Information for Support Persons

One of the primary purposes of the student conduct process is to promote learning and development for our students. As such, we position students to learn advocacy skills by asking them to speak for themselves through the process. Still, we understand that our emerging adults may need support as they navigate a new process. All students are permitted to have a Support Person with them at any meeting or proceeding related to the disciplinary process.

Support Persons are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Code of Student Conduct.

pARENTS, fAMILY mEMBERS, & OTHER SUPPORT PERSONS

Support Persons

The Responding Party is entitled to be accompanied by a Support Person in meetings related to the investigative and disciplinary process. This includes informational meetings, Investigation meetings, conduct resolution meetings, and University Hearings. A Support Person is someone who provides support, guidance, and/or advice to the individual. However, a Support Person cannot speak on behalf of the individual, directly participate in the proceedings, or submit any written requests (including appeals) on behalf of the individual. The Support Person also cannot serve as a witness in the context of an Investigation. A Support Person may be a family member, friend, faculty member, staff member, attorney, or other advisor/supporter. Should a Support Person not adhere to these expectations or attempt to play a direct and/or active role in any proceedings, the Hearing Officer or staff member, at their discretion, may order the excusal of the Support Person.

Parents & Family

If your student is involved in the Student Conduct process, it is understandable that you will want to support them. This page is intended to provide you with general information. Answers to general questions can be found on the FAQ page. We highly recommend that you read other sections of our webpage such as "Conduct Resolution Meeting" and "Appeal Procedures" along with your student. While the disciplinary process is the method for upholding the University's policies, our ultimate objective is to provide a fair process and help your student learn. We strive to get to know students, listen to their stories, and provide opportunities for growth throughout the process, regardless of their responsibility for violating policies. Every part of our process is designed to be educational. 

ferpa & Support Persons

Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that provides confidentiality regarding a student's education records, including disciplinary records. When a student enters the college setting, regardless of age, they become the custodian of their own record. This means that OSCCE cannot disclose information regarding a student's disciplinary record without the student's permission. Students can give permission for OSCCE to share their disciplinary record with anyone should complete the Authorization to Release Form and return it to OSCCE. FERPA does permit disclosures of information regarding alcohol and drug violations to parents or guardians of students who are under the age of 21. 

sTUDENT CONDUCT & THE LAW

Attorneys as Support Persons

The student conduct process is not comparable to a court of law, criminal proceeding or civil proceeding and therefore the role of the attorney is also dissimilar. In this administrative process, the role of the attorney is one of a support person. This support person is not an active participant and may not participate in the conduct resolution meeting or hearing. They can attend the conduct resolution meeting or hearing as a support to the student and can guide or advise the student on what questions to ask or answer during their conduct resolution meeting or university hearing. However, they may not speak directly to the hearing officer, and during a University Hearing they may not be heard on record.

Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), and the implementing regulations, the Office of Student Conduct & Civility Education cannot discuss a student's record with an outside agent without written permission granted by the student. This Disciplinary Record Authorization Form can be found at: www.towson.edu/studentconduct. Absent this form, staff members are limited to discussing university policies and procedures and not the specifics of any student's disciplinary record.