How can I help make sure my student does not engage in any misconduct while at Tulane?
We encourage you to engage your student in an open dialogue about their life at Tulane, including your student's classes, friends, behaviors, actions and choices. Talk with your student about their values and how actions taken while at Tulane can impact your student's future. Your child is now technically an adult, and college is a time of growth, change, and challenge. As a parent, you can be a valuable ally and support for your student, while at the same time encouraging your student to think about the consequences of their actions and holding them accountable for upholding the expectations that both you and the University have for your student.
Use our Guide for Tulane Parents to talk with your student about Sexual Misconduct and Consent.
My student received a letter informing them that they are is being charged under the Code of Student Conduct. What can I do to help my student?
First, know that the Office of Student Conduct strives to have a fair and unbiased process in which all students have the opportunity to be heard. Your student has been charged because the Office of Student Conduct received a report suggesting that they may have violated the Code of Student Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct recognizes that the reports we receive reflect only part of the story. Before any decisions are made, your student will have an opportunity to share their side of the story with the Office of Student Conduct. Please note that some students waive their right to a hearing by not opening our emails. Encourage your student to regularly check their e-mail. The charges are not a finding that your student has violated the Code of Student Conduct and will not create a conduct record unless the student is found in violation of the Code of Student Conduct after an opportunity to be heard.
Second, ask your student about the incident and listen to your student's response. You can help your student by being supportive while holding him or her accountable for the behavior.
Third, take some time to familiarize yourself with the conduct process. We encourage you to review our website, particularly the Accused Student Frequently Asked Questions, which provides detailed information about the process. We also encourage you to discuss this process with your student.
Fourth, ask your student if they have prepared for their conduct meeting. The best way for your student to prepare for this meeting is to reflect on the event and be ready to describe their perspective on what happened.
I know my student could not have done this; I didn't raise my student that way. So why are they in trouble?
Many college students face challenges, freedoms, and choices they may not have experienced before attending college. Developmentally, college-aged students may be in a period of experimentation and exploration. Students are transitioning from adolescence to adulthood and adjusting to an independent lifestyle in an unstructured environment, often without parents being physically present. Sometimes, college-aged students engage in behaviors or make choices that are surprising to their parents or are inconsistent with the expectations that you and the University have for them. These choices and behaviors may be a part of growing up for some students, and Tulane's student conduct system recognizes and reflects this reality. At the same time, the conduct process seeks to inform students that their actions carry consequences and that not all choices are healthy or productive.
What happens if my child is found responsible for misconduct?
When a student is found to have violated Tulane's standards of behavior, they will receive sanctions. These sanctions typically consist of both a status sanction (sanctions that reflect the student's status at Tulane) and educational sanctions (sanctions that require the student to engage in an educational action). Status sanctions could include but are not limited to Warning Period; Disciplinary Probation; Residential Relocation, Suspension, or Expulsion; University Suspension; or University Expulsion. Educational sanctions could include but are not limited to Community Service, Reflection Papers, or Educational Programs. Sanctions will be based on your student's conduct record, the seriousness of the incident, the effect the incident had on the community, and your student's demeanor during the conduct process.
Does my student need a lawyer? What if he or she is facing criminal charges?
The conduct process is designed to ensure that the student has an opportunity to share their side of the story without the assistance of an attorney. Although the vast majority of our students do not retain an attorney, students sometimes elect to retain an attorney when they are facing serious consequences. Because the conduct process is an educational rather than an adversarial system, lawyers are generally not permitted to attend conduct meetings unless the student is charged with a one or more violations of gender-based personal violence (including intimate partner violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or stalking).
In cases where a student is not charged with the aforementioned violations, a student may select any member of the Tulane community who is not a witness, TUPD officer, or practicing attorney to serve as his or her advisor. The Office of Student Conduct maintains a list of individuals who have volunteered to serve as advisors. These individuals have been trained in the conduct system and most frequently work with students who are charged with a possible violation of university policy.
Sometimes behavior that is prohibited under the Code is also a violation of criminal law, and a student may be held accountable under both systems. In these cases, a student may request that we defer the conduct proceedings until the criminal matter is resolved or the student may elect to proceed to the hearing before resolution of the criminal case.
Will we, as parents, be contacted if our student is involved with the conduct process?
Only in certain cases will you be contacted, and some information is restricted by the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA). For more information about FERPA and access to a FERPA waiver, please visit our website. We also encourage you to speak with your student concerning the incident before reaching out to our office.