Student Conduct & Legal Clinic
The mission of the Office of Student Conduct is to educate students about community standards and prohibited conduct, promote student learning and accountability, and facilitate the development of thoughtful and responsible individuals. The University acknowledges that student have rights and responsibilities as members of the Appalachian State University community and that the University has expectations regarding the behavior of its members which extend beyond the classroom into all aspects of life. When students voluntarily enter the University, they assume obligations of performance and behavior relevant to the University’s mission, processes, and functions. These expectations of students in an academic community are higher than those expected of other citizens.
Student Conduct 101 for Parents and Families
Appalachian strives to create a safe environment for students to learn and grow. There are certain behaviors that can impede a student’s success. The Office of Student Conduct addresses those behaviors in violation of the Appalachian Code of Student Conduct. Please share with your student that they are held accountable for their behavior both on and off campus. The University does not condone the underage use of alcohol or illegal substances at any time. Below are some frequently asked questions about Student Conduct:
What is the Student Code of Conduct?
A set of community expectations, standards and responsibilities that all Appalachian students are expected to abide by. The Code is available here.
What happens if my student has been involved with an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct?
Your student will receive an e-mail to their Appalachian email to contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Do parents need to attend this meeting?
Generally, students come on their own. The information received is initially viewed as an allegation and the meeting provides an opportunity to discuss the incident in question. The ability to confront situations as they happen is an important skill for students to learn.
How does the University determine responsibility?
Students have several choices in resolving their allegations. A student can accept responsibility or dispute the allegation and request that the information be presented for Formal Resolution. Sometimes, a student can be released from the process by the Conduct Review Officer as information is provided by others involved in the incident. If a student attempts to avoid the Office of Student Conduct, the Office has the right to resolve the case in their absence. If the alleged incident occurred while a student at Appalachian, the University will move forward with the case even if the student has withdrawn from school. Most common violations are:
1. Alcohol: Underage possession/use
3. Violation of University policies, regulations or rules (quiet/courtesy hours)
4. Violation of University policies, regulations or rules (fire/other safety)
5. Drugs: schedule III/VI possession/use
Will you be informed about your student’s conduct record?
Generally, the University will inform the parent or guardian of a student less than 21 years of age of a second alcohol violation or a first drug violation. We will also inform parents of a first alcohol incident if it is serious in nature – examples include: driving while under the influence, alcohol poisoning, hospitalization, arrest, and having a reading of .10 or greater on an alco-sensor. The purpose of the notification is to open communication, to collaborate with the parent and develop strategies to help the student learn from this teachable moment. Notification is sent to the parent or guardian by mail to the student’s permanent address.
Keep in mind students are learning to become independent thinkers and problem solvers. They need to learn from the choices and the decisions that they make. Consequences help with the learning process. It is not our goal to punish students but to educate students. Sometimes students may even need to leave the University (suspended or expelled) with some work to do at home (counseling, community service, get a job, attend a community college) as a consequence for their behavior.
It should be understood that, at the post-secondary level, parents do not have automatic access to the student’s education records. The first step in having access to your student’s information is having open communication with them about what is going on with their grades, classes, etc. Secondly, the student can provide access to parents in AppalNET using the Parent Portal consent process.
It is not uncommon for students to sign waivers which would allow more open communication between the student, parent, and University. Students may sign a waiver allowing parents access to their educational record at the University. Your student can access this form through the Registrar’s Office or through the Office of Student Conduct.
Student Legal Clinic
The Office of the Dean of Students provides a Student Legal Clinic, staffed by a licensed attorney, for Appalachian students who need help with civil legal problems or minor criminal charges. The Legal Clinic provides free, confidential legal advice regarding landlord-tenant issues, disputes over debts, family law, traffic tickets, and a range of other legal problems. The Legal Clinic provides advice and information only and cannot provide an attorney to represent students in court. The Legal Clinic also does not advise students on disciplinary cases being handled through the Office of Student Conduct or on other situations directly adverse to the interests of the University.
The Student Legal Clinic attorney is available to provide presentations (upon request) on relevant legal issues to student groups, clubs or organizations. Appointments can be scheduled Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by calling 828-262-8284.