CC Chapman Statue
Student Conduct

» Parents and Families FAQs

The following are frequently asked questions from parents, guardians, and families regarding information about their students' experiences with the Student Conduct Process.

Student Conduct Code and Process

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+ - How is an incident report or complaint filed at Chapman?

Anyone can file a report, whether through appropriate staff or faculty or through Public Safety or the Dean of Students Office. To file a conduct complaint against another student, your student should contact a staff member in the Office of Housing & Residence Life (RA, RD, etc.), Public Safety, the Director of Student Conduct, or any faculty or staff member who can help connect him or her to the best person to file a report. Filing a report with Chapman does not constitute filing a criminal report with Orange Police Department (OPD), but Public Safety can help students navigate the process of working with OPD.

+ - If my student is a victim in a situation, what support would he or she receive?

Your student’s safety and well-being are our top priorities. When the Dean of Students Office or other appropriate staff member learns of a situation that may have affected your student’s safety or well-being, we actively build a support network for the student. One or more professional staff members will reach out to him or her and ensure a safe place to discuss what happened and what the next steps are. For more information about professional support on Chapman’s campus, please feel free to visit the Student Concern Intervention Team (SCIT) page, P.E.E.R. resource page, Public Safety’s page, the Student Psychological Counseling Services page, or the CCI Education & Resource Team (CERT) page.

+ - Why are Chapman’s specific policies in place?

The Chapman University Student Conduct Code has been diligently crafted and adjusted over time to keep up-to-date with student needs, support the University’s educational mission, and help maintain a safe and supportive community. Rules and policies in place through the Student Conduct Code are meant to foster a safe and welcoming learning environment that promotes academic inquiry, diversity, personal development, and the free exchange of ideas. Policies are also designed to build and support the academic and social community, teach students responsibility and interdependence, as well as promote moral and ethical development.

+ - This incident happened off campus. Why is the university involved?

Chapman University has a vested interest in helping to maintain a safe community and appropriate standards of conduct for all community members. For this reason, the Student Conduct Code applies to everyone associated with the Chapman community, including students who have been accepted for admission, regardless of where or when potential violations may have taken place. This includes both on-campus and off-campus behavior at any time of the year, including academic breaks, if the behavior can have an impact on the University community and educational mission.

+ - What are sanctions? How are sanctions determined?

A sanction is an assignment given, action taken, and/or status placed on students found responsible for violations of the Student Conduct Code. Sanctions are assigned after thorough consideration of the information presented to the hearing officer or hearing panel related to the incident, the student’s level of involvement, and any pertinent cumulative conduct on the student’s Conduct Record. Some factors that may affect sanctioning are the student’s role in the incident, the nature of the violation, and the impact of the incident on others and the University community. Students with any conduct history are required to receive Dean of Students clearance to participate in all study abroad or travel courses.

Legal Concerns

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+ - Do I need to hire an attorney to represent my student in the Student Conduct Process?

No. Chapman’s Student Conduct Process is educational rather than punitive in nature, and it is not comparable to criminal court proceedings. The conduct proceeding is not meant to function as a court of law. However, depending on the nature of the case, some students do elect to have an attorney act as their Support Person in a hearing. Any attorney attending a hearing in such a case must conform to the same requirements as applied to a Support Person. This means the attorney may only speak quietly to the student to advise him or her on safeguarding his or her rights in the criminal proceeding. Thus, no attorney may actively participate and/or represent the student to the hearing body. To learn more about your student bringing in a Support Person, please read the Student Conduct Code.

+ - Will a student conduct record keep my student from getting into graduate school and securing a job, etc.?

A student conduct record does not automatically exclude a student from further study, employment, leadership roles, or other opportunities or privileges on or off campus. Depending on the type or severity of misconduct reflected on a student’s conduct record or transcript, an admissions office at another university may more closely scrutinize the student’s application for transfer or graduate studies. Our office releases information about a student’s student conduct record to another school or potential employer as allowed by the records policy, or with the permission of the student. All expulsions are reflected on a student’s official transcript.

+ - If a student is charged criminally, why does he or she have to go through the Office of Student Conduct too?

The criminal justice system and Chapman’s Student Conduct Process are separate processes. Students found in violation of a law may be held accountable through the criminal justice system or civil proceedings, and if their actions also were in violation of the Student Conduct code, the students also would proceed with the Student Conduct Process as a separate system. Although it is important for student learning to move forward in addressing misconduct immediately, the Dean of Students Office may honor a student’s request to delay the Student Conduct Process while the student completes appropriate civil and/or criminal proceedings. However, there are some instances when University processes must be carried out prior to or simultaneously with civil or criminal proceedings off-campus.

Parent Involvement

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+ - Will I be notified if my student has gotten in trouble?

It is not our practice to notify families if their student is involved in an incident or charged with a violation of the Student Conduct Code. We also do not mandate that students must contact their families when they are found responsible for a violation of the Code, but we do often may encourage them to do so, especially if there may be serious outcomes that could affect their status as a student. Chapman’s parental notification policy is to communicate with parents of dependent students who are listed as emergency contacts for their students in an emergency or when the University is concerned for the student’s health or well-being. In addition, depending on the nature of the situation, an assigned sanction may involve parental notification. In accordance with FERPA, Chapman may, but is not required to, notify parents and guardians if students who are under the age of 21 are found responsible for any drug and/or alcohol related violations. With that said, we encourage you to talk regularly with your student about his or her adjustment to college life and academic progress. Continue to offer support and maintain open lines of communication with your student to show support.

+ - What is FERPA?

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. It is the federal law that protects student educational records, including student conduct records. When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a postsecondary institution, FERPA rights transfer from the parent to the student. Generally, precludes University staff from discussing information with you about your student’s academic and Student Conduct records without direct, specific written permission from your student, except in emergencies. For more information, please visit the US Department of Education. If your student would like to request for you to have access to their educational record for a specific conduct process, they may contact

+ - Can I attend a student conduct meeting and/or hearing with my student?

The Student Conduct Process is designed to allow students the opportunity to share their perspective, learn about the impact their actions have on the community, and take responsibility for their behavior for behavior and resulting consequences. In order for this process to be educational and engaging for your student, we discourage parental involvement in conduct meetings or hearings. However, your student can choose to bring one Support Person of his or her choice to a meeting or formal hearing. The Support Person may not be directly involved in the incident or participate in the hearing other than quiet communication with the student he or she is accompanying. This communication must not interfere with the conduct process. The student is still responsible for presenting his or her own case, and Support Persons are not permitted to speak to the members of the conduct body unless directly questioned by the conduct body. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in the removal of the Support Person from the hearing.

+ - What is my role in Chapman’s Student Conduct Process? How can I help my student?

You can help to guide your student through the process and be supportive while holding your student accountable to your expectations and those of the University. Through doing so, you can help administrators achieve the goal of the Chapman Student Conduct Process, which is to empower students to contribute positively to the larger community by taking responsibility for their actions and respecting the rights and needs of others. To start, feel free to read through the information on our website and familiarize yourself with the Student Conduct Code policies and our procedures. The Student Conduct Process is in place to allow administrators to hear from all involved students directly and gather as much information as possible before making a decision. This means that one of the best things you can do for your student is to help him or her prepare for the process by reflecting on what happened. Ask questions that encourage your student to reflect on his or her role in the incident and how he or she feels the incident may have affected the campus or residential community. When your student receives notification for a Community Conversation or formal hearing, please remind your student it is his or her responsibility to schedule meetings, attend hearings, and fulfill sanctions through the Student Conduct Process. If you see that your student may benefit from additional outside help, you may help him or her toward any necessary interventions such as alcohol or drug evaluations, anger management classes, or counseling.