Jackson State University’s core values include tradition, accountability, learning, nurturing, service, and responsibility. JSU believes that free expression is indispensable to the safeguarding of these values and that personal expression must be encouraged with only those limitations that are necessary to promote the University’s mission for the benefit of all of its students.
The Jackson State University Student Handbook sets forth expectations and guidelines for appropriate student decorum, and this policy is put in place as a supplement to clarify and extend the dress code as well as the proscription against the use of inappropriate language. JSU is committed to fostering an educational environment that, consistent with its academic freedom and mission, prepares its students for success in the classroom and later in their careers. JSU may expect students to adhere to generally accepted standards of conduct. Actions that substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline or otherwise substantially interfere with the University’s educational mission or the rights of other students may be regulated. This Decorum Policy shall be applied without discrimination in regard to the viewpoint embodied in a student’s dress or language, and it shall be applied to all students on an equal basis. Further, this policy is limited in time and place to University functions and educational facilities, specifically including classrooms. It is strongly encouraged, but not required, that these guidelines be followed elsewhere in an effort to provide a positive representation of ourselves and the University to the best of our abilities. Administrative, faculty, and staff members who observe student behavior proscribed by this Decorum Policy should report any such disregard or violations to the Offices of the Dean of Student Life.
Dress standards promote learning by establishing expectations that will reduce educational distractions as well as help prepare students for later success. These restrictions are minimum requirements that will result in a warning or disciplinary action if not followed. The University expects and strongly encourages its students to adhere to the higher standards of appropriate dress on campus and at University events as recommended in the Student Handbook. Prohibited dress shall include all lewd or obscene clothing and attire as well as any clothing or gear that, in the view of the Dean of Students or Vice President of Academic Affairs, substantially interferes with the effectiveness of the educational environment and mission. Lewd or obscene dress shall include attire or the lack thereof that leaves visible an area of the body that traditionally within the locality has been considered private and indecent to expose publicly, and that also lacks artistic or creative value within a particular University curriculum. Traditional private areas shall mean the breasts, buttocks, or areas proximate to the reproductive organs. Dress or gear that substantially interferes with the educational environment may vary depending on the curriculum and context, but may include items that make distracting noises, such as music players, or attire that creates a visual obstruction to others. The only exemption to this dress code exists in the case of a student who, due to a medical condition or properly identified disability, requires such accommodation. Such accommodation, if reasonable, should be attempted with an effort to minimize any negative effect on the educational environment. This policy applies equally and without regard to the religious or secular nature of the attire.