Quick Guide to the Disciplinary Process
This quick guide is designed to provide quick, easy-to-understand information about the disciplinary process at MTSU. The full policies are available on the Judicial Affairs and Mediation Services pages.
The Office of Judicial Affairs and Mediation Services receives reports and information from a variety of sources including, but not limited to: Housing & Residential Life, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Organizations, Public Safety, faculty & staff members, and the community at-large.
Staff members review each report/referral to determine what action must be taken. Staff members will issue charges against a student or organization if the information contained in the report/referral indicates that it is possible that the behavior was in violation of the Student Disciplinary Rules and the behavior was NOT related to sexual violence/harassment, discrimination, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking. (See Sexual Violence/Harassment LINK TO SEXUAL VIOLENCE/HARASSMENT)
If a staff member issues CHARGES against a student, it means that the staff member has information indicating that the student may have violated a prohibited behavior considered a disciplinary offense. A CHARGE does not signify responsibility or lack there-of for the offense. Responsibility is determined after the staff member has met with the student and gathered information from them.
A staff member will send the student an email to their MTSU account and a letter to their local address (permanent if local is not available in Banner) directing the student to attend a meeting at a scheduled time. If that meeting time conflicts with the student’s schedule, he or she must contact the office immediately to reschedule the meeting. Staff members look at student class schedules to avoid scheduling the meeting during a class time; however, staff members are not privy to work or extracurricular schedules.
The purpose of the meeting is to explain the disciplinary process to the student, share the information that has prompted the charge, and gather information from the student about what happened. During this meeting, students should be prepared to tell their side of the story. Students may have an advisor attend the meeting with them, if they so choose. The advisor is not permitted to speak, they are only permitted to provide support to the student.
The staff member will listen carefully and determine if there is sufficient evidence to find the student in violation of the Student Disciplinary Rules or if further investigation is needed. The staff member may also determine that there is insufficient evidence to hold the student responsible for a violation of the rules. The staff member’s assessment of the case will dictate the next steps in the process.
If the staff member finds the student not responsible, the case is closed. If the staff member decides that the case would best be handled by a panel, they may refer the matter to either the Student Judicial Board or the University Discipline Committee. If the staff member finds the student responsible and issues a sanction (consequence) for the behavior, what happens next is determined by the severity of the sanction.
- If the sanction does not involve suspension or expulsion from the institution, the case is closed and the student must accept the sanctions.
- If the sanction involves suspension or expulsion, the student has three choices: accept
the sanction, request to go before the University Discipline Committee, request a
hearing pursuant to the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act.
Staff members will provide all necessary information to the student during the meeting so that the student can make a decision regarding resolution of the case.
University Discipline Committee
This committee is comprised of faculty members and students. This committee hears cases referred to them by the Judicial Affairs staff. Referrals occur when the staff member determines that the student would be best served by appearing before this committee or when the staff member has recommended a sanction of suspension or expulsion and the student requests a hearing before this committee. The student cannot be represented by another person in this process.
Student Judicial Board
This board is comprised of students only. This board hears cases referred to them by the Judicial Affairs staff when they determine that a student would be best served by appearing before this board. This board does NOT hear cases for which the recommendation has been suspension or expulsion. The student cannot be represented by another person in this process.
Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act
A student may select this hearing option when the staff member has recommended suspension or expulsion. This is the ONLY process for which a student can be represented by another person (friend, parent, lawyer, etc.). Click here for more information.
Residential Life and Housing Cases
Students who live in the residence halls are subject to a meeting with a representative from the Judicial Affairs office AND a representative from the Department of Housing and Residential Life. The residence life representative is present to make determinations specifically related to the housing contract and housing environment.
The student disciplinary rules apply to student organizations just as they apply to individuals. If an organization is charged with violations of the rules, a staff member will contact the current president of the organization to meet on behalf of the organization. The president can choose to designate another student to represent the organization if he/she so chooses.
Students who receive a sanction other than suspension or expulsion from the institution do not have an appeal option. The outcome of the disciplinary process is final. If a student is suspended or expelled, they have the right to appeal on one or both of the following conditions:
- an error in procedural due process,
- the emergence of new evidence that would have substantially altered the original decision. If a student has the right to an appeal, they will be notified of such as part of the disciplinary process.
Traffic Citation Appeals
Student traffic citation appeals are heard by the Court of Traffic Appeals. Please visit the Student Government Association web site for full information.
Appeals may be made by visiting the SGA website.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party (mediator) facilitates the discussion and identification of issues between the disputants, the development of alternate solutions, and the negotiation of a mutually satisfying outcome to the dispute.
"Training Peer Mediators in the College and University Setting: A Trainer's Guide" by Rick Olshak