

  • Administrative Hearings are one-on-one meetings between the student and a Student Conduct Hearing Officer.
  • A Student Conduct Committee Hearing is made up of a committee of faculty/staff and students, the Committee Chair (the Coordinator of Student Conduct or her designee) and the Complainant (usually a representative from Safety & Security on behalf of the College). Additionally, in a committee hearing, students may request one witness to speak to his/her character as well as witnesses that have first-hand information pertaining to the incident.

Will this go on my student's academic record?

The Student Conduct Record is part of the student's educational record, but it is not recorded on a student's academic transcript. Student conduct records are only released per the student conduct record policy. Student conduct records are only released with a student's permission per the College policy on Educational Records or a subpoena.

Where can I find more detailed information about the Student Conduct Process, Hearing Procedures, Sanctioning, and Appeals?

All information regarding the Student Code of Conduct, Student Conduct Hearing Procedures, Sanctions and Appeals can be found on the Student Conduct website. If you still have questions you can contact the Student Conduct Office at, 585-385-8007 or studentconduct@sjfc.edu.

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