Honor court gives student input in residential violation appeals process


Madison Echols

MSMS Honor Court returned last semester from its hiatus since COVID-19.

Mariane Powell, Staff Writer

The MSMS Student Honor Court returned last semester after disbanding at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Honor Court allows students to contest residential Level II and III violations before a court of their peers. If a student believes the punishment for an infraction is unfair and should be lessened, their appeal can be heard by the court. The court evaluates the circumstances and student’s point of view and then proposes a suggestion to administration.

The court is composed of two seniors and one junior from each of the residence halls and one junior from each of the residence halls, with two additional juniors from each residence hall selected as alternates to fill empty positions when needed. Only students with a grade average of above 85 and with no Level III infractions can apply.

All matters brought before the court are confidential, along with the identities of its members, thereby preserving the impartial deliberation process.

Residence Life Coordinator LaToya Bledsoe said the court gives students a voice they should appreciate. 

“This is something that students should not take for granted. If a student is unhappy about a decision, this gives them the opportunity to get it turned around,” Bledsoe said. “Confidentiality is something that is not taken lightly when it comes to Honor Court. It’s extremely important for it to remain neutral and unbiased.”

Only infractions not involving referrals to administration may be heard by the court. Also, regardless of the court’s ruling, the final decision on all matters is still determined by the director for student affairs and the director for academic affairs. 

Despite these limitations, many students said they are excited about this appeals process. 

Junior Castlin Myers said she appreciates the voice the court gives to students.

“I believe that part of what makes … Honor Court such a great thing is that it gives a measure of power back to the students,” Myers said. 

Junior Lucianna Marquez said it’s important to have student input on disciplinary issues.

“I think it is good to have to balance the power between administrative staff and students,” Marquez said. “Since we’re all living here together, it’s only fair that we have a say in disciplinary matters.”