An Educational Process Not a Criminal Process

The Student Honor Code Council hearing process is less formal than a criminal proceeding. The Student Honor Code Office provides a supportive and welcoming atmosphere for students, faculty and parents of students reported. Students should know the more serious charges tend to be accompanied by more formal processes, in an effort to protect the students’ rights. All members of the University community should know that the decision making process involved in alleged Student Honor Code violations is that of a hearing and not a trial. The expectation is that this will create a supportive and non-adversarial environment for which a decision can be made based on the details and facts of the case.

  • The Student Honor Code process is designed to be educational and not punitive. We strive to help our students better understand the impact of his or her actions and how to avoid any subsequent violations of the Mississippi State University Student Honor Code. The outcomes that are imposed after a finding of responsibility are not predetermined but rather accommodating based on each individual case.
  • Attendance at Mississippi State University is not a right, rather it is a privilege. As such, removal of a student from campus through an outcome of suspension or dismissal is a possibility in certain instances in which a student has jeopardized his or her academic integrity, the University community, or engaged in repeated violations of the Student Honor Code.
  • A finding of responsible in the Student Honor Code process will not result in any criminal record. Additionally, findings of “guilty” or “not guilty” in the criminal system usually have no bearing on the outcome of campus judicial proceedings.
  • The standard of evidence in determining a Student Honor Code violation is not as high as that of the criminal process. Mississippi State University’s Student Honor Code uses the level of “preponderance of evidence” as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This translates to “is it more likely than not that a violation of the Student Honor Code did or did not occur.”
  • Legal rules of evidence, i.e. whether something is “admissible”, do not apply in Student Honor Code cases. The Student Honor Code staff will gather, request and utilize any information that is relevant to the case.
  • Student Honor Code cases are confidential , in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which is a federal law. Students with Student Honor Code records must sign a consent form before this information can be released to other individuals.
  • While students are entitled to an advisor, (friend, parent, or any person of their choosing) that advisor may not represent that student. Students are expected to speak for themselves at all times during the process and any advisors disregarding these rules will be asked to leave any meeting or hearing.

*Parts adapted from the ASJA publication, THE STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS, copyright 2006 and the Dean of Students Office at Mississippi.

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Phone: 662.325.9151
Fax: 662.325.3699

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

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8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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