Student Affairs: FAQ

Have a question for the Office of the 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

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 Vice President for Student Affairs. What does that mean?
The 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 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 student comes home every weekend because she is still homesick. Help!
Encourage them to talk about their 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 student acknowledge their feelings rather than keep them inside. It is also important that as their parents you encourage them 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 student is definitely not the first student to experience homesickness, and by sharing what they are going through with others, they will begin to adjust to their new "home." There are several options available at Aquinas to assist with that adjustment. Your student might start by talking to their RA or Area Coordinator, Campus Ministry, someone in the counseling center or a faculty advisor. In most cases homesickness passes quickly and soon your student will become so involved their courses, making friends and doing other activities that they forgot those initial uncomfortable feelings.

Can I call the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Dean of Students if my student has a problem on campus?
Yes! Our offices are 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. 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 student 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 Advantage Center is a great resource when it comes to helping students work through important life choices.

I heard Proposal 1 passed in the state of Michigan. How does that affect students on campus?
On Nov. 6, 2018, Michigan voters passed Proposal 1, legalizing personal possession and use of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older. Although the proposal passed, under federal law, possession, use and distribution of marijuana remains illegal. Aquinas College receives federal funding that provides financial aid to students. Therefore, the College must comply with federal laws such as the Controlled Substances Act and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 as well as the College’s Student Conduct Code, which remains unchanged. The Student Conduct Code prohibits the possession, use, sale or distribution of marijuana in any form on College premises or property controlled by the College. Additionally, the College has a tobacco-free campus policy. For more information, please read the [letter] that was emailed to all registered students. If you have additional questions, please contact the Student Affairs office or Counseling, Health and Wellness.

>Read the full letter sent to students on this topic.