What are Student Rights Advocates?
ASMSU’s Student Rights Advocates will advise you for any case in the University Judicial System, where a licensed lawyer is not allowed. Through ASMSU, graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to receive services from the Student Rights Advocates. This program offers assistance and advice to students as they work towards resolving various university disputes.
Student Rights Advocates are trained to interview, prepare, and act as counsel for students during University hearings for violations of ordinances and regulations. We help students prepare their case, answer any questions about the structure of Michigan State University judicial system and review possible arguments.
Note: Student Rights Advocates cannot dispense legal advice. Student Rights Advocates can only provide assistance to those students involved in University disputes.
What can Student Rights Advocates do to help me?
Student Rights Advocates are trained to interview, prepare and act as advisors for students during University judicial affairs. We can assist students who are both complainants or respondents in these affairs. They help students prepare their case, answer any questions about the structure of Michigan State University’s judicial system and review possible arguments. If you are unsure if a Student Rights Advocate can assist you, feel free to contact the Student Rights Advocates office. If we cannot assist you, we will direct you to the right office.
However, a Student Rights Advocates cannot dispense legal advice. Student Rights Advocates only provide assistance to those students involved in University disputes. For legal questions, contact Student Legal services at 517.353.3716
How do I schedule an appointment?
Please call the Student Rights Advocates office at 517.884.1253 to schedule an appointment.
Office hours vary. If no one is available to take your call, please leave a detailed message or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and a Student Rights Advocate will get back to you.
If you are calling to speak with a Student Rights Advocates about a hearing, please contact the office by 5pm at least 5 business days prior to the hearing to allow a Student Rights Advocate adequate time to assist you.
What should I bring to my appointment?
Please bring any and all paperwork regarding your issue. Write down a brief summary of the incident, PID number, and local contact information to bring with you. Arriving with these items will allow the meeting to be as productive as possible.
What types of cases do Student Rights Advocates handle?
This would include any case where a student has been accused of some form of academic dishonesty (i.e. Cheating, Plagiarism, Research Falsification). Additionally, we can assist students with grade challenges in certain circumstances. If you feel your professor is treating you unfairly, come in to discuss your options and rights as a student.
If you have been accused of falsifying any record that you have provided to the university and are facing some sort of disciplinary action including revocation of admission, we can assist you in preparing your defense and informing you of your rights as the accused.
This entails any number of issues that may arise in a residence hall community. We can assist in any sort of formal disciplinary process that results from an incident in the residence halls. Additionally, residence hall issues do not always rise to the level of requiring a formal disciplinary hearing, but we can at least assist you in informing you of your rights as a student and helping you along the way. If you are concerned about anything that happens in the residence halls, such as roommate issues, we would be happy to meet with you to inform you of your options or direct you towards someone that can assist you more.
Students always have a right to appeal adverse decisions and we are capable of assisting in the process. If you need help drafting an appeal letter or are unsure of how to appeal a decision rendered against you come talk to us and we are glad to help.
If you are accused of some form of discrimination or harassment we can assist and advise you to the best of our abilities. If you feel you are being discriminated against or harassed by another member of the university we are also able to speak with you. Additionally, you should be aware of these resources: OIE, MSU Police, Safe Place, Olin Counseling.
Whether you are the claimant or the respondent, student defenders can assist you in these cases as well. Since the process is different than other academic or non-academic processes, we are more than happy to meet with you to discuss your rights in these cases as well. Our involvement in harassment and assault cases is rather limited, but we are happy to assist you in any way we can.
Any member of the University Community has a right to file a complaint against any other member. If you would like to initiate a complaint or are the respondent (accused) in such a complaint, we are happy to serve as your advisor.
There are a number of reasons why a student may legitimately wish to be released from their housing contract with the university. If you need assistance with the release application come in and talk to us, we can assign a student defender to help you every step of the way. (Note: we advise that you do not sign additional leases until you have been released from your housing contract with the university. We cannot guarantee that you will be released from your housing contract and this prevents you from having to pay for an apartment lease on top of your university housing.)