Student Rights and Respon 1.2
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Article 2: Student Rights and Responsibilities

 

Preamble

Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general well-being of society.  Free inquiry and free expressions are indispensable to the attainment of these goals.  As members of the academic community, students should be encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in sustained and independent search for truth.

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 should exercise their freedom with responsibility.

The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the academic community.  The purpose of this statement is to enumerate the essential provisions for the student freedom and responsibility to learn at TAMIU.

 

The Texas A&M University System Policies

The rights of students are to be respected. These rights include respect for personal feelings, freedom from indignity of any type, freedom from control by any person except as may be in accord with published rules of The System academic institutions, and conditions allowing them to make the best use of their time and talents toward the objectives, which brought them to the system academic institutions. No officer or student, regardless of position or rank, shall violate those rights; no custom, tradition or rule in conflict will be allowed to prevail.

Students are expected at all times to recognize constituted authority, to conform to the ordinary rules of good conduct, to be truthful, to respect the rights of others, to protect private and public property, and to make the best use of their time toward an education.

Texas A&M International University is a part of The Texas A&M University System and is required to follow all System policies and procedures as set forth by The Texas A&M University System.

 

Student Rights

  1. A student shall have the right to participate in a free exchange of ideas, and there shall be no university rule or administrative rule that in any way abridges the rights of freedom of speech, expression, petition and peaceful assembly as set forth in the U.S. Constitution.
  2. Each student shall have the right to participate in all areas and activities of the University, free from any form of discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.
  3. A student has the right to personal privacy except as otherwise provided by law, and students and university authorities will observe this alike.
  4. Each student shall be free from disciplinary action by university officials for violations of civil and criminal law off campus, except when such a violation is determined also to be a violation of the provision regarding off-campus conduct in the Student Code of Conduct.
  5. Each student subject to disciplinary action arising from violations of University student rules shall be assured a fundamentally fair process. At all student conduct hearings, an accused student shall be assumed not responsible until proven responsible, and, in initial student conduct hearings, the burden of proof shall rest with those bringing the charges. In all proceedings, the student shall be guaranteed a fundamentally fair process.

 

Students' Responsibilities

  1. A student has the responsibility to respect the rights and property of others, including other students, the faculty and the administration.
  2. A student has the responsibility to be fully acquainted with the published University Student Rules and to comply with them and the laws of the land.
  3. A student has the responsibility to recognize that student actions reflect upon the individuals involved and upon the entire university community.
  4. A student has the responsibility to recognize the University’s obligation to provide an environment for learning.

 

Definitions

The following definitions will be used throughout the handbook.

  • The term “Administrative Conference” means a process, which provides an opportunity for an accused student to respond to specific charge or charges.  The purpose of an Administrative Conference is to determine whether there is a preponderance of evidence to support the charges and if so, to determine the appropriate sanction or sanctions.  Only information presented during the Administrative Conference can be used to determine if there is a finding of responsibility.
  • The term “chairperson” means Student Conduct Administrator who is authorized by the Vice President for Student Success or his/her designee to take the lead role in conducting conferences when there is more than one Student Conduct Administrator present.
  • The term “charge” means an allegation of a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Charges are issued after a student conduct administrator has determined sufficient information exists to hold an administrative conference.
  • The term “complainant” means any person who submits information indicating that a student may have violated the Student Code of Conduct.  Information brought forth by the complainant may result in an investigation.
  • The term “complaint” means a written petition made by a complainant that seeks to have specific behavior(s) cease.
  • The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the University to conduct classroom, teaching, or research activities or who is other considered by the University to be a member of its faculty. (Refer to Faculty Handbook)
  • The “Honor Council” means the hearing body responsible to hear academic misconduct cases involving students.
  • The term “investigation” means the follow through on a complaint to ascertain details and circumstances associated with the complaint.  Investigations may result in charges, a form of alternative dispute resolution, or dismissal of complaint.  This determination is made at the sole discretion of the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and/or designee.
  • The term “institution” or “university” means Texas A&M International University.
  • The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.
  • The term “member of the University community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, staff, University official or any other person employed by the University.
  • The term “organization” means any number of people who meet any single or combination of the following criteria:
    • Belong to a group whose members are primarily Texas A&M International University students including but not limited to academic, athletic, recreational, religious, performance, political, and social or similar groups, and/or,
    • Have complied with the formal requirements for University recognition, and/or
    • Are advised by a University official whose position description designates them as an advisor, and/or
    • Are advised by a University official who has volunteered as an advisor, and/or
    • Live in close proximity to, for example, residence hall floors or wings, and/or
    • Are otherwise considered by the University to be an organization
  • The term “respondent” means any student charged with a violation of a Student Code of Conduct.
  • The term “sanction” includes responses or requirements given by the University to a student during an administrative conference in response to a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.  University sanctions include all items listed in this Student Code of Conduct.
  • The term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.
  • The term “staff” means any person who is employed by the University that is not defined as faculty.
  • The term “Student Conduct Administrator” means a University official authorized by the Vice President for Student Success or his/her designee to collect information, to initiate charge letters, articulate charges in conferences, present information to support charges, to conduct conferences, and to impose sanctions upon any student(s) found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct.
  • The term “student” includes all persons who have been offered admission, and/or who are taking courses at the University, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies and who is either currently enrolled or was enrolled the previous semester and registered for a future semester. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Student Conduct Code, or who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the University are considered students. In addition, persons who are enrolled with the Intensive Language Institute are also considered “students”, for the purpose of enforcing this code.
  • The term “university-affiliated activity” means any activity on or off campus that is initiated, aided, authorized or supervised by the university or by a recognized student organization of the university.
  • The term “university official” means any administrator, instructor, staff member and other authorized individuals of the University.
  • The term “university premises” means buildings or grounds owned, leased, operated, controlled or supervised by the University (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).
  • The “Vice President for Student Success” is that person designated by the University President to be responsible for the administration of the Student Code of Conduct.  The Vice President for Student Success may assign his/her designee to meet these responsibilities.
  • The term “violation” encompasses those behavior expectations contained in, but not limited to, the Student Handbook.  These violations should be read broadly and are not designed to define prohibited conduct in exhausted terms.

 

Freedom of Access to Higher Education

Within the physical limits of its facilities, TAMIU will be open to all students, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, sex, handicap, age, or national origin, who qualify according to the admission standards.  The facilities and services of TAMIU will be open to all its enrolled students, and the University supports equal access for all its students to public facilities.

Students have the right to pursue an education without disruptive interference.  No University processes or facilities involved in the student’s access to the pursuit of education are to be interrupted by students or other individuals. Any persons involved in such disruption subject themselves to both University disciplinary action and/or legal action.

 

Freedom in the Class

The professor, in the classroom and in conference, will encourage free discussion, inquiry, and expression as long as such is within the scope of the course he/she is teaching.  Student performance will be evaluated solely on academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.

Protection of Freedom of Expression: Students will be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views in any course of study and to withhold judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.

Students have the right to be evaluated for their participation and work in the classroom in accordance with the parameters as indicated in the course syllabus.  A syllabus will be provided to each student at the first class meeting. In the event that the student believes that he/she has not been accorded the proper evaluation, the student may initiate an appeal as outlined in the Faculty Handbook.

Protection Against Improper Disclosure: Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations, which professors acquire in the course of their work as instructors, advisors, and counselors will be considered confidential. Protection against improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character may be provided under appropriate circumstances, normally with the knowledge and consent of the student.

 

Subject to Change

The information contained in the Student Handbook is true and correct at the time of publication to the best knowledge of the administration.  However, these provisions are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between the student and TAMIU.  The regulations and requirements are necessarily subject to change without notice at anytime at the discretion of the Vice President of Student Success or his/her designee.  For the most recent version of the Student Handbook and the Student Code of Conduct, click here.

 

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