The University of Mississippi is an academic community that strives to preserve the rights of individuals. To provide an atmosphere conducive to the pursuit of knowledge, basic rights and responsibilities must be understood, guaranteed, and reinforced by every member of the University community. The broad purpose of disciplinary standards is to order University living so that interests of the University community and of the individual are best served.
Download the latest version of the M-Book, our student policy handbook, in the column to the right marked as M-Book.
The University student and student organization disciplinary hearings are closed. The names of students appearing in disciplinary hearings are not made public except as required by the Campus Security Act. Records of student and student organization disciplinary proceedings will be retained in the Office of the Dean of Students and will not be released without the expressed written consent of the student.
Q: Where is the judicial office?
A: We are located in Room 401 of the Student Union.
Q: What is the judicial process?
A: After notification of an incident is forwarded to the judicial office, the involved students will be asked to meet with a hearing officer who is either the Associate Dean of Students, Assistant Dean of Students or designee for a prehearing. Within that prehearing, the charges related to alleged University non-academic student conduct policy violations are discussed and, in most cases, the student is given the option of having the case immediately heard before an administrative hearing officer (that same day) or having the case heard before the University Judicial Council. Note: it is within the discretion of the Office of the Dean of Students to send the case to the University Judicial Council rather than allowing the student the option of having an administrative hearing.
If a student fails to attend a prehearing, an administrative hearing, or a hearing before the judicial council, the hearing may be held in the student’s absence, which also may lead to further charges related to abuse of the judicial system. Once the case is heard, either by an administrative hearing officer or the judicial council, that judicial body will determine whether the student has committed a violation and, if so, renders the appropriate sanctions. The results of any judicial council hearing may be appealed, but the student must do so within 24 hours or a time period specified by the Office of the Dean of Students. In disciplinary cases where suspension or expulsion was not involved, the case may be appealed to the Appellate Consideration Board. If the case resulted in sanctions of suspension or expulsion from the University, the case may be appealed to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and, if the sanctions are upheld, the student may then appeal to the Chancellor.
The above procedures also are applicable when a student organization is accused of an alleged non-academic conduct violation. Note that certain incidents occurring in Student Housing may be handled within Student Housing. Housingd may also use its discretion in any case (whether heard in Housing or by the judicial office) to determine whether a student will be asked to leave the residence halls, and such a determination may be appealed to the Director of Student Housing and Residence Life.
Q: Why did the prehearing letter go to my parents?
A: Notification of a prehearing is usually sent via email but in some cases where the judicial office is unable to get in contact with a student a letter, addressed to the student, is sent to the student’s permanent or home address. It is important that a student regularly check his or her Ole Miss email account while also keeping the University informed of his or her most current local mailing address.
Q: I have a court date on the matter, why do I have to go through the University’s judicial process?
A: The University’s judicial system should not be used in place of the court system. The University judicial process handles alleged student conduct policy violations which disrupt the University’s learning environment. A student who may have been arrested for an alleged violation of local, state, or federal law, and given a court date, may also be subject to civil liability and the University judicial system. The University’s system is designed to further the University’s educational mission and therefore, is neither comparable to nor a substitute for any federal, state, or local criminal court, or civil court. The University system deals with whether the student violated the non-academic policies of the University and uses a preponderance of the evidence standard, which may be a lower evidence standard than that used in a criminal or civil court. However, the possible sanctions within the University’s system are different than those that may be imposed within a criminal or civil court, and are focused on the student’s actions as a member of the University community and how violations against that community may be rectified. Essentially, it is important for students to realize that each judicial proceeding to which they may be subject (University, criminal, or civil) occurs on a separate track and it is not necessary for any campus judicial process to be canceled or held in abeyance until off-campus proceedings are completed.
Q: Will my parents be informed about University judicial procedures?
A: It depends. If the alleged violation was alcohol or drug related and the student is under age 21, the University does have the right under the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA or the Buckley Amendment) to release information regarding the violation to parents. In cases occurring on campus a letter is usually not sent to the parents until after the student’s University judicial hearing. It should also be noted the judicial office regularly receives names of students arrested in Oxford and Lafayette County. Those students arrested forin the surrounding area of the University who are
Q: What exactly is the two-strike policy?
A: The two-strike policy is formally entitled Minimum Sanctions for Alcohol and Other Drug Violations. This policy, which is found on the University Policy Directory, and in the current edition of the M-Book, deals with drug and alcohol violations committed by University of Mississippi students. Students found in violation of a drug or alcohol offense will be put on two-strike probation for a period of time and will at that time receive their first strike. Any other drug or alcohol offense occurring within that probationary period will result in a University Judicial Council hearing where a plea or finding of in violation will result in suspension from the University. Below is the link to the actual minimum sanctions policy which outlines the specific details of the University’s two-strike policy (https://secure4.olemiss.edu/umpolicyopen/).