STUDENT CONDUCT: FAMILY INFORMATION
Welcome to the Family Information Page!
It is our hope that you and your student feel part of the Mercyhurst Family. That is why this page is designed to assist in educating parent(s)/guardian(s) about the Student Code of Conduct and the disciplinary process. You will find parent specific information below.
Be sure to complete the following “Know the Code” quiz to familiarize yourself with how the student conduct process works.
Under the Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, Mercyhurst University is restricted in releasing student information without the consent of the student. It provides the student a right to inspect his/her records and restrict the disclosure of those records. Further information about FERPA is available on the U.S Department of Education FERPA website.
“The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education”.
Detailed information about FERPA at Mercyhurst University can be found in the University Policy Statement
In order for the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct to discuss details of your case or any disciplinary record, the student must give permission to do so, unless elsewhere allowable by law.
It should be understood that, at the post-secondary level, parents do not have automatic access to the student’s educational record. However, in the event of repeated offenses of the Student Code of Conduct, our office reserves the right to send a letter to your parents indicating that you have been found responsible for violating a certain policy and that further misconduct may result in the loss of housing, suspension, or expulsion from the university.
This is done in the hopes that conversations will take place in the family setting and will not divulge any specific details of your particular conduct case.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows universities to notify parents/guardians when their student has violated the drug and/or alcohol policy. Specifically, if the student is:
- less than twenty-one (21) years of age with a second alcohol violation
- less than twenty-one (21) years of age with a first-time drug violation for marijuana.
- less than twenty-one (21) years of age with a first-time, high-risk alcohol violation including, but not limited to: reading of a .10 or greater on an Alco-Sensor, driving under the influence, driving after consuming, alcohol poisoning, or hospitalization.
The purpose of Parental Notification is to maintain a clear line of communication, collaborate with the parents of Mercyhurst students, and to develop strategies to help the student learn from this teachable moment.
Parental Notification is sent to the parent or guardian by mail to the student’s permanent address within 7 business days of a conduct case being resolved. That notification does not detail the specific incident but rather provides the framework that future violations of the Student Code of Conduct may result in loss of housing privileges, suspension, or expulsion.
What is the purpose of the Student Code of Conduct and the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct?
The Student Code of Conduct establishes the written rules, regulations, and procedures concerning student conduct and discipline for Mercyhurst University. The Code applies to all actively enrolled Mercyhurst students, be it both on the main campus and at the North East campus. The professional staff members of the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct will serve as the primary hearing officers for student conduct cases and will be available to assist any student, student organization, staff member, faculty member, or administrator in understanding and applying the Student Code of Conduct.
What are some of the sanctions commonly assigned for Student Code of Conduct violations?
The sanctions are developed with consideration of the individual circumstances of the case, the student’s prior disciplinary history, if any, the impact that the sanctions will have on the student’s situation, his or her educational record, and any other relevant information that the hearing officer deems useful.
How can my student make sure he or she is not in violation of the Campus Student Code?
Students are advised to acquaint themselves with the Student Code of Conduct and with the rules and regulations associated with University housing. Students have access to view all of these items by visiting handbook.mecyhurst.edu at their convenience.
Can I accompany my student to a conduct hearing with the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct?
As part of your students’ rights, they may be accompanied by an advisor of their choice and at their own expense. However, the student is responsible for presenting his or her own information and argument and, therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing.
How can I best support my student through this process?
The best way to respond to your student’s misconduct is to be supportive while encouraging them to accept accountability for their decisions and their actions. You may want to encourage your student to seek any and all resources that the Mercyhurst community may offer to best assist them.
Can students be held accountable to the Student Code of Conduct if they are not found guilty in court?
Yes. The Student Code of Conduct is separate from any criminal process or court hearings. There are significant differences between the criminal process/court system and the student conduct process, but they are not mutually exclusive from one another. If a student is arrested and charged in a criminal proceeding, that student can also be charged under the Student Code of Conduct. However, there are many charges under the Student Code of Conduct that do not rise to criminal behavior, as well.
Mercyhurst University Police and Safety
Office: McAuley Hall, Lower Level