Student conduct records are confidential to the extent allowed by University policy and the law, and the conduct-related contents of student educational files cannot be shared unless students sign a release permitting the information to be shared with specific individuals or, in the case of a student who is a minor, the eligible parent or legal guardian, except as stipulated by the Registrar’s Office and with the four following exceptions:
1. Conduct-related information may be shared with other educational institutions and other university personnel considered those who “need to know,” such as a coach in his or her role as an advisor to a student athlete;
2. Conduct-related information pertaining to repeated or major violations of the drug and alcohol policy may be shared with parents or other legal guardians. This exception does not apply if the student is 21 years old or over, or if the student can demonstrate that he or she is financially independent.
3. Parental notification may occur if the student’s actions result in hospitalization.
4. Conduct-related information may be shared subject to subpoena or other court order.
Certain conduct-related documents (e.g., incident reports, decision letters) are shared with accused students to assist them with preparation for a hearing or to provide them with official notification of a hearing’s outcome. Because these documents may contain private information about other students (witnesses, other accused students, etc.), they are not to be shared with other individuals. Copies of incident documentations generally are not released to students. Students who do not respect the privacy of other individuals with respect to conduct-related documentation may be subject to additional conduct action.
Conduct-related records in the Office of Student Conduct and Responsibility (OSCAR) are retained in a student’s educational file while they are a student at the University of Mary Washington until three years after they last attend the University. However, in the case of conduct-related expulsions from the University, relevant conduct records are retained indefinitely. The University is required to retain certain conduct records for longer than three years after the student’s last attendance — for example, to comply with the Campus Security Act. To that end, some conduct records, once they have been removed from an individual student’s educational file, may be retained for a longer period of time in a separate file. At that point, they will not be considered part of the student’s educational file, and will not be released under most circumstances. However, in the event that the University is subpoenaed to release an individual student’s conduct records, any information still retained, even if it is retained outside of the student’s educational file, will be released in compliance with the subpoena.
Students are encouraged to keep in mind that potential employers, in addition to graduate institutions, law enforcement, and the military, frequently request conduct information concerning candidates during the hiring or admissions process, and that the University complies with such requests whenever possible.