FAQ’s for Parents/Families

The Student Conduct Code sets forth the standards of conduct expected from students from the time they are accepted as a student until their graduation, including during breaks. You may view the conduct code online here.

Student conduct records are considered part of your student’s academic record, which is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Student Rights and Responsibilities may provide information to parents if your student signs a Release of Information (ROI) form permitting that disclosure. There are few exceptions built into FERPA, which EWU observes; for example, parents of minors may be informed (by letter) if their student has been found responsible for an alcohol or drug violation(s).

If your student is accused of violating the EWU Student Conduct Code, they will receive a Notice of Allegation/Prehearing Conference letter and will be directed to meet with their assigned Conduct Review Officer.  During this meeting, the Conduct Review Officer will review the student conduct hearing process with your student.  Depending on what type of case is being review, the student will either go through the brief adjudication hearing process or will be scheduled for a full adjudicative hearing with the Student Disciplinary Council.  For more information about the brief adjudication process, see WAC 172-121-121. For more information about the full adjudication process, see WAC 172-121-122.

You can help guide your student through the process and be supportive while holding your student accountable to the University’s expectations.

Your student may have an advisor present throughout the student conduct review process and that person may be a parent. Your student must complete a Release of Information (ROI) at least two (2) business days prior to the scheduled meeting or hearing for the parent or other advisor to be present. In Brief Adjudicative Hearings, the role of the advisor is to support and advise the student but not to speak for or represent the student. In Full Adjudicative Hearings, the advisor can represent and speak on behalf of the student.

Students may have an attorney serve as an advisor, if they so choose. The choice to hire or consult with an attorney is a personal one. If the student chooses to hire an attorney, the attorney must submit a Notice of Appearance to the University at least two (2) business days prior to the schedule meeting or hearing. Additionally, the student must fill out the Release of Information form (ROI) for the attorney.

Sanctions are designed to educate, foster development, encourage thoughtful decision making, and protect the University community. In determining appropriate sanctions, the University considers the nature of the violation including the impact on the community and its members,  the educational outcomes for the student, the student’s prior disciplinary history, if any, and the individual student’s needs.

You student can appeal the outcome of a hearing. WAC 172-121-130 outlines the criteria for appeals and should be thoroughly reviewed before submitting an appeal.

Whether your student is found responsible or not responsible, student conduct records are maintained for seven (7) years. However, a student who has been suspended or expelled from the University will have a notation placed on their transcript. When the term of a student’s suspension has concluded, the notation will be removed. The notation of expulsion will remain on the student’s transcripts.

The University has an interest in the success of its students and in providing a campus environment free of disruption. The University can investigate and hold hearings on certain acts that may also be criminal. The two processes are different. The criminal process involves an alleged violation of local, county, state or federal law, while the student conduct review process involves an alleged violation of the EWU student conduct code. The University has an interest in protecting students and in holding students accountable when a violation of the student conduct code occurs.

The University investigates complaints of sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence that involve EWU students.  The University will review complainants of alleged misconduct for possible student conduct code violations.

Our Student Care Team can connect students with an advocate who may assist in accessing support resources either on campus or in the community.

Bias is the personal, unreasoned judgment or attitude that inclines an individual to treat others negatively because of their actual or perceived membership in a specific group, particularly a group that is a “protected characteristic.”

Protected characteristics include:

  • Age
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Gender Identity or expression
  • Marital Status
  • Military or veteran status
  • National origin
  • Personal appearance
  • Political Affiliation
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Any other characteristic protected by law

Generally, bias-related acts are characterized by some expression of hate or bias against a particular group, or towards and individual because of their actual or perceived membership in that group.  Bias incidents may range from acts considered to be offensive to actions that cause harm.

Although bias-related acts sometimes constitute discrimination (as defined under the University’s Diversity and Nondiscrimination – EWU Policy 402-02), or hate crimes (as defined by federal, state or local law), not all bias incidents rise to the level of discrimination or a hate crime.

Bias acts may be verbal, written, or contained in an image, or physical in nature. These behaviors often contribute to creating an unsafe or unwelcoming environment for individuals and groups. Acts can qualify as bias acts even when delivered with humorous intent or presented as a joke or a prank.

EWU believes that diversity and inclusion are crucial to an educational institution’s pursuit of excellence in learning, research, and service. We strive to build a community of respect for all community members. Acts of bias, hate, or discrimination do not align with EWU’s commitment to educating citizen leaders equipped to thrive and to serve in our increasingly diverse and global society.

Staff involved in the EWU Bias Incident Response process focus on:

  • Supporting students who are targets or witnesses of hate or bias incidents
  • Referring students to available campus resources and services
  • Promoting dialogue within the campus community about the impact of bias
  • Advocating for new programs, initiatives, policies, and services that will promote a more inclusive community
  • Reviewing all complaints to determine whether or not the behavior reported is against the Student Code of Conduct and act accordingly

Bias-related acts and hate crimes both involve behavior that is motivated by bias. However, there are important distinctions between them.

Bias-related acts are essentially prejudiced behaviors toward individuals because of their actual or perceived membership in a protected characteristic. Some bias-related acts are not university policy violations or hate crimes. Even when offenders are not aware of bias, do not intend to offend others, or do not violate law or university policy, bias may be revealed that is worthy of a response and/or an opportunity for education. Bias-related acts are antithetical to the university’s values of fundamental human dignity and equality, and they require the commitment of the university community to successfully address them.

Examples of bias-related acts may include:

  • Name calling; using a racial, ethnic or other slur to identify someone; or using degrading language
  • Creating racist or derogatory images/drawings
  • Imitating someone with a disability, or imitating someone’s cultural norm or practice
  • Making jokes or using stereotypes when talking to someone
  • Use of dehumanizing, derogatory, or insulting language based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender or disability in person, in writing, on social media, on whiteboards.

A hate crime is a violation of the law and could be investigated by EWU Police and/or other law enforcement agencies.  Members of the EWU community may be held accountable for such actions under the Student Conduct Code or other relevant polices, in addition to action taken through the legal system.

Hate crimes are also motivated by bias, but in addition they include a definable crime such as:

  • a threat of violence
  • property damage
  • personal injury
  • or other illegal conduct

Discrimination is adverse treatment of an individual based on a protected characteristic, rather than individual merit. Examples of conduct that can constitute discrimination if based on an individual’s protected characteristic include but are not limited to:

  • Singling out or targeting an individual for different or less favorable treatment (e.g., more severe discipline, denial of promotion) because of their protected characteristic
  • Failing or refusing to hire an individual because of their protected characteristic
  • Failing or refusing to allow an individual to participate in a student organization or activity based on their protected characteristic
  • Terminating an individual from employment or an educational program based on their protected characteristic

Students can initiate a disciplinary process for discrimination by bringing their concerns to the Student Rights and Responsibilities office or by filling out the Bias Incident Report form.

Phone: 509-359-6960
Email: srr@ewu.edu
Website:  https://inside.ewu.edu/srr/

EWU recognizes that words and actions can compromise the mental health, emotional well-being, physical safety and academic performance of our students, faculty, staff and community. We are also committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of students, staff, faculty and community members.

As a public institution of higher education, we are tasked with balancing the safety and well-being of our community with its right to freely express ideas and viewpoints that may not reflect our stated values. EWU is committed to continually reviewing our policies, procedures, and systems to ensure that we effectively address bias while upholding our legal obligation to free speech.

Hate speech does not reflect EWU values nor does it align with our clear commitment to advancing equality and justice. Any signage or symbolism that promotes hate speech, including flyers and graffiti, are not tolerated and will be removed. For additional steps with respect to how EWU will respond to reports of bias, please see the Bias Incident Response Work Flow.

In Washington, a person is guilty of a hate crime offense if they maliciously and intentionally commit one of the acts listed below based on the attacker’s perception of a victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, or mental, physical, or sensory disability:

  • Physical injury to the victim or anyone else.
  • Damage or destruction of the property of the victim or another person.
  • Threats to a person or group of people in such a way that causes the victims to have a “reasonable fear” that the attacker will cause physical injury or property damage.

Hate crimes are considered a class C felony in Washington State and carry a maximum sentence of five years of imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine. The victim of hate crimes can bring a civil lawsuit against the harasser for actual damages, punitive damages of up to $100,000, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in bringing the action.

RCW 9A.36.080, RCW 9A.36.083 (These can link to the RCW)

To report a hate crime:

EWU Police non-emergency         509-359-7676

In an Emergency                              911