Pepperdine University has long recognized its special relationship with the parents and families of its students. Even after students leave home for college, parents often play a central role in their character development, and so Pepperdine works in partnership with parents in helping students make the transition to responsible adulthood.
The University also recognizes that students have specific privacy rights. FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is a Federal law that controls the confidentiality of, and access to, student education records. The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 permit educational institutions to notify parents if a student, under the age of 21 at the time of notification, commits a disciplinary violation involving alcohol or a controlled substance. See Pepperdine's Student Records Policy for additional information about FERPA and educational records. A full copy may be obtained by contacting the Registrar's Office.
The purpose of Pepperdine's parental notification policy is to promote the holistic development of students and to foster an alcohol and drug free campus community. Among several interventions that may be used to further this purpose, parents or guardians of students under the age of 21 may be notified in the case of a violation of University alcohol or other drug policies. Notification begins with:
- The first time a student is charged with violating the University policy under one of following circumstances:
- Caused harm to him or herself or another while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs or was transported to a medical facility and treated because of alcohol or other drug use.
- Was unruly, disruptive, or destructive while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Was arrested or taken into custody by law enforcement officers while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs or is charged with violating a federal, state, or local law related to alcohol or other drug use.
- Because of previous violations (not related to alcohol or other drugs), the current violation might result in the student being placed on suspension or a more severe sanction.
- The first time a student is charged with violating the University policy regarding the attempt to obtain or the use, possession, sale, or distribution of any narcotic or other controlled substance not lawfully prescribed by a health care provider.
- The second time a student is charged with violating the University policy regarding:
- The consumption, possession, sale, or distribution of alcoholic beverages
- Being in the company of others who are drinking alcohol, using a controlled substance, or displaying alcohol containers or drug-related paraphernalia on University property.
Normally, a parent or guardian will be notified by phone or in writing by the judicial administrator before the disciplinary hearing. Before notifying the parents or guardians, every effort will be made to consult with the student and attempt to have the student make the first contact. This is consistent with the general philosophy that supports students developing independence and personal accountability. However, in some situations consultation with the student or first contact by the student may not be possible or appropriate and in such cases the University is not required to alert the student when it has notified his/her parent or legal guardian. In other situations, after consulting with the student, the judicial administrator may determine that notifying the parents/guardians may be harmful to the student and in such cases the University is not obligated to make notification.
This policy does not preclude the University's contacting parents or guardians for other policy violations that may endanger the health and well-being of a student or other individuals in the community.