Complainant FAQ | Student Affairs | Mississippi College
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Reporting & Accommodations

I have experienced some type of sexual misconduct or relationship violence. What should I do?

If you are experiencing any type of emergency, call MC Public Safety at 601.925.3911 or call Clinton Police at 911. If you would like to report what has happened, fill out the form above.

What does the term "Complainant" mean?

Anyone that files a report of alleged violations of Mississippi College policy is considered the "complainant." The "respondent" is the person accused of violating Mississippi College policy. 

If I decide to report to the university, do I still need to report to the police?

No, but it's another option you can consider. You have the option of pursuing the matter through the criminal justice system, and the Office of Student Conduct can assist you in getting in touch with local law enforcement. Keep in mind that the process of any law enforcement agency is completely separate from Mississippi College's process.

Can I report anonymously?

Yes, you can. But keep in mind that incomplete information may limit Mississippi College's ability to respond to a situation.

Do I have to share my story?

Steps will be taken to reduce the number of times that you have to share your story, and there are a variety of ways in which your perspective can be shared. You do not have to share your story if you don't feel comfortable doing so; however, it may be necessary if you wish to file a complaint and/or move forward with an administrative or hearing process.

I don't want to contact the respondent or have them contact me. What should I do?

Once you file a report, we can take steps to issue a "Do Not Contact" order on behalf of the institution between yourself and the respondent. This order prohibits the respondent from having any contact with you in person, via phone, or online. It will also prohibit unwanted contact from third parties. It also prohibits you from having contact with the respondent.

What if the incident occurred off-campus?

The Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence policy applies to incidents that happen on campus, off-campus, and at MC-sponsored events, regardless of location. Mississippi College will follow the same investigation procedure, regardless.

Are there certain services or accommodations that the Office of Student Conduct can provide?

We are concerned for your personal safety and access to MC services and programs. Any accommodations can be discussed with the officer you meet with regarding the incident. Accommodations are discussed and made on a case-by-case basis to best meet the needs of individual students.

The Process

Do I have to participate in the Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence conduct process?

No. It is your choice, and you will not be required to give us any information you do not want to. But keep in mind, with limited information, there may be little that the university can do. In some cases, Mississippi College may step in and institute a "Do Not Contact" order between students when the safety of any student may be at risk.

What happens during my meeting with a conduct officer?

A staff member will contact you to set up a meeting if a report has been submitted regarding a potential violation of the Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy. During that meeting, the staff member would check with you to make sure are safe, as well as review the process for Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence cases. The staff member may also share resources, both on and off-campus, as well as discuss your rights as a student. The staff member will also be able to answer questions and assist you in deciding whether you want to move forward with the process.

What are my rights as a complainant?

Your rights as the complainant can be found in Article VI of the Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy on page 13 or on the Student Rights page. 

What, if anything, will be told to my parents?

No information can be released to your parent(s) or guardian(s) without a signed release from a student. Although you are not required to contact your parent or guardian, many students often do consult with family members for support.

Will my professors know about the complaint?

Only if you choose to notify them or have them notified. Students sometimes request interim academic measures (such as extensions on assignments or rescheduled exams). This can be discussed on a case-by-case basis with a hearing officer.

May I have an advisor and can that person be an attorney?

Yes. From Article VI of the Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy, Student Rights: The complainant has the right, "To have one advisor accompany the complainant when presenting information to the Chief Conduct Officer or his or her designee, the hearing board and to any other relevant Mississippi College Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy 15 meetings held throughout the student conduct process. An advisor may not participate directly in a student conduct conference and/or hearing process, nor may an advisor address any participant in the student conduct conference and/or hearing process other than the student the advisor represents."

What does my advisor do during the process?

Advisors may attend meetings with you and be permitted to ask questions during the meetings with your hearing officer. An advisor may attend a hearing, but may not address the hearing panel or anyone else in the hearing except you as the complainant. Discussion between you and your advisor should be done quietly. 

Will there be a hearing? Do I have to be there?

If you choose to pursue charges against another student, an investigation will occur. At the conclusion of the investigation, it will be determined if charges are warranted. If a student is charged with a violation of the Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy, a hearing will take place. You are required to participate in the hearing, but if you are uncomfortable being in the same room as the respondent, accommodations can be made. This is something you would want to discuss with the hearing officer.

What happens in a hearing?

This is something that the conduct officer will go over with you in detail. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification on any part of the process.

How long will the process take?

The length of the process depends on each case. For example, the time needed to conduct a thorough investigation, the number of witnesses, any college breaks or university holidays, etc. all have a bearing on the time frame. Generally, the process should take around 60 days or less. The university will usually not wait until the conclusion of a criminal investigation or proceeding to investigate a report of sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence.