Frequently Asked Questions
On this page you will find frequently asked questions regarding the conduct process and the Office of Student Conduct. If you don't find your question or have additional questions, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-257-3755.
Does the University have an amnesty policy?
Yes. UK’s primary concern is the health and safety of its students. To that end, students who seek assistance for themselves or others experiencing a drug or alcohol-related emergencies, as well as the student experiencing the emergency, may not be charged or received restorative actions for violations of drug or alcohol-related policies in this Code. This amnesty does not cover any other policy violations that may have occurred during the incident and does not prevent any actions that a law enforcement agency.
My student received a letter from the Office of Student Conduct. What does that mean?
There are a number of reasons why the Office of Student Conduct has reached out, but primarily, the letters are either a request to participate in an investigation meeting or an informal meeting.
Investigations are required when more information around an incident is required in order for the office to determine if a policy violation occurred or not. At this point, no charges have been made, and your student can expect to answer questions and get more information about the conduct process.
If it is for an informal meeting, the letter explains to your student that they have allegedly violated one or more of the policies in the Code. The letter provides a brief description of the incident, the policies that may have been violated, and the date, time and location of the informal meeting. It is important for students to attend these meetings as it is their opportunity to be heard.
How can I help my student?
The best thing you can do is encourage your student to respond to communications from the Office of Student Conduct and take advantage of their opportunity to participate in the student conduct process. It’s also important to encourage your student to learn more about the conduct process. The Office of Student Conduct is willing to provide general information about the student conduct process, but, because of federal privacy laws, staff members are unable to discuss a student’s specific student conduct record or any specific incident without written permission from the student.
Will you talk to me about my student's case?
FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) protects students’ educational records. That includes their student conduct records. If your student would like us to speak with you about their student conduct record, please have them complete the Release of Information Form. For more information on FERPA, visit the Office of the Registrar or the US Department of Education.
Why does my student have to fill out another form when there is already one on file with the Registrar's Office?
The Dean of Students office has a separate FERPA release due to the nature of the information involved. For the Office of Student Conduct specifically, a student's conduct record is its own separate record, and disclosure of that record requires a student's written permission.
What is an informal meeting?
An informal meeting is an opportunity for your student to respond to the allegations. Your student will be able to review a detailed account of the incident and see any additional documentation that the Office has related to the incident. Then your student will have an opportunity to explain their involvement in the incident. At the conclusion of that conversation, your student is found either responsible or not responsible for the violation. If responsible, your student and the conduct officer co-create a restorative action plan that will help them learn and grow from the situation.
Can I attend any scheduled meetings with my student?
Students are allowed up to two Support Persons to any part of the conduct process as long as the student completes the Release of Information form. If you serve as a Support Person, you must adhere to the expectations set. Parents, family members and guardians can provide moral support and assist their student in understanding the process and expectations of the University.
The incident my student was involved in occurred off-campus. Why is the University student conduct process moving forward?
The Code of Student Conduct applies to behavior that occurs on or off University premises, at University activities, or to any behavior that adversely affects the reputation and welfare of the University. Students are expected to abide by the Code and all other University policies from the time they are admitted until they graduate (regardless of whether they are participating in classes) as long as they are enrolled at the University.
What happens if my student has a pending informal meeting and pending criminal charges?
Criminal proceedings and the student conduct process are separate. The student conduct process is designed to be a learning experience that facilitates student engagement in responsible behavior at the University and in the greater community. The student conduct process can move forward prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. The outcomes of the student conduct process are not subject to change because criminal charges were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the student.
Do I need to hire a lawyer?
Every student has the right to obtain legal counsel; however, the student conduct process and criminal proceedings are not the same. During an informal meeting, a lawyer cannot speak on behalf of or represent your student in any way. Lawyers who attend a student’s conduct meeting must adhere to the expectations set for Support Persons during the student conduct process. During a formal hearing, lawyers can represent their student during the fact-finding portion where responsibility is being determined.
How do you decide if my student violated the Code of Student Conduct?
The standard of evidence that the Office of Student Conduct utilizes is the preponderance of information. Unlike the standard used in the court system, this is a less strict standard. Preponderance means more likely than not. In other words, is it more than 50% likely that a violation occurred?
What is going to happen if my student is found responsible for violating University policy?
Your student may be required to complete a Restorative Action Plan, which is your student’s opportunity to learn from the incident at hand and be held accountable in accordance with University expectations. Restorative Action means any educational or disciplinary measure provided to encourage self-reflection regarding the policy violation, to stop further inappropriate behavior, and to deter any subsequent violations. These Actions appropriately connect to the violation, and each plan is tailored to meet the student’s developmental needs and repair the harm done to the community.
Will my student have a disciplinary record?
Students who are found responsible for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct will have a record. This is kept separately from a student’s academic record and is protected by FERPA—those wanting to review it must have written permission from the student.
How does a disciplinary record affect professional school opportunities?
A disciplinary record does not automatically exclude a student from further study, jobs, etc. That usually depends on the type and severity of the violation the student is involved in. It is important to be truthful answering disciplinary actions on applications. Many students with student conduct matters have gone to graduate or professional school, particularly when they can demonstrate that they have matured since the incident.
I received a letter from your office stating my student violated the University's alcohol or drug policy. What should I do next?
FERPA permits the University to disclose limited information about a student’s education record when a student is found in violation of the University’s alcohol or drug policy and the student is under 21 years of age at the time of the disclosure. In those cases, you are notified in writing after the final outcome of the student conduct process. If you received this type of notification, The Office of Student Conduct encourages you to speak directly with your student to learn more information about the incident.
My student is experiencing interpersonal conflict. How can I help them? What can I do? Can you help?
Conflict is a natural part of interacting with other people. While it is not always a comfortable thing to face, learning and growth can come from this. We recommend that you encourage your student to have a conversation with the person they are in conflict with. Tips for handling those conversations can be found on our Conflict Resolution page (below). For conflict that has escalated beyond being able to have a civil conversation, the Office of Student Conduct offers conflict coaching, conflict mediation, and restorative justice practices.