Purpose: To specifically identify the rights related to academic freedom and status of students.
Freedom to Learn
In addition to the basic constitutional rights enjoyed by all citizens, students in colleges and universities have specific rights related to academic freedom and their status as students. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students are expected to exercise their freedom with responsibility.
Freedom of Expression
Individual students and student organizations shall be free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. They shall be free to support causes by orderly means that do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the institution.
In the classroom, students shall be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.
Freedom to Association
Students shall be free to organize and join organizations to promote their common and lawful interests, subject to institutional policies or regulations. Registration or recognition may be withheld or withdrawn from organizations that violate college regulations and policies.
Students shall have the right to assemble, to select speakers and to discuss issues of their choice. The college shall establish reasonable time, place and manner restrictions to assure that the assembly does not substantially disrupt the institution or does not interfere with the opportunity of other students to obtain an education or otherwise infringe upon the rights of others. Such regulations shall not be used as a means of censorship. The president or designee may prohibit any forum when holding the event, in their judgment, would result in physical harm or threat of physical harm to personnel or property. Prior to any such prohibition, the president shall make the best effort to consult with a designated member of the student association.
Student-funded publications shall be free of censorship and advance approval of copy, and their editors and managers shall be free to develop their own editorial and news coverage policies. Editors and managers of student publications shall be protected from arbitrary suspension and removal because of student, faculty, administrative or public disapproval of editorial policy or content. The student fee allocation process shall not be used as a means of editorial control of student-funded publications. All student publications shall explicitly state on the editorial page that the opinions there expressed are not necessarily those of the college, system or student body.
- Catalog and Course Information. To the extent possible, students will be provided relevant and accurate information regarding courses prior to enrollment. Catalog descriptions will be accurate and based on information existing at the time of publication. To the extent possible, class schedules will list the names of faculty teaching courses.
- Academic Information. Students shall have access to accurate information about general requirements for establishing and maintaining acceptable academic standing, information which will enable students to determine their individual academic standing, and information regarding graduation requirements.
- Academic Evaluation. Student academic performance shall be evaluated solely on the basis of academic standards, including any requirements that are noted in the catalog, course syllabus or student handbook. Students shall have protection against prejudiced or capricious evaluation and shall not be evaluated on the basis of opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. Students shall have the right to review their corrected examinations or other required assignments used by the faculty in evaluating the student's academic performance.
- Property Rights. Term papers, essays, projects, works of art and similar property shall be returned to a student upon request, within a reasonable time frame, when no longer needed for evaluation purposes, unless the student grants written permission for them to be retained.
- Off-Campus Conduct. Students who violate a local ordinance or state law risk the legal penalties prescribed by civil authorities. The college need not concern itself with every violation. Nevertheless, the college may take disciplinary action against students for off-campus behavior, following the procedures of the code of student conduct.
Date & Subject of Last Revisions: December 12, 2013