Parents Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I help my student when they are accused of a Student Honor Code violation?
    1. You can help your student by being supportive while holding them accountable to your expectations and university policies and procedures.
    2. Allow and expect the student to set appointments, attend meetings, and fulfill assigned outcomes. It is not helpful to the educational development of the student for parents to take over the process for their students.
    3. Please ask your student five questions (in this order):
      1. “Have you read the Student Honor Code?”
      2. “Have you spoken with your course instructor or someone from the Student Honor Code Office?”
      3. “Have you read the Student Honor Code charge letter?”
      4. “How are you going to handle this?”
      5. “How can I support you?”
  2. Does my student need a lawyer for his or her Student Honor Code Council hearing?
    1. Since this is not a criminal proceeding, lawyers are not necessary. This is an educational process, and we expect students to speak on their own behalf during a Student Honor Code Council hearing. Both course instructors and charged students may elect to have a single advisor accompany them to the hearing.
    2. Advisors are a student’s choice and can be faculty/staff members, peers, parents, friends, or lawyers. The role of the advisor is limited to conferring with their advisee. Advisors may be present at the hearing, but may not participate in the proceedings. The advisor’s role is specifically limited to conferring with her or his advisee. Advisors are not permitted to speak on behalf of the student or question any potential witnesses. Failure to abide by these rules will result in the advisor being removed from the hearing.
  3. Can I attend a Student Honor Code Council hearing with my student?
    1. We expect students to speak on their own behalf during a Student Honor Code Council hearing. A parent is permitted to serve as an advisor in a Student Honor Code Council hearing with the permission of the student. An advisor may be present at the hearing, but may not participate in the proceedings. The advisor’s role is specifically limited to conferring with her or his advisee.
  4. Will we, as parents, find out if our student has been accused of a Student Honor Code violation?
    1. Students with Student Honor Code records must sign a consent form before this information can be released to other individuals.
    2. It is recommended that students inform their parents of all incidents that result in sanctions. Keeping this type of information from parents can make matters worse if additional violations occur. A student will always be provided a copy of the sanction letter, which is comprised of the date of the hearing, the type of academic misconduct, and the decision of their case. When they speak with you, it’s encouraged that you ask them to send you copies of the information they’ve been provided.
  5. What burden of proof is used during a Student Honor Code Council hearing?
    1. The preponderance of evidence is the standard of proof used in Student Honor Code Council hearings. A majority of the Hearing Board members must vote that the information indicates that it is more likely than not that the violation occurred.
  6. What kind of outcome is my student going to receive if he or she is found responsible?
    1. Outcomes are determined individually with mitigating circumstances being taken into consideration. Sanctions are designed to be educational and to make statements about the university’s expectations in regard to academic integrity. Even outcomes such as suspension or expulsion are intended to help students learn from their actions and understand how unacceptable behaviors impact the academic community.
  7. Who has access to my student’s academic misconduct records?
    1. A student’s academic misconduct file is kept for internal recordkeeping purposes and to provide some insight into a student’s past behavior if additional problems arise. Past decisions that resulted in a finding of responsibility will be considered in subsequent hearings when outcomes are determined. These records are released to no one other than the university officials who have a legitimate need to know and others as permitted by law. Students with academic misconduct records must sign a consent form before the information can be released to other individuals.
  8. Will this have an effect on my student’s financial aid or scholarships?
    1. It is possible that disciplinary procedures could ultimately have an effect on either financial aid or scholarships. In order for students to qualify for financial aid, students must be enrolled and make specific academic progress in a degree seeking program. Students who are suspended or expelled are not making any academic progress at that time. Many scholarship agencies have expectations regarding the behavior of their recipients. Athletic scholarships and academic achievement scholarships could both be affected by disciplinary action. If your student is receiving financial aid or is on a scholarship, and they have an academic misconduct action pending, it is important for them to speak with the appropriate representatives of the office dispersing the funds.
  9. Will a record in the Student Honor Code Office keep my student from getting into medical school, graduate school, etc.?
    1. An academic misconduct record does not automatically exclude a student from further study, jobs, etc. It does depend on the type or severity of misconduct in which a student is involved. Again, we will only release information about a student’s academic misconduct record as permitted by federal law (see above). If the student authorizes a release of their record, it will be provided to whomever they request. Case records are expunged five years following the date of the student’s graduation.
  10. How can my student make a referral regarding another student?
    1. If a student wishes to report another student for an alleged Student Honor Code Violation, that student should contact the course instructor of the course in which the alleged incident occurred. The student may also contact the Student Honor Code Office.

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Contact Us

Phone: 662.325.9151
Fax: 662.325.3699

Mailing Address
Student Honor Code Office
Mississippi State University
608 Allen Hall
P.O. Box DS
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Mail Stop 9515

Office Hours:
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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