The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution sees parents as partners in ensuring student success. We appreciate you taking the time to review this page and encourage you to review other areas of our website as well. You may be reading this because your student has shared with you that they have an upcoming hearing, you may be curious about our process or standards, or you may have received a letter from our office. We hope this information helps you understand our role and provides answers to some of your questions.
The staff members in OSCCR are considered educators and are responsible for helping your student uphold Northeastern’s Code of Student Conduct. The conduct process strives to provide an educational approach to resolve alleged violations of the Code. The primary focus of this process is to maintain a safe and respectful learning environment for all members of the Northeastern community.
After participating in the conduct process at Northeastern, students will:
- Recognize their role as a member of the University community
- Understand how their choices and actions relate to their values, beliefs and/or goals
- Take ownership and responsibility for their choices and actions
- Increase their understanding of how their choices and actions affect others
- Increase their understanding of the Code of Student Conduct
- Identify and connect to other campus and community resources
- Increase their understanding of how to evaluate consequences before making decisions
- Be positively influenced by the interaction in regards to their future choices
FREQUENTLY ASKED PARENT QUESTIONS
- My student has a pending case in OSCCR. How do I help?
- When are parents notified about their students’ participation in a conduct process?
- Can you send me a copy of any reports before my student’s meeting with a Hearing Administrator?
- Who can attend the hearing?
- What is a Hearing Advisor?
- What accommodations are available for students with a disability?
- How might a suspension or expulsion affect us financially?
- I think my student has been a victim of sexual violence or gender-based discrimination. What should I do?
- I have more questions, where can I find answers?
- What other resources are available for students and families at Northeastern?
1. My student has a pending case in OSCCR. How do I help?
Encourage your student to take an active role in the process by reflecting on the incident before the hearing and preparing to share their perspective on the incident. It is also a good idea to review the Code of Student Conduct and have your student become familiar with the charges noted in their notification letter.
The majority of conduct hearings at Northeastern are called Administrative Hearings, which are one-on-one conversations between the student and a Hearing Administrator (Staff member in OSCCR, Resident Director or Graduate Assistant from Residential Life, or staff from The N.U.in Program). During an Administrative Hearing, the Hearing Administrator will provide your student with an opportunity to provide their account of the incident, share incident reports and/or other written documentation, ask follow-up questions, and discuss potential outcomes (sanctions) for the hearing. The primary focus of these meetings is to determine what happened and if a violation took place, assist the student in understanding the impact of their behavior, and provide a space for the student to begin reflecting on how to move forward to repair harm to the community.
2. When are parents notified about their students’ participation in a conduct process?
Northeastern and OSCCR view students as responsible adults and direct most communication to the student, while encouraging the student to communicate with their families as they feel appropriate.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) protects the privacy of student’s educational records, including conduct files, from disclosure to any third party without the student’s permission. This means that the specifics of a student’s conduct case will typically not be discussed with parents/guardians or anyone else unless the student has waived that right to privacy.
FERPA’s provisions are not absolute; there are limited exceptions. The Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 1998 allows colleges and universities to contact the parents/guardians of students in conduct cases involving drugs and alcohol, can result in suspension/expulsion, create a health and safety concern. The University’s parental notification policy provides for different types of contact depending on the type of violation
When a student authorizes the University to notify parents, Hearing Administrators will provide parents with the following:
- A copy of the decision letter when an alcohol or drug violations or Hosting a Disruptive Gathering off-campus results in a finding of Responsible.
- A copy of the pre-hearing notice in cases that may result in suspension or expulsion of their student. In these cases, parents will also receive a copy of the decision letter.
- In cases of health or safety concerns for the student. The University may contact the Emergency contact in the manner the University deems appropriate. Emergency contact may come from OSCCR or may come from a member of the WeCare Team and may come via phone, e-mail, or letter depending on the nature of the concern.
Other code violations (such as noise or Academic Integrity) typically do not result in parent notification. Students can check the parental notification selection by going onto myNEU. (See above for exceptions.)
3. Can you send me a copy of any reports before my student’s meeting with a Hearing Administrator?
If your student is having an Administrative Hearing, the report will be shared with your student, after your student has provided their perspective on the incident. Allowing your student to speak first makes the conversation more educational and focused on their development. Your student may request that the Administrative Hearing be suspended for a brief and agreed upon amount of time after the incident report is shared to reevaluate their responsibility for the charges. When an Administrative Hearing is suspended, the Hearing Administrator and your student will work together to schedule a time to resume the hearing
If your student is attending a Student Conduct Board (SCB) Hearing, they will receive all written documentation during their pre-hearing meeting to prepare for the SCB Hearing.
4. Who can attend the hearing?
Attendance at an Administrative Hearing is limited to the student and the Hearing Administrator. In some instances, an exception will be made to allow a student to bring a Hearing Advisor to this type of hearing. Attendance at a Student Conduct Board (SCB) hearing is limited to involved parties, witnesses for the involved parties if arranged in advance, Hearing Advisors, and University officials as deemed necessary.
Lawyers, parents, guardians, friends, or other supports may not attend the hearing. These supports are invited to accompany the student to the hearing and sit in the waiting area of the office during the hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, and at the preference of the involved student(s), the Hearing Administrator may meet with parents to answer questions and/or provide clarification, if necessary.
5. What is a Hearing Advisor?
Hearing Advisors are trained members of the Northeastern University community who can assist students as they go through the OSCCR process, most often for Board-level hearings. The Hearing Advisor is there to help students review information, answer questions, and prepare for meetings. Members of the OSCCR staff train Hearing Advisors annually on the conduct process and the Code of Student Conduct, and they provide Hearing Advisors with support and consult as needed. Click here to read more about Hearing Advisors.
6. What accommodations are available for students with a disability?
If your student has registered with the Disability Resource Center (DRC), and you believe that your student will require a reasonable accommodation to assist with the hearing, your student should contact the DRC and notify the Hearing Administrator so accommodations can be met. Students requesting an accommodation must work with staff in the DRC to ensure that proper documentation is on file. For additional information, please refer to www.northeastern.edu/drc.
7. How might a suspension or expulsion affect us financially?
It is likely that your student will incur a financial loss if a suspension or expulsion occurs after the first three weeks of the semester (2 weeks for summer sessions). Review the University Refund policy as well as the Residence Hall and Dining License Agreement for more information.
8. I think my student has been a victim of sexual violence or gender-based discrimination. What should I do?
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on gender, which includes sexual harassment and sexual assault. Title IX also prohibits retaliation against people for making or participating in complaints of sex discrimination. Resources are available through the Violence, Support, Intervention and Outreach Network (ViSION) and the Office for University Equity and Compliance. More information on filing a report and receiving support and guidance can be found on their websites.
9. I have more questions. Where can I find answers?
Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section on our website. Click here to go to that page. Additionally, you may contact the Hearing Administrator working with your student with any questions or concerns you may have. You may also call our office at 617.373.4390 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Department of Housing and Residential Life: 617.373.2814, northeastern.edu/housing/
- Disability Resource Center (DRC): 617.373.2675, northeastern.edu/drc/
- NU Public Safety Division (NUPD): 617.373.2121, northeastern.edu/publicsafety/
- The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI): 617.373.2133, northeastern.edu/oidi/
- The Office of Prevention and Education at Northeastern (OPEN): 617.373.4459, northeastern.edu/open
- University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS): 617.373.2772, northeastern.edu/uhcs/
- We Care: 617.373.4384, northeastern.edu/wecare