For Parents

Welcome to our website. Chances are you never thought that your son or daughter's Emory experience would include an interaction with our office. This page is designed to help answer some of the questions you may have about our conduct process and give you information that can help you best support your son or daughter.

First, we recognize that our students (like all of us) make mistakes. Sometimes this involves the consumption of alcohol. Other times it may involve a rash decision made at a late hour. The competitive environment at Emory, in which students want to excel both academically and personally (e.g., be socially accepted and liked by their peers) can sometimes lead to decisions that students later regret. Through our process, we want students to learn where they could have made different decisions and offer them strategies for making better choices in the future.

The expectations we have for undergraduate students are found in the Undergraduate Code of Conduct. As you know from your own experience, actions carry consequences. This is no different at Emory. When students are found responsible for violating a university policy, they may face a set of sanctions.  This may include community service, probation, reflection papers, and, sometimes, separation from Emory, either for a period of time (suspension), or permanently (expulsion). These are not consequences that we take lightly.  We recognize that any sanction imposed upon a student is a burden.  However, we also feel strongly that our process and sanctions play an important role in a student's education at Emory not just during their time with us, but in life beyond college.

We encourage -but do not require- students to talk with their parents upon finding themselves in a tough situation that may involve violation of a university policy. We have found that students are often fearful to talk with their parents about their situation because of the reaction they think they will receive.  While you will understandably be concerned about what may have happened, you will undoubtedly want to show support to your son or daughter.  Listen to his or her perspective. Encourage him/her to accept responsibility for the role he or she played in a situation. And show that you still stand behind him or her.

A common reaction from parents is that their son or daughter could not have possibly engaged in the behavior of which they are accused. Or, at worst, the behavior of their son or daughter was unintentional and simply a mistake. We strive for a fair and thorough process in determining the extent to which a student was involved in a situation. Intent -or lack thereof- is most often considered not in a determination of responsibility, but in a determination of the sanctioning. We have high expectations for our students, and this includes seeking appropriate help when facing a difficult decision. 

So what if your son or daughter faces conduct action, including separation from the university? How does this impact his or her record or chances of gaining admission into a graduate/professional program? Parents have many questions about how conduct action may affect their child's future. We are happy to speak with you with other concerns you may have.  Feel free to contact us by phone at 404.727.3154 or email at conduct@emory.edu.


-Adapted from Duke University's Office of Judicial Affairs, with permission.

How can I help my student avoid becoming involved in the conduct process?
We encourage you to talk with your son or daughter about their values and how their actions can impact their future.  Often students find themselves in a conduct situation because they did not fully considered the consequences of their actions. While your child is now technically an adult, college is a time of growth, change and challenge. As a parent you can be a valuable ally and support for your child.

How will I know if my student has gotten in trouble?
It is not the practice of the university to notify parents if their student is involved in a conduct case, including cases that may warrant removal from housing, suspension or expulsion. We also do not mandate that students contact their parents when they are accused or found responsible for misconduct, although sometimes we may encourage them to do so, particularly when there are serious financial or academic implications. There are rare exceptions when we may contact a parent or family member if we believe it to be in a student's best interest to do so. Both federal law and corresponding university policy generally restrict our ability to share information about a student without his or her written consent (for more information on the university's policy in relation to this law please click here: Confidentiality and Release of Information About Students.

With that said, we encourage you to talk regularly with your student about their adjustment to college life, academic progress and how you can be supportive. Just because your son or daughter acts like they are ready to live without your advice doesn't mean they don't appreciate it when you show that you care.

My student has been asked to come in for a meeting about an allegation of misconduct.  What can I do to help?
Often students and parents are anxious about the conduct process. One way to help is to become informed about how our process works. You can review our web site to learn about our expectations as well as how our conduct process works. The best role you can play is to be a support person for your son or daughter. We understand you may want to take a more active role. However, a cornerstone of our conduct process is that each student is responsible for his or her own conduct. Learning to take responsibility for his or her actions and to develop self-confidence and self-reliance happens best when a student takes a principal role in representing him or herself in the conduct process.

If my child is found responsible for misconduct what is the outcome?
The conduct process allows for flexibility in determining the outcome of a case based on the circumstances and seriousness of the incident and the conduct history of the student. There is no set sanction for any violation. Sanctions are primarily meant to be educational for the student. In some instances sanctions may also be designed to protect the university community.

In serious cases outcomes such as residence hall relocation or removal (either on a temporary or permanent basis), university suspension or expulsion are potential outcomes of the conduct process. Since these sanctions hold significant implications both financially and in terms of a student's academic progress we strongly encourage students to involve their parents or those responsible for assisting the student with financing his or her education in situations where these outcomes are a possibility.

Does my son or daughter need a lawyer?
The conduct process is separate and different from the criminal or civil court system. Sometimes behavior that is prohibited under the Code is also a violation of criminal or civil law, and a student may be held accountable under both systems. Because of the inherent nature of the conduct process as an educational rather than an adversarial system, we do not allow lawyers to participate in our process. Our office has worked with students' attorneys in the past to provide information about our process or specifics about a student's case when the student faces a concurrent criminal or legal charge.

I have a specific question about my student's conduct case, who can I talk with?
The staff in the Office of Student Conduct can answer general questions about the conduct process, we can be reached by phone at 404.727.3154 or email at conduct@emory.edu.  In order to speak with you about your son or daughter's specific conduct case we must first obtain your student's permission to do so in writing. This is a requirement of a federal law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (for more information on the university's policy in relation to this law please click here: Confidentiality and Release of Information About Students.