How the University Takes Disciplinary Action


Minnesota State University, Mankato has made many changes to its student disciplinary process. One of the major changes happened after the landmark case Dixon V. Alabama State Board of Education.


The 1961 case allowed the establishment of the rights of students to be given notice of the allegation and an opportunity to be heard prior to expulsion. Moreover, students are not entitled to the same degree of due process as afforded in criminal and civil actions meaning that students have a different protocol when their disciplinary action is being decided.


The University has adopted the philosophy of educational discipline that promotes personal growth and accountability. It strives for fair and consistent policies and practices. For parents this means that we want students to learn from a “teachable moment” to consider consequences of their actions before acting on impulse or acceding to peer pressure.


It is important for parents to know when and how to intervene. Intervention sends a message to your students that you don’t trust their ability to handle their own affairs. Helicopter parenting can hinder the development of independence, self-esteem, and self-confidence.


The college experience strives to provide opportunities for your students to grow in the following areas:

Developing an identity separate from parents

Developing interdependence and competency

Managing emotions

Strengthening integrity and personal accountability

Establishing meaningful friendships and connections


To access the school’s parents’ resources CLICK HERE.


That First Family Reunion With Your College Student


Being a parent of a college student has its challenges. One of them can be the first meeting after students have been attending college for a few months and living away from home. No one knows what to expect when a parent first sees their student after a few weeks or months apart from home.

Are they the still dependent on mom and dad?

Have they changed so much that they don’t even resemble who they used to be?

Will they be embarrassed of being seen with their parents?

There is no rule book on what to do or what to expect when you haven’t seen your college son/daughter for a period of time. College introduces students to new experiences and opportunities. A lot of students realize that they have to start looking after themselves and have to start doing chores they never had to do; like laundry.

Your first reunion is highly encouraged. But be ready to expect changes in students. It is important to acknowledge growth and improvement. Be encouraging and supportive. Be sensitive but straightforward on criticism. It is important to have fun in your first reunion and not constantly argue on how or what they should do.

Try to meet some of your students’ friends and try to learn about their college life. Most college students are eager to see their parents. Also try to ask them what they need. College students are constantly hungry and it is useful to have snacks and food available; make sure they have a good supply.

Some parents might also learn that their students have a life that they are no longer a part of. College students often hang out late with their friends. They might not do it during family weekend or whenever your first reunion happens. However, it is better to expect it just in case you were planning on spending an entire evening together.

The most important factor to remember is that students will change. Not all students might make their own meals or wash their clothes as frequently as they should. However, students’ first few months and their first year at college will change their behavior and that change is maturity. They have been living their own experiences and making their own decisions where the outcomes range from performing beyond their own expectations to screwing up. They all add up to learning experiences.

Parents will now not always be part of the decision making but rather witness it. All the small changes college student go through in their short time in college will be apparent all at once in your first reunion. Just remember, you’re still their parent. Their love has transitioned with their new life as a college student.

Knowing Your Rights

FERPA Secures Privacy Rights of College Students



I was not aware of all the rights I gained when I started college until I heard about FERPA. I was surprised and relieved at the same time.

Parents and students are used to being able to have access to educational records of students. It is the way that it has always been. However, this right has its limitations.

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) allows parents to have access to a student’s education records. However, this access only lasts until a student reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.

For parents of college students over 18, this means that parents no longer have the right to view a student’s educational records. Parents can only access educational records if their student chooses to give them permission.

The following parties also have access to a student’s educational records:

  • School officials with legitimate educational interests
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
  • Accrediting organizations
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • State and local authorities within a juvenile justice system pursuant to specific State law

Another right that FERPA provides to parents and eligible students is to restrict the disclosure of directory information. Directory information includes a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance.

It is important to note that schools may disclose of directory information without the permission of parents or eligible students. The only obligation of schools is to notify parents and eligible students about directory information. They should be informed in a timely manner in case parents or eligible students choose to opt out of disclosing such information.

FERPA has another right that not everyone is aware of. If records are inaccurate or misleading, parents or eligible students have the right to request the records to be amended. If the school chooses not to amend the records; then parents or eligible students have the right to a formal hearing. If after the hearing the school still chooses not to ament the records; then the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with his/her records on his/her views of the information that was presented at the hearing and requested to be amended.

FERPA was created to protect the privacy of students and anyone who is attending an educational institution is notified annually of FERPA guidelines. Make sure you are aware what your rights are.


For more information on FERPA visit:



Parents’ Corner: Ideal Contact

Keeping the Right Amount of Contact

By ALEJANDRO REYES-VEGA, CSU Public Relations Student Assistant

How can you know if students want to be texted or called every day or maybe just once a week? Everyone is different as one must learn to balance between being overbearing or too distant.

When I started in college my mom would text me every day and at first, I thought it was too much. However, I soon got used to it and learned to appreciate her morning jokes and advice. Sometimes, she wanted to call me and I simply said “no” or “I’m too busy”. She also soon learned that I needed space or I didn’t have time to talk. As parents one must respect students because they need to focus on school, socialize, and learn to be independent and discover themselves.

Don’t be afraid to be straightforward. Ask how often they would like to be called or texted and try to respect their wishes. If you are not able to be together for the holidays then try to send something that reminds them of home so they don’t feel abandoned.

Yet, there are small details that always made my day as a freshman. The phone calls and the texts can sometimes be overbearing specially with dealing with the stress of college and being away from home.

Nevertheless, parents can always send a small care-package with snacks or something that a student in college would appreciate. Does not matter if students can find the snacks they want in any nearby store or if the package is home baked goods, if it comes from home they will treasure the package and they will know that they are being cared for.