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Conduct Records and Privacy - FERPA

Requests from current and former students, campus offices and departments, and non-affiliated third parties are frequently submitted to Student Conduct throughout the year to verify if an applicant or honoree violated one or more policies outlined in the Code of Conduct during their academic career. Requests may be for the purposes of applications to graduate and professional schools, students looking to transfer to another institution, employment with certain government or independent agencies, or to participate in certain college activities or programs, or hold positions with campus offices and/or organizations.

The following guidelines are intended to:

  • Establish the rights and procedures for students to access and review their own records maintained by Student Conduct.
  • Establish procedures authorizing a Student Conduct official or designee to release or disclose information to third parties.
  • Clarify the circumstances when Student Conduct does not require prior consent before releasing records or disclosing information to third parties.

Student Rights and Disclosures


In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, before a college office or official can honor a request to release educational records or disclose information to a third party, including records and information maintained by Student Conduct, a signed Authorization to Release form is required from current and former students.

Violations of Alcohol and Drug Policies

Under the guidelines of FERPA (as amended), Student Conduct does not require prior consent before notifying parents and families, the first time and every subsequent time, when students under the age of 21, are found responsible for violating the College's policies for alcohol and drugs.

Students are encouraged to maintain an ongoing, open dialogue with parents and families about their academic progress and personal development. Parental Notifications are intended for students and families to have honest conversations about these issues and how their behavior can have an impact on their student's success and experience at SUNY Oswego. For more information about our policies regarding Alcohol and other Drugs, please review the Student Code of Conduct section of the Student Handbook.

Access and Review

Students have the right to physically review their own disciplinary history, in the presence of a designated college official and during regular business hours. Students are not entitled to review records that contain personal identifiable information of others. Therefore, if a request is approved records will be redacted (e.g. crossed-out or blanked-out) in compliance with FERPA and general protections of privacy.

Requests to access and review records must be submitted in writing by emailing [email protected]. Student Conduct may comply with the request within a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed 45 days after receipt of the request. Students will be notified of the date, time, and location of their appointment and are required to present appropriate identification before reviewing their record. At no time will original records be removed from the office. Student Conduct will not accept requests over the phone and will only communicate with students through their SUNY Oswego email address.

Disciplinary Clearance and Background Checks

Disciplinary Clearances

Faculty and staff members may request disciplinary clearance checks to determine eligibility to participate in certain college activities or programs, or hold positions with campus offices and/or organizations (e.g., Resident Assistants, Orientation Leaders, Student Association, Peer Educators, etc.). Faculty and staff members must first inform and obtain permission from the student explicitly authorizing the release of their disciplinary information from Student Conduct, prior to requesting a release of this information.

Our office will confirm if a student is in Good Standing or Not in Good Standing. Good Standing includes a requirement that all matters pending with Student Conduct have been fully and finally resolved, all imposed sanctions have been completed, and an active status has been lifted. No specific information about a student's disciplinary history will be released.


Dean's Certifications and Background Checks

Some graduate, medical/veterinary, and professional schools, state bar associations, or government or independent agencies require a brief summary statement of a current or former student's disciplinary history for admission or employment.

On occasion, a Dean's Certification will require that the summary statement include both the student's disciplinary and academic history. In those cases, the academic Dean or Associate Dean of that student's College or School is consulted.

Summary statements are not considered letters of recommendation and after processing, the forms are sent directly to the entity – not to students.

Requests to Release Information or Disclose Information

Process and Timeline

Current and Former Students

Requests from current and former students should be submitted at least one month before a recipient entity's deadline. Summary statements require 7 to 10 business days to complete and priority will be given to those students who timely submit, and in the order received. Multiple requests and phone calls for the same information causes delays.

Note: In cases where an administrative hold has been placed on a student's account, students may request an appointment to view their records but requests to release records and/or information to a third party will not be permitted until the hold has been properly removed.


Faculty and Staff

Disciplinary Clearances are typically completed within two to three business days from the date the request is submitted. In cases where a campus office or department require disciplinary clearance checks for multiple student records, completion times will be based on the number of records submitted.

Non-affiliated Third Parties

Third parties (e.g., employers, government agencies, private contractors, parents, etc.) conducting background checks or requesting information about a student's disciplinary history, will not receive information immediately or over the phone until our office verifies the authenticity of any release, the requester's credentials, and obtain a signed release from the student.

The requestor must provide a business card or badge number, their contact information, and the recipient or agency's name and address receiving this information by visiting our office in person or sending relevant documentation and a stamped envelope via postal mail to:

ATTN: Director of Student Conduct
State University of New York at Oswego
Dean of Students Office, 501 Culkin Hall
7060 State Route 104
Oswego, New York 13126-3599

Expunging Student Records

Student Conduct at SUNY Oswego complies with New York State law and SUNY's policy and schedule for Record Retention and Disposition. After the minimum retention period for a disciplinary record is reached, said records are disposed of unless they still serve a legal, operational, or historic value.

Resources for Students and Families

SUNY Policy for Record Retention and Disposition
FERPA General Guidance for Parents