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Office of Student Life

Student Conduct

The UNK conduct program develops civic-minded students by holding individuals accountable for their behavior, educates them about the consequences of their actions, and protects the university’s faculty, staff, students and property.

The Conduct Officer coordinates the student conduct process at UNK. This includes consulting with faculty and staff on matters of student behavior, including classroom disruption and academic integrity; updating the University Rules of Conduct, maintaining the conduct records database, training and advising conduct and appeals board members, coordinating education seminars, responding to conduct records inquiries, and ensuring compliance with applicable laws.

We help students to:

  • Understand the purpose for community standards.
  • Know how to bring their behavior into compliance with the community standards.
  • Maturely accept accountability for his/her behavior.
  • Make more positive self-directed choices that will better enable him/her to assume adult roles.
  • Consider the consequences of his/her behavior.

Ways we can serve students:

  • One-on-one or group consulting on concerns of student behavior.
  • Explain policies.
  • By encouraging students to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct
  • By requiring education and training on how to protect ones self from assault or harassment, and if one is a victim of assault or harassment, how to report the activity and adjudicate the perpetrator of such behavior.

Contact Information

Brandon Benitz
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
308-865-1619

Student Code of Conduct

Welcome to the UNK family! In a continual effort to promote a safe, egalitarian, and eclectic campus community, we take pride in initiatives aimed to educate the University populous on UNK policies, regulations, rules, and the Student Code of Conduct. You may access the aforementioned materials via the link below.

The UNK Student Handbook is updated and published annually; individuals who encounter possible typos, errors, or misinterpretations should contact the Office of Student Life at (308) 865-8523 at the earliest possible convenience. Questions or concerns about the UNK Student Code of Conduct my be directed to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at (308) 865-1619.

Parents FAQs regarding student conduct matters

How can I learn how my student is doing?
The best approach is to ask your son or daughter directly. Communicating with young adults isn't always easy. They may not be as forthcoming as we would like. The college years, however, are a period of remarkable growth and maturation. The ability and willingness of students to share information and insights usually grows, especially as they acquire the confidence that comes with assuming greater responsibility for their own lives.

Does the University have any written policy about information from student records that can be shared with parents?
Yes. Like other colleges and universities across the country, the University of Nebraska at Kearney is subject to a federal law called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also called "FERPA" or the "Buckley Amendment"). FERPA sets privacy standards for student educational records and requires institutions to publish a compliance statement, including a statement of related institutional policies.

Where can I find out more information about FERPA?
FERPA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education. The Department maintains a FERPA website. Click here for access to the FERPA website.

Students FAQs regarding student conduct matters

If I am being charged with a violation, what will happen?
You will receive a letter from us asking you to make an appointment or assigning you a time to meet with the Hearing Officer. The letter will also describe any charges. It is important to make an appointment and keep it. Ignoring the situation will not make it go away. If you don't respond, a decision can be made in the case without your input. This decision could affect your status as a student. In the meantime, our office may place a "hold" your student account, this may prevent you from registering for classes. The hold may remain on your account until the case has been resolved and if necessary sanctions have been completed.

What if I don't show up for my meeting with the conduct officer?
The hearing officer will make a decision in the case without the benefit of your involvement and perspective.

What if I was not aware of a rule and didn't know I was breaking it?
Lack of knowledge of a rule is not an excuse for misconduct. Every student is responsible for knowing the rules and regulations of the University of Nebraska at Kearney's Rules of Conduct. It is important for you to read your Student Handbook containing the Rules of Conduct. If you are unsure about any policies, ask for clarification.

Will my parents be notified of any sanctions I receive?
Not necessarily. Conduct proceedings conducted by the University are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Generally, under FERPA conduct records may not be released or disclosed without the expressed written permission of the student whose conduct record is being sought unless provided by law. Release of student conduct records is permitted without prior consent to University officials with legitimate educational interest; victim/s of an alleged crime of violence or of an alleged sexual assault; and parents of a student who can provide written documentation that the student is financially dependent or if the student violates the drug or alcohol policy and is under 21 years old.

What if I do not complete an assigned sanction?
Additional sanctions may be added and a hold may be placed on your record. In some cases, failure to complete sanctions may result in suspension or expulsion. In addition, a hold will be placed on your registration and records. Remember that sanctions are placed as a result of your violation of the Student Rules of Conduct, and are designed to educate you about the expectations and norms of the University community.

Will potential employers have access to my conduct record?
Your conduct record will only be accessible to them if you provide written permission allowing it.