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Student Rights and Responsibilities

Bill of Student Rights and Responsibilities


I. PREAMBLE

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is a comprehensive university whose purpose is to foster the intellectual, personal, and social development of its students.(1) The University provides an academic environment designed to encourage faculty-student interaction and promote excellence in teaching, scholarly activity, and public service. The University aims at excellence in intellectual development, conducted in a democratic atmosphere, through a curriculum designed to meet the needs and interests of a changing society. It is devoted to augmenting, organizing, and presenting knowledge. The University is concerned with students as individuals and seeks to bring them into close contact with a faculty who, by its scholarly attainments, devotion to studies, and concern for teaching, is able to instill a love of learning. The University is aware that it must remain sensitive to the educational needs of all of society. While seeking to be true to the best academic traditions of the past, the University acknowledges its duty to reexamine, revise, and extend from time to time its programs in order to keep education a vital dynamic process.(2) Students play an integral and unique role in this common enterprise, and have basic rights, freedoms, and responsibilities to ensure that they obtain the best undergraduate education possible.(3)

At UW-Eau Claire, students and other members of the University have a responsibility to promote and a right to expect the widest possible range of free inquiry and expression along with an opportunity for individuals to listen and be heard. The University supports and will work to provide for mutual respect and the preservation of individual dignity and privacy; consistent enforcement of federal, state and university protections against discriminatory treatment and an environment that is free of harassment or insulting and demeaning comments and epithets based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, or disability.(4)

II. INSTRUCTIONAL PROCESS.(5)

General Academics

Students may expect to receive comprehensive, readily accessible information about academic programs, services and requirements and to have access to timely and accurate advising.(6) Students have the right to access their instructors during regularly scheduled and reasonably followed faculty office hours and should expect reasonable opportunities to access courses required for timely completion of their majors and for graduation or program certification. Students should be prepared to effectively and responsibly utilize advising services, to be knowledgeable about degree and program requirements, and to utilize institutional procedures to provide for the delivery of these services.

Classroom

Students have the right to expect a clear statement of class attendance policies and should not be penalized arbitrarily for absence from class.(7) Students have the right to be evaluated in a fair and equitable manner according to course objectives. Evaluations shall be based on demonstrated learning of specified course content and meeting other course requirements. Students have the responsibility to participate fully in the learning experience and to complete all course requirements.

Students have the right to reasonable accommodation of their religious beliefs with regard to the scheduling of all examinations and other academic requirements. Students must inform instructors of their accommodation needs within the first three weeks of the beginning of classes (first week of summer session and short courses).(8)

Students should receive, at the first class meeting of each course, a general outline which includes course objectives and requirements, the grading system and a tentative examination schedule. Syllabi for all courses are on file in the office of the Dean of the school in which the course is offered and are available on request.(9)

Students should expect timely and accurate information and feedback about their academic progress and achievements. Students have the right to expect, particularly in freshman and gateway or core courses, timely and accurate feedback prior to the deadline for withdrawing from courses.(10) Students have the responsibility to keep up with class assignments and requirements.

Students have an obligation to respect the integrity of the academic process and to comply with the rules governing academic misconduct such as prohibitions against cheating on examinations, false representation of work submitted for evaluation, and plagiarism.

Curriculum

Students should expect a curriculum that provides opportunities to develop critical thinking, communication and computation skills, ethical and esthetic sensitivities, and a reasonable knowledge base. Students should expect a diversified curriculum that provides opportunities for the consideration of significant social and cultural issues. The curriculum and the specific content of each course, however, remains a matter of faculty prerogative.

Evaluations

Students should expect to participate in the development of student evaluations of courses which will be administered on a regular basis. Academic departments will provide aggregate results of course evaluations to students who may request them.

III. NON-INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Shared Governance

Students should expect to exercise a predominant role in initiating and reviewing policies concerning student life services and interests as developed in the University’s implementation plan for 36.09 (5) of the Wisconsin Statutes. Student participants in such decision making activities are expected to attend meetings and to be well prepared. Students, through their elected governments, have the right to select student representatives to formal University committees requiring student members.(11)

Freedoms of Speech and Association

Students have the right, as provided by law, to lobby, demonstrate, circulate petitions and distribute leaflets. They have the right to listen to speakers of their choice. Students are obligated to use campus facilities lawfully and to observe reasonable institutional regulations regarding time, place and manner in the exercise of these rights. They shall respect the rights of other students to do the same.

Students have the right to freely express or not express their beliefs and opinions on all issues within the limits of existing law.

Student publications and broadcast media have the right to cover, describe and interpret issues and events without prior interference within the limits of existing law and consistent with the principles of ethical and responsible journalism.

Students have the right to become members of organizations without the threat of hazing or other forms of humiliation.(12)

Student workers have the right to unionize, as provided by law.

IV. CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT AND STUDENT SERVICES

Environment

Students have the right to expect a safe campus environment and to be informed in a timely fashion about the existence of known, dangerous and/or toxic substances.

Students should be informed about the location and nature of violent crimes committed on campus and have access to accurate aggregate statistics on campus crimes.(13)

Services

Students should expect University assistance in securing quality child care as required by law. Campus facilities, to the maximum feasible extent, shall be made accessible to documented disabled persons in compliance with applicable regulations.

Students with documented disabilities should expect necessary services such as sign interpreters, braille books, and note-takers, as provided by law. Students need to provide reasonable documentation of the disability and their accommodation needs.

Students have the right to expect accessible health care services including reproductive health counseling, drug and alcohol abuse counseling, and mental health services.

Students should expect career counseling and career placement services.

Where students are not responsible for late disbursements of financial aid, they should be free of any financial or academic penalty imposed solely for that reason.

Evaluations

Students may participate in the development of student evaluations of non-instructional programs and services.

Students should have access to the aggregate result of student evaluations of non-instructional programs and services. These evaluations may be those used for program decisions or may be separate evaluations designed solely for student use.

V. STUDENT CONDUCT, GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES AND RECORDS

Students have the right to expect clearly defined standards of conduct and penalties for the violation of those standards, and the nondiscriminatory application of those standards. Students have the right to participate in the formulation and application of those standards.

Students will serve as full voting members on student conduct committees.

Students charged with conduct infractions have the right to timely written notice and a hearing. They have the right to be represented by a person of their choosing in matters pertaining to that infraction, to disclosure of all charges against them and information pertaining to those charges, an opportunity to confront their accusers, and the right to speak in their own behalf during the proceedings against them.

Students who have been found to have committed academic or conduct infractions have the right to a reasonable, clearly defined and timely appeals process.(14)

Students have the right to accessible and appropriate grievance procedures in academic and nonacademic matters.(15)

Student academic and personal records shall be confidential except where disclosure within the University is based on a legitimate and appropriate need to know, or as required by law.(16)

Students who allege they are victims of a crime within campus jurisdiction should, consistent with the due process and privacy rights of the accused, be informed of any disciplinary procedure conducted by the institution against the alleged offender, or be given an explanation if no action is taken.

VI. IMPLEMENTATION

The University has the responsibility to insure that these rights and principles are implemented. If the needs and expectations articulated within this document are not met, students may request assistance from the Deans of the Schools in which they are enrolled on curricular and academic matters, and from the Dean of Students Office and the Affirmative Action Office. The enumeration of these rights shall not be construed as exclusive of other rights of students. Students, individually and collectively, have the responsibility to support and comply with these principles. The Dean of Students Office shall periodically review and update this document.

REFERENCES

(1)   Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
(2)   UW-Eau Claire General Statement of Philosophy
(3)   University of Wisconsin System- Bill of Student Rights and Responsibilities
(4)   Affirmative Action Grievance Procedures
(5)   Language used for Sections II through VI relies heavily on the University of Wisconsin System general set of principles titled Bill of Student Rights and Responsibilities: Expectations for Learning
(6)   UW-Eau Claire Catalogue and UW-Eau Claire Class Schedule Bulletin
(7)   Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook
(8)   UWS 22 as implemented by UW-Eau Claire
(9)   Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook
(10) Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook
(11) Role of Students in Institutional Governance-Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook
(12) Wisconsin State Statutes-941.33 Hazing
(13) Student Right to Know Act, Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act
(14) UWS Chapters 14, 17 & 18
(15) Student Academic Grievance Procedures; UWS Chapters 6 & 13
(16) Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook

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