Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Conduct

Codeof StudentConductandDisciplinaryConduct

Under the laws ofthe state of Mississippi,the BoardofTrustees ofStateInstitutions of Higher Learningshall have general supervision ofthe affairs ofThe University ofSouthern Mississippi.This boardhas delegatedthe power andauthorityto the president of the universityto maintain standards ofacademic achievement andstudent conduct.The Division ofStudent Affairs has the basic responsibilityto administerthose regulations governingconduct at the university.

Students who registeratthe university agreeto conform to its regulations andpolicies. Students are definedas all persons enrolledatthe university,both fulltime andpart time ora person seeking admission or acceptedto the University for Admission.Astudent is subject to the laws ofthe communityandstate,andenrollmentas astudent in no way relieves him orherofthis responsibility.The fact thatcivil authoritieshave imposed punishmentwill not preventthe university from protecting its own educational purposes andcommunity by taking suitable action against the student under university regulations.

The UniversityofSouthern Mississippi recognizes that students are adults with fullfederal rights and responsibilities who are expectedto take personal responsibility fortheir conduct.The universitywillnot police students’ privatelives on oroffcampus nor violate theirprivacy rights in any way. Theseregulations derive their authorityboth fromthe students (as an article ofthe SGA Constitution) andthe administrationofthe university (as the Code ofStudent Conduct.)

Section1.The JudicialAuthority


A.   In all organizational andindividualdisciplinecases,the judicial authorityofthe SGA shall be vestedinthe dean ofstudents,the Student Judicial Council,theUniversity Appeals Committee,theuniversity presidentandthe BoardofTrusteesofState Institutions ofHigher Learning.


B.  In all cases solelyconcerning violations andinterpretation of the SGAcode and constitution,theSGAjudicial authorityshall bevestedinthe necessarylower courts

andone Student Supreme Court.


Section2.The StudentJudicial Council


A.   The Student Judicial Council shall consist of nine student members who shall serve staggeredterms. Five members shall be appointed fortwo-yearterms,and four members shall be appointedforone-yearterms.Thesestudents must remain in good academic standingas designatedinthe most recentuniversitycatalogand,atthe time ofappointment,have onesemester ofprior residencyat Southern Miss.Thesestudents shall be representativeofthe Southern Miss student body.The chairofthe Student Judicial Council shall be the attorney general ofthe SGA,andhe orshe mayhave no vote inits judicial proceedings.


B.  These students shall be appointedbythe SGApresident with the advice andconsentof the student senateandshall be subject to finalapproval bythe university president.All vacancies shall be filledunder the above provisions forthe remainder ofa vacant term.


C.   The Dean of Students shall have original jurisdiction in all cases concerning violations of university regulations whether by an individual or an approved student organization.However,the Dean of Students may refer cases to the Student Judicial Council for adjudication.


Section3.The University Appeals Committee


A.   The University Appeals Committeeshall consist of fourmembers ofthefacultyorstaff appointedannuallybythe university presidentand fourstudents appointedbythe SGApresident,with theadviceofthe student senate andsubject to final approval by theuniversitypresident.The termofall student appointments shall beuntil resignation,graduation orother departure from the university.In addition to the eight members,there shall bea chairappointedbythe university president.


B.  The University Appeals Committee shall have appellatejurisdiction onall cases

originating in the Student Judicial Council andthe Officeofthe Dean ofStudents.


Section4.The StudentSupreme Court andits Lower Courts


A.   Original jurisdiction in cases resulting from violations of the SGA Code shall be vested in judicial bodies as createdinthe judicial titleofthe SGA Code.


B.  The Student Supreme Court shall consistof fourassociate justices andonechiefjustice,

appointedbythe SGApresident with the advice andconsent of the senate whose term ofserviceshall continue until resignation,graduation,other departure fromthe universityor removal byimpeachment.


C.   The Student Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction in all cases concerning violations of the SGA Code.It shallhave originaljurisdiction in all casesof

constitutional interpretation andimpeachment.


D.  The Student Supreme Court andits lower courts shall have the followingpowers:


1.   To issue injunctions and writs inaccordance with the SGAconstitutionin SGA



2.   To issue subpoenas forSGApublic records,films orother information


3.   To issue summonses to call witnesses in cases concerningthe SGAconstitution, code andprocedures




A.   The dean of students shall give,inwriting,the options available tothe accused student ororganization foradjudication along with the hearing procedures.


B.  The dean of students shall have the power to take any reasonable action to ensure the

safetyofthe universitycommunity anduniversitypropertyandto preserve an academic atmosphere prior to full judicial hearing.Theseactions are subject to approval bythe vice president forStudent Affairs orhis orherdesignated representative.


C.   The dean of students shall assist the SGAattorney general with thepresentation of the



D.  The Officeofthe Dean ofStudents orjudicial bodymaypostponedisciplinary proceedings.Anyrescheduling ofdisciplinaryproceedingmust meet the requirements setforin Section 7Aofthe Code of Student Conduct.


Section6.A majorityofthe membershipofeachjudicial bodymust bepresentto heara case,unless a lessernumberis approvedbyboth parties to the case.


Section7.In all judicial proceedings,the accused shall have the right to the following:


A.   To written notificationofthe charges of sufficient particularityto prepare a defense,to a summaryofwritten evidence that is to be presented,to the names ofadverse witnesses,to the date ofthe alleged violation,andto the time andplace of the hearing, atleast 72hours priornoticeto the hearing


B.  To beassistedbyanyadviserhe orshe chooses athis orherown expense; the adviser maybe a parentorattorney whowill beallowedto make closing remarks duringthe hearing but may not participate otherwise


C.   To presentinformationandto have an opportunity for reasonable testimony or



D.  To call witnesses


E.   To a speedyandclosedhearing unless all parties concernedagreeupon an open hearing


Section8. Each judicial bodyshall have the followingpowers andduties:

A.   To issue requests for witnesses to appearon behalfofeither party


B.  To issue requests for relevant university documents on behalf ofeither party


C.   To authorize depositions inlieu oforal testimony when deemednecessary


D.  To adjudicateviolations of the SGACode,constitution oruniversity regulations within their respective jurisdictions


E.   To keepanadequaterecord,as determinedbythe dean of students,ofthe proceedings


andto make this recordavailable to the accusedafterthe hearingupon request


Section 9.Rules ofEvidence


A.   All decisions of responsibilityornon-responsibilityshall be decidedonthe basis ofthe preponderanceofevidence.


B.  Information canbe consideredbya disciplinarybodyonlyif it is introducedbefore thatbodyinthe presence ofthe accused.Iftheaccusedis unavailable fora hearing,

theneveryeffort mustbe undertaken to inform the accusedofthe existence of the information,andthe accused must be giveneveryopportunity to respondbefore that body reaches adecision.


C.   Each judicial bodyshallhave the opportunity to adopt its own rules ofinformation in

addition to those specifiedinthe SGA Codeandconstitution.


D.  A victim ofa campus violation may submit avictim impact statement.A victim impact statementis awritten statementthatdescribesthe harmorloss sufferedbythe victim

ofa violation.The DeanofStudentsofficeorjudicial bodyconsiders thestatement

when the accusedstudentis sanctioned.The victim impact statementisintendedto give victims ofanoffense a voice in the judicialprocess;itallows victims to explainto the judicial bodyandthe accused,intheir words,howthe violation has affectedthem. Acopy ofthe victim impact statementis providedto the accusedstudent.The statementwill bepart ofthe information consideredinthe judicial process.A victim maybe questionedbythe accusedstudent about the statement.




A.   In all judicial decisions,either party shall have andbe notifiedofthe right to appeal the decision of the judicial bodyenteringjudgment.Ifthe decisionis appealed,no action

shallbe takenexcept those measures necessaryto ensure the safety ofthe university community, to protect universityproperty,andto ensure an academic atmosphere until the appellate process has been exhausted.


B.  The request forappeal shall be filed within 72hours ofthe written notification of the

decision.The request shall be filed with the Officeofthe Dean of Students.


C.   Student Judicial Council decisions andthose made bythe dean ofstudents maybe appealedto the University Appeals Committee,andthe University Appeals Committee’s decisions may beappealedto theuniversitypresident who may, inturn,

appointa hearingofficer.Decisions ofthe university presidentmaybe appealedto the BoardofTrustees ofthe StateInstitutions ofHigher Learning.In casesofexpulsion,the BoardofTrustees hearsappeals ofthe universitypresident’s decision.


Section11.Interim Suspension


A.   Whenthe president of the universityora designatedadministrator determines that the presence of astudent wouldreasonablyconstitute clearandpresentdanger to the universitycommunity orproperty,he orshe may take swift andimmediateaction to suspendsucha student fromuniversityenrollment on an interim basis.


B.  In suchcases,the student will be affordeda preliminaryhearing with the administrator designatedin part A,unless thisaction is not possible due to circumstances at the time orto inaccessibility.


C.   Wheneversuspension occurs under the provisions of this section,the student shall be accordedreview bythestudent judicial system at the earliest possibledate following



D.  If,atanytime of review, the judicial authoritydetermines that the suspension of the student is inappropriate,itmay recommendto the president that the student be reinstatedto university enrollment andbe allowedto complete any academic work

missedas aresult ofthis suspension.

DisciplinarySanctions ofCode ofStudent Conduct


Ifthe dean ofstudentsor the Student Judicial Council,as the casemaybe,finds thatthe student has violatedthe Code of Student Conduct,thenthatforum willinclude in its official decision a prescribed punishmentwhichmaytake anyofthe followingforms:


A.   Private Reprimand:The student may be merely reprimandedinwritingand warned andadmonishedto refrain from future misconduct.


B.  Restitution:The dean of students andStudent Judicial Council both have authorityto order that the student,as acondition of his orhercontinuedpresenceinthe university

community, render monetary restitution forthe damages orinjuries causedbyhis or hermisconduct.


C.   Probation: The student may be placedon probation,with orwithout non-punitive sanctions,whichmayinclude counseling, appropriatecommunity serviceorexclusion from residence halls,inwhichcaseno further sanctions will beassignedunless the student is subsequentlyresponsible for furthermisconduct duringtheprobationary period.The time frame andthe conditions of a probationarysanction canbe set atthe discretion of the forum.Probation implies thata further code violation duringthe probationaryperiod will bedealt with more severelythanif it stoodalone.


D.  Campus/Community Service:The student may be assignedto acommunity service site locatedon oroffcampus,with his orheracceptance.Apredeterminednumberof

hours must be completedbya givendate.


E.   Suspension: The student may be suspended fromthe university forthe remainder of anyongoing semester;fora longer,but definitelystated, periodoftime; fora future semester orsemesters;orindefinitely,with a date set forth inwritingatwhichtime the student will be given the privilege of applying for readmission,with such application to bereviewedandacted upon bythe Student Judicial Council or dean of students,dependingonwhich forumheardthe original complaint.


F.   Expulsion: Astudent may be immediatelyandpermanently separatedfromthe university.


G.  Interim Suspension:Whenthe president of the universityora designated administrator determines that the presence ofa student would reasonablyconstitutea clear andpresentdanger to the university community orproperty,he orshe maytake

swift andimmediateaction to suspendsucha student fromuniversityenrollment on aninterim basis.Wheneversuspension occurs under this provision,the student shall be accorded review bythe student judicial system at the earliest possible date followingthe suspension.If,atanytime of review,the judicial authority determines thatthe suspension of the student is inappropriate,it may recommendto the president thatthe student be reinstatedto university enrollment andbe allowedto complete any academic workmissedas aresult ofthis suspension.