Judicial Policies / Student Rights
Charges and Hearings
- Any member of the College community may file charges against any student for misconduct. Charges shall be prepared in writing and directed to the Chief Judicial Officer responsible for the administration of the College judicial system. Any charge should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place, preferably within five (5) working days of the incident.
- The Chief Judicial Officer may conduct an investigation to determine if the charges have merit and/or if they can be disposed of administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the Chief Judicial Officer. Such disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings. If the charges cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, the Chief Judicial Officer may later serve in the same matter as the judicial body or a member thereof.
- All charges shall be presented to the accused student in written form. A time shall be set for a hearing, not less than five (5) nor more than fifteen (15) calendar days after the student has been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the Chief Judicial Officer.
- Hearings shall be conducted by a judicial body according to the following guidelines:
- Hearings normally shall be conducted in private.
- Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the judicial body and/or its Judicial Officer.
- In hearings involving more than one accused student, the Judicial Officer, at his or her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately.
- The complainant and the accused have the right to be assisted by an advisor. Only in cases where criminal charges or civil action are filed, pending or potential, will an attorney be allowed to serve as an advisor (If charges or actions are not filed, the Chief Judicial Officer will have the final say in determining whether they are pending or potential). In all cases, the complainant and/or the accused is responsible for presenting his or her own case and, therefore, advisors of any kind are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing before a judicial body.
- The complainant, the accused and the judicial body shall have the privilege of presenting witnesses, subject to the right of cross examination by the judicial body.
- Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration by a judicial body at the discretion of the chairperson.
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Judicial Officer residing over or conducting the hearing.
- After the hearing, the judicial body shall determine (by majority vote if the judicial body consists of more than one person) whether the student has violated each section of the Student Code which the student is charged with violating.
- The judicial body’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Code.
- There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a tape recording, of all hearings before a judicial body. The record shall be the property of the College.
- Except in the case of a student charged with failing to obey the summons of a judicial body or College official, no student may be found to have violated the Student Code solely because the student failed to appear before a judicial body. In all cases, the evidence in support of the charges shall be presented and considered.
- Incident reports serve as official documentation to incidents involving MC students. Incidents that are considered valid for review when the circumstances warrant, include, but are not limited to, the following: alleged misconduct, actions that may be potentially harmful to one’s self or others, or actions that may cause potential damage to personal or College property. Students have the following rights regarding information on incident reports:
- You have the right to contest the information pertaining to you on the report.
- You have the right to present or provide information regarding your alleged conduct as stated in the report.
- You have the right to submit information to contest your alleged actions or involvement.
- The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Code:
- Warning-A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
- Probation-A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
- Loss of Privileges-Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time. Such privileges shall include, but not be limited to: the operation of an automobile on campus; the holding of any office of a campus organization or activity; the representation of the College in any public events, and/or participation in specific student activities.
- Loss of Scholarship-A hearing body may request that an incident be reviewed by the Committee for Enrollment Appeals to determine if scholarships should be withheld due to inappropriate behavior. A request to review scholarship awards will automatically be sent to the Committee for Enrollment Appeals by the Chief Judicial Officer following a third incident in which disciplinary action, as outlined in this code, is taken against a student during his/her tenure at Mississippi College. Although traffic/parking violations will not constitute disciplinary action for this purpose, the loss of parking privileges due to excessive tickets will be considered.
- Fines-As reasonably recommended and imposed by the hearing body, judicial officer, and/or the Chief Judicial Officer.
- Restitution-Compensation of loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement. The actual amount of Institutional restitution will be established by the school’s Chief Financial Officer.
- Discretionary Sanctions-Work assignments, service to the College or other related discretionary assignments (such assignments must have the prior approval of the Chief Judicial Officer).
- Residence Hall Suspension-Separation of the student from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Residence Hall Expulsion-Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls.
- College Suspension-Separation of the student from the College for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- College Expulsion-Permanent separation of the student from the College.
- More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
- Other than College expulsion, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s confidential record. Upon graduation, the student’s confidential record may be expunged of disciplinary actions other than residence-hall expulsion, College suspension or College expulsion, upon application to the Chief Judicial Officer. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than residence-hall expulsion, College suspension or College expulsion shall be expunged from the student’s confidential record five (5) years after final disposition of the case.
- The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
- Those sanctions listed above in Article IV, Section B1, and a through f.
- Deactivation: Loss of all privileges, including College recognition, for a specified period of time.
- In each case in which a judicial body determines that a student has violated the Student Code, the sanction(s) shall be determined and imposed by the Judicial Officer. In cases in which persons other than or in addition to the Judicial Officer have been authorized to serve as the judicial body, the recommendation of all members of the judicial body shall be considered by the Judicial Officer in determining and imposing sanctions. The Judicial Officer is not limited to sanctions recommended by members of the judicial body. Following a hearing, the Chief Judicial Officer shall advise the accused in writing of its determination and of the sanction(s) imposed, if any.
In certain circumstances, the Chief Judicial Officer, or a designee, may impose a College or residence-hall suspension prior to the hearing before a judicial body.
- Interim suspension may be imposed only: a) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community or preservation of College property; b) to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or c) if the student poses a definite threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the College.
- During the interim suspension, students shall be denied access to the residence halls and/or the campus (including classes) and/or all other College activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Chief Judicial Officer or the Judicial Officer may determine.
- A decision reached by the judicial body or a sanction imposed by the Judicial Officer may be appealed by accused students or complainants to an Appellate Body within five (5) school days of notification of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Chief Judicial Officer or his or her designee.
- The Chief Judicial Officer may act as the Appellate Body or assign the case to a body of his or her choosing.
- An appeal is not a re-hearing of a matter to establish fact and therefore shall be limited to review of the verbatim record of the initial hearing and supporting documents, except as required to explain the basis of new evidence. An appeal shall be used for one or more of the following purposes:
- To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present evidence that the Student Code was violated, and giving the accused student reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a rebuttal of those allegations.
- To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on actual evidence, that is, whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Code occurred.
- To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Code which the student was found to have committed, as well as, other substantiated considerations which may have also had a bearing on sanctions such as, but not limited to, past Student Code violations.
- To consider new evidence sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
- If an appeal is upheld by the Appellate Body, the body may review the case and recommend action to the Chief Judicial Officer, or recommend to the Chief Judicial Officer that the matter be remanded to the original judicial body and/or Judicial Officer for re-opening of the hearing to allow reconsideration of the original determination and/or sanction(s).
- Should an Appellate Body choose to review a case, without recommending that it be remanded to its original judicial body and/or Judicial Officer, the resulting action taken by the Appellate Body, if any, must be presented to the Chief Judicial Officer in the form of a recommendation. The recommendation of the Appellate body shall be considered by the Chief Judicial Officer in determining and imposing final sanctions.
- Appeals by an accused student may not result in more severe sanction(s). Instead, sanctions shall only be upheld or reduced.
- Appeals by the complainant may result in sanctions against an accused being reduced, upheld, or increased.
- Should the accused or the person bringing the complaint disagree with the decision of the Appellate Body and/or Chief Judicial Officer, a final and binding appeal may be made by written petition (based on Article IV, Section D ("Appeals"), number 3, a.b.c. and/or d.) to the President of the Institution. He/She, or a designee, shall determine whether he/she will hear or deny this final appeal. Should the appeal be denied, the last action taken shall stand. Should the President, or designee, find that there is reason to hear the appeal he/she can either do so or remand the case back to the Appellate Body.