Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Conduct

Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Conduct

Under the laws of the state of Mississippi, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning shall have general supervision of the affairs of The University of Southern Mississippi. This board has delegated the power and authority to the president of the university to maintain standards of academic achievement and student conduct. The Division of Student Affairs has the basic responsibility to administer those regulations governing conduct at the university.

Students who register at the university agree to conform to its regulations and policies. Students are defined as all persons enrolled at the university, both full time and part time or a person seeking admission or accepted to the University for Admission A student is subject to the laws of the community and state, and enrollment as a student in no way relieves him or her of this responsibility. The fact that civil authorities have imposed punishment will not prevent the university from protecting its own educational purposes and community by taking suitable action against the student under university regulations.

The University of Southern Mississippi recognizes that students are adults with full federal rights and responsibilities who are expected to take personal responsibility for their conduct. The university will not police students’ private lives on or off campus nor violate their privacy rights in any way. These regulations derive their authority both from the students (as an article of the SGA Constitution) and the administration of the university (as the Code of Student Conduct.)

Section 1. The Judicial Authority


A.   In all organizational and individual discipline cases, the judicial authority of the SGA shall be vested in the dean of students, the Student Judicial Council, the University Appeals Committee, the university president and the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.


B.  In all cases solely concerning violations and interpretation of the SGA code and constitution, the SGA judicial authority shall be vested in the necessary lower courts and one Student SupremeCourt.


Section2.The Student Judicial Council


A.   The Student Judicial Council shall consist of nine student members who shall serve staggered terms. Five members shall be appointed for two-year terms, and four members shall be appointed for one-year terms. These students must remain in good academic standing as designated in the most recent university catalog and, at the time of appointment, have one semester of prior residency at Southern Miss. These students shall be representative of the Southern Miss student body. The chair of the Student Judicial Council shall be the attorney general of the SGA, and he or she may have no vote in its judicial proceedings.


B.  These students shall be appointed by the SGA president with the advice and consent of the student senate and shall be subject to final approval by the university president. All vacancies shall be filled under the above provisions for the remainder of a 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 Committee shall consist of four members of the faculty or staff appointed annually by the university president and four students appointed by the SGA president, with the advice of the student senate and subject to final approval by the university president. The term of all student appointments shall be until resignation, graduation or other departure from the university. In addition to the eight members, there shall be a chair appointed by the university president.


B.  The University Appeals Committee shall have appellate jurisdiction on all casesoriginating in the Student Judicial Council and the Office of the Dean of Students.


Section4.The Student Supreme Court and its Lower Courts


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


B.  The Student Supreme Court shall consist of four associate justices and one chief justice, appointed by the SGA president with the advice and consent of the senate whose term of service shall continue until resignation, graduation, other departure from the university or removal by impeachment.


C.   The Student Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction in all cases concerning violations of the SGA Code. It shall have original jurisdiction in all cases of constitutional interpretation and impeachment.


D.  The Student Supreme Court and its lower courts shall have the following powers:


1.   To issue injunctions and writs in accordance with the SGA constitution in SGAmatters


2.   To issue subpoenas for SGA public records, films or other information


3.   To issue summonses to call witnesses in cases concerning the SGA constitution, code and procedures




A.   The dean of students shall give, in writing, the options available to the accused student or organization for adjudication 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 atmosphereprior 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 bodymaypostponedisciplinaryproceedings.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 dateofthe 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 aparentorattorney whowill beallowedto make closing remarks duringthe hearing but may notparticipate 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 theirrespective 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 ofthepreponderanceofevidence.


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

theneveryeffort mustbe undertaken to inform the accusedofthe existence of the information,andtheaccused 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 bodyandtheaccused,intheir words,howthe violation has affectedthem. Acopy ofthe victim impact statementisprovidedto the accusedstudent.The statementwill bepart ofthe information consideredinthe judicialprocess.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, toprotect universityproperty,andto ensure an academic atmosphere until the appellate process hasbeen 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 universitycommunityorproperty,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 administratordesignatedin part A,unless thisaction is not possible due to circumstances at the time ortoinaccessibility.


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 prescribedpunishmentwhichmaytake 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 thatthe 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 aprobationarysanction 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 semesterorsemesters;orindefinitely,with a date set forth inwritingatwhichtime the student will be given theprivilege of applying for readmission,with such application to bereviewedandacted upon bytheStudent 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 administratordetermines 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 ofreview,the judicial authority determines thatthe suspension of the student is inappropriate,it mayrecommendto the president thatthe student be reinstatedto university enrollment andbe allowedto complete any academic workmissedas aresult ofthis suspension.