Dean of Students  
   

Frequently Asked Questions

 
Have a question for the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs? Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you have a question you'd like to see answered, please e-mail dee.wagner@aquinas.edu.
 
>>For AQ Students >>For Parents & Families
 
Questions and Answers for AQ Students
Why would I go to the Dean of Students Office?
Students often wind up in the Dean of Students office when they are not sure where to turn for help. It is a great place to seek assistance with non-academic issues and strategize. We are focused on problem solving and can help you:
 
  • Find direction- and help you connect with the appropriate Aquinas staff or faculty member
  • Problem solve- and help you work through complex issues
  • Handle emergencies- by assisting in the process if you have an emergency and need to miss class
  • Understand your rights- if you feel you were treated unfairly you can learn about your rights and due process
  • Learn your responsibilities- For many code of conduct issues, the case will be heard by the DOS
  • Through mediation- talk with a neutral party to work through your on-campus issues
 
I was involved in an incident and told that I had to make an appointment with the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. What does that mean?
The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs will receive a written report from the College representative involved (e.g. Faculty, Staff, Police and/or Administrators) if you are accused of violating Aquinas College Conduct Code. You will then receive written or telephone contact mandating that you call the Dean of Student's office to schedule a meeting to discuss the allegation. The one-on-one meeting with the Dean of Student's and/or her representative will be your opportunity to explain what happened from your perspective.
 
Can my parents obtain information from Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs about my case?
Your disciplinary proceedings are between you and Aquinas College. Your records are therefore confidential and protected by College policy based on federal law (FERPA). If your parents contact our office concerning a disciplinary matter, they will be referred back to you for clarification. Our office will provide disciplinary information to your parents if you have given written permission authorizing us to do so.
 
Who has access to my disciplinary record?
Your disciplinary record is considered confidential. However, information concerning your disciplinary record may be available to appropriate College personnel who have a legitimate educational interest in such information. Information regarding your disciplinary record may be released to other individuals or entities upon your written request or in accordance with state and federal law.
 
Questions and Answers for AQ Parents and Families
My daughter comes home every weekend because she is still homesick. Help!
Encourage her to talk about her feelings. Homesickness is natural. Students may feel that feeling this way is a sign of weakness but in reality it is simply an indication that they felt loved and secure in their home life - and that’s a good thing. It’s important that your daughter acknowledge her feelings rather than keep them inside. It is also important that as her parents you encourage her to stay on campus and not come home. Frequent home visits actually prolong homesickness because they prevent students from connecting with their new campus community.
Your daughter is definitely not the first student to experience homesickness, and by sharing what she is going through with others, she will begin to adjust to her new "home". There are several options available at Aquinas to assist with that adjustment. She might start by talking to her RA or Area Coordinator, Campus Ministry, someone in the counseling center or her faculty advisor. In most cases homesickness passes quickly and soon she will realize that she has become so involved her courses, making friends and with other activities that she forgot those initial uncomfortable feelings.
 
Can I call the Dean of Students if my student has a problem on campus?
Of course parents can call! The Dean of Students Office is a resource for students and parents. Please keep in mind that our goal is to team with parents as we encourage students to take responsibility for resolving their own problems and issues. We believe that it is best for students to make the initial contact but understand that sometimes that may not happen. We are happy to listen, offer suggestions and to strategize with you to find the best ways to support your student.
If your questions involve any of your student's official records, your student must give us written permission to discuss those records with you. This is because, once a student turns 18 or attends an institution of post-secondary education, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) legally transfers the rights that parents or legal guardians had in elementary or secondary school to their college students.
 
My son is undecided and is worried about not having a clue about selecting a major. What do you recommend?
Students often question their initial academic and career interests and struggle with finding a new direction during the first year or two. While this can be frustrating, it is a very normal part of the college experience. In fact, at least 50% of all college students change their majors at least once during their four years. Knowing this, can be reassuring for undecided students and their parents alike. The Career and Counseling Center is a great resource when it comes to helping students work through important life choices.