Frequently Asked Questions for Family

My student received a letter from your office citing student conduct code violations. What happens next?
Every student charged with a disciplinary violation is afforded the opportunity to explain what happened during the incident in question and to present additional relevant information regarding his or her involvement.

Most cases are heard through our administrative review process and involve at least one meeting with a judicial officer from this office. Complicated cases (more than one accused student, several witnesses and serious violations of the Student Conduct Code) may require more than one meeting or may require a panel hearing. The final decision on the appropriate adjudication route will be made by the Director of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards.

At the end of the appropriate fact finding process, a decision is made as to whether the student is responsible for the student conduct code sections cited in the original letter. The University uses the preponderance of evidence standard as the measure by which a decision is made.

Not all students are held responsible and sometimes an administrative warning is appropriate. Our decisions regarding whether to hold a student responsible and what outcomes to assign are made on a case by case basis, but are guided by procedural norms. If a student is held responsible, the judicial officer will recommend a set of educational outcomes designed to remedy the violation and ensure the student understands USC community standards.

My student is not happy with the University’s decision.
What can my student do?
The University’s student conduct system is intended to encourage students to take responsibility for their behavior. Feel confident that the decision in your student’s case was thoroughly and carefully considered, and it is intended to help your student understand USC’s behavioral standards.

However, the Student Conduct Code does allow for appeals. Please see additional information on the Appeals Guidelines page.

I pay the bills; I want to know what is going on.
Why can’t Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards discuss the details of my student’s case with me?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law which prohibits educational institutions from disclosing information from a student’s confidential educational records to a specified set of third parties, including parents, without the student’s consent.

USC strictly adheres to the provisions in FERPA. The best ways to ensure your student’s judicial officer can fully address your concerns is to have your student contact our office at and sign a waiver granting parental access to his or her records. Once the student signs a waiver, a member of our staff can discuss the student’s case with anyone listed in the waiver. Our office must also have a signed waiver before parents can participate in any administrative meetings. While we encourage parental support, the entirety of our process is aimed at the educational development of your student. Therefore, all of our questions will be directed toward your student and your student will be expected to answer the questions truthfully. For more information, the parent may request the Guidelines for Student’s Advisor, a document available in Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards.