Students Disciplined in Mississippi Graffiti Incident
Three University of Mississippi students have been placed on probation and ordered to perform community service and write research papers for their role in a racial graffiti incident in a campus residence hall last November (see Black Issues, Jan. 2).
A University Judicial Council, made up of four students and four faculty and staff members, heard evidence and deliberated 4 ½ hours last month before handing down the sanctions.
Two of the students were found responsible for abuse of the judicial system, flagrant disrespect of a member of the university community, harassment of a fellow student and vandalism. One was assigned 300 hours of community service, the other 200 hours. Each must write a 15-page paper and will remain on probation as long as they are enrolled at the university. The two also were ordered to pay restitution for damage to the residence hall.
A third student was found responsible for harassment of a fellow student and given 50 hours of community service, required to write a five-page paper and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
The discipline stemmed from an incident that occurred in the early morning hours of Nov. 6 in Kincannon Hall. Housing officials discovered racial epithets scribbled on the doors to the rooms of two students and vulgar and obscene messages at three other locations in the building.
The three students responsible for the racial epithets are African American, as were the victims. The names of the three have been withheld under provisions of the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act.
University officials said they are satisfied that the students received a full and fair hearing. The trio waived their right to appeal the sanctions.
“We followed our formal judicial process to the letter,” says assistant dean of students Dr. Lloyd Holmes. “The facts were presented and the council acted in the manner they felt was appropriate. It was a student-driven process.”
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