Frequently Asked Questions

Student FAQs

I'm having trouble viewing a letter I received from the Dean of Students Office, what should I do?

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I received a Violation Notification/Meeting Request letter, what does this mean?

If an alleged violation is included in the letter you received, it means that your name was included in a report and you are in alleged violation of the Student Code.  You should reply to the sender of that message promptly and work to schedule a meeting to discuss the situation and your options.  

Should I request a hearing?

If you believe that you are not responsible for violating the Student Code, you may choose to deny responsibility and request a hearing.  It is solely your decision to request a conduct hearing. 

If you believe that you are responsible for the violation you do not need to request a conduct hearing and can admit responsibility during your educational conference with your assigned Conduct Coordinator.

If you deny responsibility for the violation, you must have a conduct hearing. The hearing is your opportunity to explain and demonstrate why you are not in violation or policy.  You may choose to bring information supporting your claims (evidence, witnesses, etc.), however, please refer to the Student Code for complete information about hearing requirements.

You can find more information in the Student Code (see section 3.2).

Do I need an attorney or other representation at my conduct hearing?

For the hearing, a student is entitled to be accompanied by one adviser. The advisor may be any individual of the student’s choice. The student may choose to have an attorney as their advisor but it shall be at their expense, and provided that at least 24 hours prior written notification of the attendance by the student’s attorney is delivered to the Conduct Coordinator assigned to your case. The advisor shall have no role at the hearing other than to advise the student. The advisor shall not be permitted to ask or to answer questions or to make oral arguments.

I have a hold on my student account from the Dean of Students office, what should I do?

You need to call the Dean of Students office as soon as possible in order to determine the reason for the hold and how it can be lifted (616) 331-3585.

Who has access to my disciplinary file?

We are unable to disclose your disciplinary file to anyone other than you under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). If you would like someone other than yourself to have access to this information you will need to fill out a FERPA Release Form.

What behavior is expected of GVSU students and their guests?

Students are expected to obey federal, state and local laws as well as the rules and regulations of the university.  The Student Code establishes expectations for student behavior within the university community.  This code also outlines acts on university-owned or controlled property that constitute unacceptable conduct by students.  All alleged violations of the code may result in a conduct referral to the Dean of Students Office.  The University also reserves the right to review a student's off-campus conduct.

Does GVSU have an alcohol and drug use policy?

Yes.  Only students who are of legal drinking age may have alcoholic beverages in their living center rooms (south campus apartments/living centers only). They may not have more than one open container per 21 year old resident and 21 year old resident's guests (guests of students under 21 cannot consume or possess alcohol regardless of their age). They cannot violate any local, state or university ordinances.  Most new students will not be of legal age to consume alcohol.  No one can consume or possess alcohol in open containers in lounges, recreation rooms, hallways, outdoors or in other public areas.  

Consistent with federal law and the Drug Free Schools Act, GVSU prohibits the illegal use of any controlled substance. GVSU does not allow students to possess marijuana under any circumstance, regardless of medicinal status in the state of Michigan. 

If a student is sanctioned under the Student Code, will that action appear on his or her permanent university record?

No.  A separate discipline file is maintained by the Dean of Students Office. This record can be released to other educational institutions and GVSU offices without a student's permission, per The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). However, any outside agencies must obtain a student's permission.

What if I am facing criminal charges?

The criminal system and Grand Valley State University are separate entities. The Dean of Students office and the University conduct process focuses on student code violations. If a student has been referred to our office for violating the student code that will also make the student face criminal charges, the code violation will need to be resolved through the student conduct process regardless of the legal process. 

My charges have been dropped by the police, will they be dropped by GVSU?

No. The University conduct process and student code are different from court proceedings and criminal charges.  You will need to go through the student conduct process regardless of other agencies. 

The incident I am being referred for happened off campus. Why is Grand Valley involved?

The Dean of Students office keeps the best interest of the University and its students in mind regardless if an incident happens on or off-campus. If the situation impacts the University or involves a student of the University, the Dean of Students office becomes involved. 

What sanctions will I receive?

Each violation is treated individually and therefore will have different sanctions. The sanctions (see section 3.5) are based on the severity of the violation and what the conduct coordinator, with suggestions from a hearing officer or board, deems appropriate. 

What if I do not agree with the decision of my hearing?

If you do not agree with the decision you have been given regarding your hearing you have the right as a student to appeal (see section 3.4).


Family FAQs:

Will I be notified if my student is given a referral for violating the student code?

No. The Dean of Students Office may notify parents/guardians when a student is charged with a violation of the Student Code and is under 18 years old.

If the student is over the age of 18, the student and their records are protected by The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Our office is limited in what we can share with parents/guardians regarding your student and their records.

Can I have access to my student's information?

No. Due to the regulations of FERPA your student's information is confidential and we are unable to share it with you without your students written consent

How can I have access to my student's information?

Your student will need to fill out the FERPA Release Form and return it to our office. 

What is my role in the conduct process? How can I help my student?

If your student is charged with a violation of the Student Code, they will receive written notification from the Dean of Student Office regarding their responsibilities and options, dates and times of scheduled meetings, and contact information for the Conduct Coordinator assigned to their case if they have any questions.

You can help guide your student through the process and be supportive, while also holding them accountable to your expectations and the university’s.  This may also be an opportunity to identify and provide necessary interventions, such as alcohol or drug evaluations, anger management, and others, so that your student can be successful at Grand Valley.  

Can I attend a student conduct hearing with my student?

The student is allowed to bring one adviser of his or her choice to the conduct hearing. The adviser is not able to speak on behalf of the student but can consult with the student in a non-disruptive manner during the hearing. 



Page last modified July 24, 2017