Frequently Asked Questions - Students
I was involved in an incident. What do I need to do?
If you were documented (by Public Safety, Residential Living, faculty or anyone else) as being involved in an incident, expect a Notice of Charge letter that will include your appointment date/time with a conduct officer. Please reply to confirm your attendance. You should also consider reviewing the Code of Conduct and specifically the policy in question and the procedure. If you did violate the Code, you are encouraged to take responsibility for your actions. If you did not do anything wrong, understand that the process is fair and that your side of the story will be heard. If you are in violation and there are sanctions, complete them on time to avoid further consequences.
I’m a good student! I did not do anything wrong!
Sometimes there are mix-ups and students find themselves “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” You will be treated fairly and given an opportunity to explain what happened. Experienced staff and a highly trained University Conduct Board (made up of faculty, staff and fellow students) make determinations about what occurred. The process, at its core, is educational and that will be the focus when meeting with you.
What can happen to me?
If you are in violation of the Code, sanctions can range from a disciplinary reprimand (a written warning) up to loss of housing or suspension and expulsion for more serious or repeat violations. Often times there are additional sanctions issued including an alcohol education module, service hours, fines or other projects. These must be completed as well or there may be further consequences. Academic integrity violations could result in failure for the course or the assignment. If you are not in violation or charges are withdrawn, there would be no sanctions and no conduct record.
Do I have a “record”? Does this go on my transcript?
Conduct records are confidential and cannot be released without the written consent of the student. Many graduate, law, and medical schools and employers with sensitive information (like the United States government) often ask for a release of the applicant’s conduct record. If that is the case, we encourage you to be open and honest about what happened and share any relevant details. Most places are pretty understanding about a relatively minor incident that happened years ago. Serious violations, repeat incidents or lying about it can play a much more significant role.
Files are retained for at least seven years after the date of the incident; some files are retained indefinitely. Conduct records do not appear on transcripts.
Do my parents find out?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) keeps university students’ academic records (including grades and conduct) confidential. A student must complete a waiver for our office to share details with anybody besides the student. Please go to drexel.edu/src/academics/ferpa for instructions on how you can complete a waiver.
There are exceptions to FERPA. For alcohol, drug, and other serious violations, Drexel is permitted to and will notify parents of them. We encourage you to talk with your family before such notification.
What took so long?
The staff tries to resolve cases as soon as possible, but sometimes there are delays. It may take a while to get a completed investigation report or we may be backed up with other cases. If your case is going to the University Conduct Board, it may take time to coordinate everyone’s schedules.
What rights do I have?
Students’ rights include the assistance of an advisor, the right to review the complaint made against them, the right to have witnesses and the right to appeal in most cases.
Should I get a lawyer?
If you or your family wishes to be advised by an attorney, this is a personal decision to be made only by you. Unless you can document that there are concurrent criminal charges or if this is a case that allows for lawyer participation, lawyers are not permitted to participate in the conduct process. Lawyers are often not aware of the distinct differences between criminal proceedings and university student conduct procedures. You are always permitted to have an advisor, and a list of those advisors internal to Drexel University can be made available to you upon request. Our office has a list of faculty and staff members who are well-versed in process and can help students prepare their cases.
What are some additional resources for me?
University Conduct Board: A group of Drexel students, faculty, and staff that hear cases involving alleged student misconduct. The Board is trained to evaluate the information regarding a case, ask questions, and determine whether or not a violation has occurred. They also recommend sanctions. The University Conduct Board also hears appeals.
Disciplinary Reprimand: The student is warned that further misconduct shall result in more severe disciplinary action. This is the lowest sanction available.
Disciplinary Probation: A specific period of time during which the University provides the student with the opportunity to prove that he/she will contribute in a positive manner to the University community. Should a student violate University policies while on Disciplinary Probation, more severe sanctions shall be imposed. This is not academic nor does it appear on a transcript.
Deferred Loss of Housing: Serves as a final warning that any further violation(s) of University policy obligates the University to consider loss of housing privileges as a primary response.
Deferred Suspension: Serves as a final warning to a student that if he/she is again found in violation of any University policy, the University is obligated to consider suspension as a primary response.
Suspension: A separation of the student from the University for a specified period of time. A suspended student will be withdrawn from all courses and may not attend classes, take exams, receive grades, maintain a position as a co-op student, hold a leadership position or be on University premises. A student may return to Drexel after the suspension period is completed.
Expulsion: A permanent disaffiliation between the student and the University. An expelled student shall not be permitted on University property.