Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are university policies enforced off-campus?

A. Yes, policies are enforced off-campus when a student's behavior threatens the university community or the university's pursuit of its mission, policies or procedures.

Q. How are off-campus incidents handled?

A. If you are charged with a violation of federal, state, or local laws for off-campus behavior, you may be disciplined by the university without a university hearing when: you are found guilty by a court of law; you plead guilty or nolo contendere to the charges; or you are given probation before judgment. Additionally, interim or final disciplinary action may be taken before any court action is completed. Examples of charges that may result in action include acts of violence, drug and alcohol related violations, and a citation for a disorderly house. Such action will be taken only after a limited investigation by the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education and after you have been offered a meeting with a university official. Any interim action shall be reviewed, and appropriate final action taken, at your request or at the university's discretion, when a final court decision is rendered or when the university receives additional persuasive evidence.

Q. What is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?

A. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a Federal law that provides students with access to inspect and review their educational records and protects students right to privacy by limiting access to the educational record. The Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education will not release your disciplinary record to a third party without your consent, unless directed by a court order. You are guaranteed the right to inspect and review all information in your file maintained by the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education, subject only to reasonable regulations as to time, place, and supervision.

Q. Will my parents be notified of my violation?

A. FERPA permits the university to contact your parent(s) or legal guardian if you are under the age of 21, with information regarding any violation of university policy or state, federal or local law governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance.

Q. How long is my student conduct file retained?

A. Student conduct files are retained for seven years if the charges against you are substantiated. Disciplinary records may be retained for longer periods of time if the sanction is suspension or expulsion from the university or university housing.

Q. May I have an attorney represent me?

A. If you are facing concurrent criminal charges and request a university hearing, you are permitted to have legal counsel present at the university hearing. Legal counsel may not participate in the hearing, but may advise you.

Q. What if I am found responsible for tampering with fire safety equipment in the university residence halls?

A. If you are found responsible for tampering with fire safety equipment (i.e. fire alarm, smoke detector, fire extinguisher) you could be suspended from living in the university residence halls.

Q. What is the difference between a university hearing and an informal investigation?

A. A university hearing is offered when the potential sanction may be suspension or expulsion from the university. A university hearing is a fact finding disciplinary process conducted by the university hearing panel, which consists of a hearing officer and up to four student conduct aides. An informal investigation will be conducted for violations resulting in lesser sanctions. An informal investigation will normally consist of an informal, non-adversarial meeting between the accused and a university administrator, as designated by the director of the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education. For further information regarding these student conduct processes, see the Code of Student Conduct in the Towson University Undergraduate Catalog.

Q. Is there an appeal process?

A. Yes, there is an appeal procedure. Appeals may only be filed in the event of: (1) a flaw in the students right to due process, (2) evident bias in the decision of the hearing board or the individual conducting a disciplinary conference, (3) inconsistent or overly severe sanction imposed, (4) new evidence or insufficient consideration of all aspects of the situation. For information regarding the appeal procedures, see the Appeals Procedures link at

Q. What if a student is disruptive in class?

A. If there is an on-going problem with a student who is disrupting class proceedings or whose behavior is causing concern, the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education recommends the following steps the instructor may take to address the student's behavior: (1) meet with the student and explain why the behavior is inappropriate, (2) tell the student what type of behavior is expected in the classroom, (3) explain to the student what consequences will take effect if the inappropriate behavior continues, (4) if the student's behavior does not change, tell the student the situation is being referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education.

Q. What if a student is causing an immediate threat in my class?

A. If there is a student who is causing an immediate substantial disruption or is exhibiting threatening or dangerous behavior in your classroom, directly contact the University Police at 410-704-4444.

Q. What if a student is caught cheating?

A. If a faculty has evidence that a student's class-related behavior constitutes a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, the faculty member may determine the course-related sanction to be imposed against the student, up to and including failure for the course. A letter must be sent to the student stating the imposed sanction and informing the student of his/her right to appeal. A copy must be sent to the Office of Student Conduct & Civility Education. A student who is found responsible for two or more violations of the academic integrity policy is subject to suspension from the university. For information regarding the Academic Integrity Policy or appeals process please click the following link:

If you have additional questions or need more information, contact the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education, Administration Building, Suite 236, or call 410-704-2057.