Found yourself afoul of campus police? Stay calm and be prepared for your appeal. Image courtesy of Flickr user Mskogley and licensed under CC by 2.0

Today’s guest post comes from Stephanie Buscema, a recent graduate of Wagner College who will be attending NYU in the Fall to pursue a Master’s in publishing. At Wagner, she was a part of the Community Standards Review Board, where she heard cases from fellow students who found themselves on the wrong side of school policy.

College is the environment where students are trying to find themselves, as well as trying to fit in with their new peers.  However, oftentimes students don’t know their limits and find themselves in trouble with administration.  While no longer living under their parents’ roofs, students have the freedom to explore all possibilities, even it means disregarding school policy. 

After attending college for four years, I have seen many of my peers fall in and out of trouble.  While serving on a disciplinary board, I have seen and heard many cases involving drug and alcohol abuse and violations of school conduct codes.  However, what I have noticed, is that without the guidance of a parent or mentor, some students fall through the cracks and find themselves not knowing what to do and how to prepare to deal with the consequences of their actions.

Students should have the opportunity to review helpful tips in preparation of an appeal.  The question that arises is, “How can I prepare?”  To be honest, it’s quite simple.  Here are some helpful tips to prepare for your appeal.   

The most important tip to help prepare is to show up looking neat and alert. If you don’t show up, you don’t have a chance to tell your story.  Dress nicely, not in the everyday informal clothing you wear when hanging out with friends.    Second, be organized.  Make sure to bring copies of relevant documentation in a folder or binder. 

For example, if  you missed a final because you were sick in the hospital and were given an F in the course, you should bring copies of relevant documentation (i.e., hospital bills, hospital bracelet) to your appeal.  Also, bring letters of support from a doctor or whomever that will help you make your case. 

You should also think of possible questions that you may be asked and practice them.  This aids in the presentation of your appeal allowing for you to sound, intelligent, be poised and aware.  When stating your case, be sure to address the issue; whatever it may be.  Make sure to explain how you’ve fixed it or at least are dealing with the repercussions of the incident or action.  Finally, don’t be afriad to ask for the purpose of the appeal.  However, sometimes there is not a specific topic on the table.

Once you have prepared, walk into that room with a positive attitude.  Though these helpful tips may sound like common sense, many students often become scared and overwhelmed forgetting how important the presentation of their appeal may be.  Most of all, if you find yourself becoming anxious and irritated and feel that this may hinder your case, ask if you may be excused and if you take a moment to step outside, regroup and come back to address the appeal.

Review these preparation tips and represent yourself in a presentable way. Hopefully, you will find these useful. Good luck!