RESIDENCE LIFE CONDUCT PROCESS POLICY
A process has been instituted to protect the rights of students accused of violating Residence Life policies. The process allows for appeals and due process. Educational sanctions may be imposed.
Reason for Policy/Purpose
This policy is required for the effective communication of university policy regarding the Residence Life conduct process.
Who Needs to Know This Policy
All students of The University of Southern Mississippi community living on campus.
Website Address for this Policy
All educational sanctions will be determined toward the conclusion of the hearing. In addition, written notification will be sent through campus email or hand-delivered to the appropriate individuals by Residence Life staff. It is the responsibility of the student to appeal in written form. All hearing outcomes will be limited to one appeal only. The appeal will be heard by the associate director of Residence Life or a designee. All appeal decisions are final.
A student who has been found responsible for any alleged violation may appeal the decision of the hearing body or administrative officer to the associate director of Residence Life. An appeal requires a written document in the form of a letter or email that details the basis for the appeal (egregious sanction, mitigating circumstance, procedural error and/or additional information).
In addition to the written appeal, a meeting must also be scheduled with the appropriate appeal officer (the associate director or a designee) as directed in the follow-up sanction letter. This meeting must be scheduled within five business days from the date of the hearing.
A student who is alleged to be in violation of Residence Life policies is entitled to certain procedural guarantees to ensure a fair hearing of evidence. These guarantees are as follows:
The student will be provided with a statement of alleged violations in advance of any hearing. This statement will be delivered via email to the student’s university email account, as this is the university’s designated means of communication. (Please see the Student Success Handbook for more details regarding the activation and use of your email account.)
The University of Southern Mississippi Residence Life Conduct Process states that written notice will be given within five business days of the event resulting in documentation. This notice will provide detail sufficient for the student to prepare a case for the hearing. A student may make a written request for a copy of the incident report at any time. Should the student fail to respond, hearings will proceed in absentia.
The judicial board and Residence Life administrators have jurisdiction over any residence hall, policy violation and/or individuals who allegedly violate said policies. Residence Life staff reserves the right to consult with any other university official when necessary. Violations of residence hall policies and standards will be addressed through educational sanctions that will be determined by
The educational sanctions listed below will range in severity without specificity to the violation, but to the individual student and case. This list is not inclusive of all possible sanctions:
Furthermore, because residence hall students have a contractual relationship with the Department of Residence Life, those who damage the halls may be financially responsible for repairs and replacement costs. This contractual agreement may not threaten or interfere with a student’s university academic standing, although a recommendation may be made to the Dean of Students office.
*Please note that any student removed from the residence hall after a conduct process is still subject to the terms and conditions of the housing contract and may be financially responsible for payment to Residence Life and the university.
ROUTES OF PROCESS
When a student poses a clear emergency or danger to himself/herself or others, the director of Residence Life or designee may take immediate action to suspend the student from the residence halls. This can include temporary removal from the residence halls until a hearing takes place. In this event, the hearing will occur while the temporary removal is in place. When a student is accused of violating a Residence Life policy, he/she will have a conduct conference with a Residence Life staff member to discuss students’ rights, enter a plea and choose a conduct hearing option in response to the alleged violations. These options include a judicial board hearing or an administrative hearing. If the offense is deemed a serious violation, an administrative option will be mandated and may include referral to the Office of the Dean of Students. Failure to respond to conduct notification will result in a hearing held in the student’s absence.
Option 1: Judicial Board
Following notification of charges, the student who chooses adjudication by a judicial board will receive notice of the hearing date. The board will be composed of approximately four to six undergraduate students who have the authority and training necessary to adjudicate cases. The judicial board option will not be available during the first month and last two weeks of each semester.
Option 2: Administrative Hearing
The Department of Residence Life staff will follow the same conduct process as the judicial board and will administer sanctions accordingly. Following notification of charges, the student who chooses adjudication by a Residence Life administrator will receive notice of a hearing date. The director of Residence Life or designee (associate director, assistant director, Residence Life coordinator or hall director) has the authority to adjudicate cases.
STATEMENT OF RIGHTS
The Director of Student Housing Administration is responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review).
Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes03/15/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.