In order to protect the university’s educational purposes and the university community, a student may be formally referred to the Office of the Dean of Students whenever it is brought to the attention of the dean of students that there is reasonable basis to believe that the student’s conduct has resulted in at least one of the following:
A. Evidence of Felony: Significant evidence exists that the student has committed a felony of such a nature that the student’s continued presence at the university is potentially dangerous to the health or security of other university students and their belongings, faculty, staff or visitors, even though the civil authorities have not yet brought formal charges.
B. Felony Charges: The student has been formally charged by civil authorities with the type of felony described in code A.
C. Felony Conviction: The student is convicted of the type of felony described in code A.
D. Disruption of University-Sanctioned Events and Activities: Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedure or any other activity or of other authorized activities on university-controlled property
E. Parking and Traffic Violations: Obstruction of the free flow of traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, on university-controlled property
F. Physical Assault, Abuse or Detention: Acts of violence of any kind on university property at a university-sponsored or supervised function
G. Threats of Violence: Against another person
H. Harassment: Stalking of any kind if such conduct reasonably causes another person to fear that his/her safety or privacy is endangered including, but not limited to the use of social media and other technology.
I. Reckless Conduct: Conduct that unreasonably creates a substantial risk that the student or other persons may be injured or that property belonging to another person or the university may be damaged
J. Vandalism: Malicious destruction, damage or misuse of public or private property, including library materials
K. Theft and Embezzlement: Any unauthorized taking (whether temporary or permanent) of property belonging to another person or entity
L. Burglary: Unauthorized entry into or use of university facilities, including buildings, grounds, automobiles or any property belonging to another person or entity
M. Disorderly Conduct: Breach of the peace, or inciting others to breach the peace
N. Residence Hall Violations: Violation of rules governing university-controlled residence facilities, including visitation violations
O. Academic Dishonesty: Academic cheating or plagiarism
P. Deception: Furnishing of false information to the university with the intention of deceiving the university and its officials
Q. Forgery and Misrepresentation: Alteration or misuse of university documents, records or identification cards
R. Bad Checks and Debts: Intentionally issuing a bad check to the university or one of its departments or ignoring and failing to comply with legally binding financial obligations to the university
S. Obscenity: Lewd, indecent or obscene conduct, including expression of profanity, which exceeds the normal standards of decency prevailing in the general Hattiesburg community at large
T. Firearms Violations: Possession on campus of firearms, pellet guns, BB guns, other projectiles, explosives, fireworks, dangerous weapons or dangerous chemicals, including possession of validly licensed hunting weapons
U. Drug Violations: Illegal manufacture, possession, sales, distribution or use of narcotics, barbiturates, central nervous system stimulants, marijuana, sedatives, tranquilizers, hallucinogens or any other illegal drugs, substances or drug paraphernalia
V. Gambling: Violation of the state of Mississippi’s gambling laws
W. Alcohol: Sale, consumption or evidence of consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus in violation of local, state or federal law
X. Lack of Appropriate Cooperation with University Administration or Law Enforcement: Failure to comply with the directions or instructions of university officials or any law enforcement officer acting in his/her official capacity, including failure to present a valid ID upon request
Y. Violation of Other Published Regulations and Policies: Violation of any other university regulation or policy that is established and publicly disseminated to the university community at least once a year, including such regulations and policies in the Student Handbook, the Faculty Handbook, the Safety Compliance Document and the Substance Abuse Policy for Students and Employee
Z. Student Organization Violations: Any breach of Student Activities policies or university regulations of the chartered organizations will be subject to university organization sanctions.
AA. Stalking: Stalking is conduct of any kind which reasonably causes another person to fear that his/her safety or privacy is
endangered including, but not limited to, the use of social media and other technology.
BB. Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct is any non-consensual behavior of a sexual nature that is committed by
force or intimidation, or that is otherwise unwelcome. The term includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, sexual
exploitation, sexual intimidation and sexual harassment. See the Institutional Policy on Sexual Misconduct.
CC. Hazing: See the Institutional Policy on Hazing, including a definition of hazing.
DD. Bullying: See the Institutional Anti-Bullying Policy.
DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES FOR
OFFICE OF THE DEAN OF STUDENTS
A. Dean of Students. All questions or allegations of student misconduct shall be referred to the dean of students. The aims of the student judicial process are as follows:
1. To make students better aware of their behavior(s)
2. To understand the impacts and effects of their behavior on others
3. To make students aware of how their behavior(s) may impact their status
4. To better acquaint students with problem-solving skills and critical-thinking strategies
5. To foster a climate for self-introspection and self-image building
B. Written Notification to Student. The dean of students will then investigate any such allegations, and if the dean, in his or her discretion, finds significant basis for the allegation, then the dean will deliver to the student a written notification that disciplinary proceedings are being initiated. This written notification will specify the alleged misconduct with sufficient particularity to enable the student to fully respond to the allegations and defend himself or herself. This written notification will also direct the student to attend a pre-hearing conference at a time and place specified by the dean of students. (Written notification includes notice via the student’s university email account.) A copy of this code will be provided to the student at this time as well.
C. Pre-Hearing Conference. At the scheduled pre-hearing conference, the dean of students or his or her designee will inform the student of his or her right to choose the forum before which he or she can defend the allegation: (1) in a hearing before the dean of students or his or her designee or (2) in a hearing before the Student Judicial Council. This same option applies to students who admit to prohibited conduct and who merely want to choose the forum in which their punishment will be decided. The student will also be informed of his or her right to appeal the ultimate ruling of the dean of students or Student Judicial Council.
D. Appeals. All disciplinary actions can be appealed by either party. If a disciplinary decision is appealed, no action will be taken except those measures necessary to ensure the safety of the university community and property and to promote an academic environment until the appellate process has been exhausted. The party desiring to appeal a decision of the dean of students or Student Judicial Council must submit a written notice of appeal to the dean of students within 72 hours of the decision and provide one of the following:
1. Evidence that there was an error in process or procedure
2. Evidence of additional or missing information
3. Evidence of bias behavior on behalf of the Student Judicial Board or the Judicial Appeals Board
4. Evidence that the judicial decision is arbitrary or unreasonable
Such appeals will be heard by the University Appeals Committee, whose decisions can likewise be appealed to the university president, who may elect to hear the appeal or designate another university official to do so (such as the vice president for student affairs, in which case, the findings and decisions of the designee will have to be accepted and ratified by the university president in writing). In cases of expulsion, decisions of the university president may be appealed to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. Any academic credit earned during the appeals process will be void if the original decision of suspension or expulsion is upheld by the University Appeals Committee.