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Frequently Asked Questions

My student told me he got in trouble, but also told me “it wasn’t a big deal.” Why did he have to do that assignment and pay that fine?

Students will not always tell their parents the full truth about a situation, or they do not have a complete understanding of why their action was against policy. (For example, underage students who are caught drinking in their residence hall room rarely believe they were breaking any rules as long as they were quiet and “not bothering anyone.”) While we are not always permitted to disclose particular facts about an incident, we are always willing to clarify policies with parents over the phone. However, we encourage you to speak with your child about the incident first. If students have questions, we would prefer to explain things to them so they have an understanding about the incident and their learning can progress.

Will the school ever call me about my student’s conduct issues?

This is always a possibility, particularly if we believe your child has displayed behaviors that indicate he or she is a risk to self or others, or if your child has been charged with violating a policy that could result in removal from the institution. Normally, if a student has reached the second alcohol “level” or first drug “level,” dependent students are required to inform their parent(s) about the incident and have their parent contact the Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct to confirm notification.

My student was cited in the Selinsgrove Borough or off campus. Why is he still being charged through the school? Isn’t that double jeopardy?

“Double jeopardy” is a legal term used in a court system. As an educational institution, not only does this not apply to our system, it does not follow our philosophy on conduct issues for our students. While they are students at Susquehanna University, they are residents of the Selinsgrove Borough (population 3,000 excluding our students). In order to maintain a positive relationship with our neighbors and the community, we demonstrate our commitment to upholding community standards by ensuring that our students know they must behave responsibly, no matter where they are. We maintain a close relationship with the local police department. Should an incident involving one of our students be brought to our attention, we will follow up in the SU Student Conduct System to ensure appropriate educational follow up or outreach.

What does this "community standards" fine on my student’s statement mean?

Typically, students are assessed a $5 - $50 administrative fee after meeting with a conduct officer and being found "responsible" for violating a policy outlined in the Student Handbook. The fine can be the result of any number of situations ranging from failing to complete all tasks on the residence hall room break closing form, missing a mandatory hall meeting, failing to attend an appointment with a student life administrator or violating the alcohol policy.

At the end of every semester, the cost of damages within the common areas of residence halls, which have not been attributed to a particular person, will be divided among the residents of a hallway or building. Students are encouraged to contact Residence Life staff with information about damages in their residence halls to avoid being charged for those costs.

If you see a $200 fine on your student's account, it means he or she has an overdue or incomplete educational sanction. Students are made aware of what is expected of them as a result of their interactions with the Student Conduct System through communications via their Susquehanna University email account. This includes emails with the details of their sanction(s), due date(s) and consequences they can expect from incomplete sanctions or violating university policy again.

The $200 is only an initial charge. Students will receive a prorated credit on their student account depending on when they complete the assignment. For example, if they complete it within one week of the original due date, their student account will be credited $175. Within two weeks, it will be credited $150. Within three weeks, $125, and so on. Please note that this fine is not in lieu of completing the assignment; failure to complete it may ultimately result in a Dean’s academic hold on your student's ability to register for next semester's classes or graduate, if applicable.

What other educational sanctions can my student expect as a result of being found "responsible" in the Student Conduct System?

The Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct aims to challenge its students to think critically about their professional goals, personal development, desired impact on their community, and future decisions. As a residential community "that values diversity... health in mind, body and spirit; and learning in and out of the classroom, (Susquehanna University Mission and Guiding Values)" sanctions will focus on improving one's understanding of positive community living, personal decision-making, values clarification, and personal health. This ranges from reflective or research papers, online educational modules, service hours with community partners, restitution if applicable, and reflective and exploratory programs through the alcohol and other drug Outreach Coordinator.

Recognizing that some actions are in violation of community standards and the goals of SU's educational objectives, there are circumstances when removal from campus is necessary in preserving the health, safety, and well-being of the student and/or the community.

Students have an opportunity to exercise their right to respond to decisions of a conduct officer or recommendations of Conduct Board and should take advantage of university resources to fully understand their rights and responsibilities in the Student Conduct System. This includes the Student Handbook, student life administrators, including the Director of Community Standards & Student Conduct, Residence Life staff, and the Dean of Students.

What are the consequences of my student being placed on "disciplinary probation?"

A student may be placed on disciplinary probation as a result of being found responsible for violating university regulations. This is a trial period during which the student must behave in a manner acceptable to the University. Under the status of disciplinary probation, a student is encouraged to seek advice and counsel from appropriate University officials. Established proof of a violation of the terms of probation, or of a further incident of misconduct while on probation may result in separation from the University for not less than one academic semester. While on Disciplinary Probation, students are disqualified from applying to participate on any Susquehanna University sponsored “GO” program. Students should see the Office of Cross Cultural Programs regarding other options for meeting this graduation requirement.

Is my student permitted to have overnight guests?

Susquehanna’s guest policy states that a student may have one overnight guest (whether or not he or she is a Susquehanna student) for a maximum of two nights in a two-week period. Guests are only permitted with the prior consent of a student’s roommate(s). All non-Susquehanna student guests must receive a temporary guest pass from the Department of Public Safety (located on the north side of campus near the 18th Street Commons apartment complex) office upon their arrival to campus.

What does it mean if my student is placed on “disciplinary probation”?

Disciplinary probation is a trial period during which a student must behave in a manner acceptable to the university. If a student is found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct while on probation, he or she may face more severe disciplinary action including suspension or expulsion. Students on disciplinary probation are not eligible to participate on any Susquehanna University-sponsored Global Opportunities (GO) program. Additionally, students who are placed on disciplinary probation, but have already committed to and paid for a GO program, will not be permitted to attend the trip. They will also lose any up-front money already spent in preparation for the trip. Students on disciplinary probation must seek a viable alternative for fulfilling the cross-cultural requirement.

For more information:

Contact the Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct at studentconduct@susqu.edu

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