5. What is the role of parents when a student is charged with an honor code violation?
Answer: The university does not recognize a formal role for parents in its judicial process. At the same time, it encourages families to talk to students to find out more about the situation surrounding the suspected violation. A parent's most valuable role is to listen to the student without judgment, to encourage the student to reflect on his/her own experience and the perceptions of others, and to help the student decide on a course of action. When a parent steps in to try to resolve the situation, the student does not learn valuable lessons in problem solving and conflict management.
It is the policy of Elon University faculty and administrators, following the Buckley Amendment, to maintain the privacy of Elon students. Accordingly, Elon faculty and administrators will not share specifics of a case without the student's providing specific written permission prior to the interaction.
Should the student say he or she is "not responsible" for the violation, the case will be heard by the Elon Judicial Board (composed of 3 students, 2 faculty members and 1 staff member). The student is allowed to select a campus representative (faculty, staff or student) as an honor code advisor (The advisor need not be the student's academic advisor). That advisor will help the student prepare for the hearing and will be free to talk to the student during the hearing. The advisor does not, however, represent the student's interests with the judicial board and cannot enter into conversation with the board.
Family members play an equally important role after a case has been resolved. In cases where the student is found "responsible," the family can help the student put the offense into context and help the student reflect on the possible consequences of future behavior. Should the student be found "not responsible," the family can help the student in his/her effort to rebuild a trusting relationship with the professor.
While it is difficult to watch a son or daughter struggle with making mistakes and accepting consequences, it is often through failure that great growth is achieved.
Parents who believe their son or daughter might need additional help in resolving their feelings should encourage the student to contact Elon's Counseling Center, located in the Ellington Health Center, for an appointment.