Division of Student Affairs

Statement of Student Rights

The basic purposes of the University of Northern Iowa are the enlargement, dissemination, and application of knowledge. A basic necessity for the achievement of these purposes is freedom of expression and communication. Knowledge is as broad and diverse as life itself, and the need for freedom is equally broad. Yet absolute freedom in all aspects of life means anarchy, just as absolute order means tyranny. Therefore, the University must always strive to strike that balance between maximum freedom and necessary order.

Rights Concerning Student Affairs

  1. The fact that a person is a student of this academic community may not in any way diminish that individual's full rights as a citizen nor alter his/her responsibility to comply with the statutes of the national and state governments and the ordinances of the city in which the student is located.

  2. A student is free, individually or in association with other individuals, to engage in off-campus activities, exercising rights as a citizen, provided the student does not, in any way, purport to represent the University.

  3. An applicant shall be considered for admission to, services provided by, and the privileges of the University without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, political belief.

  4. Students are free to form, join, and participate in any legal, non-discriminatory group for intellectual, religious, social, economic, political or cultural purposes.

  5. The student press shall be free of censorship and advance approval of copy, and its editors and managers shall be free to develop their own editorial policies and coverage within the limits set by the Board of Student Publications.

    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. Only for proper and stated causes shall editors and managers be subject to removal, and then by orderly and prescribed procedures. The agency responsible for the appointment of editors and managers shall also be responsible for their removal.

    All University published and financed student publications shall explicitly state on the editorial page that the opinions there are not necessarily those of the University or student body.

  6. Students shall be allowed to invite and to hear any person of their choosing. Those routine procedures required by this institution shall be designed only to insure that there is orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event. The institution control of campus facilities may not be used as a device of censorship.

    The students who tender the invitation are responsible for honorarium, travel arrangements, room and board arrangements, rental and setup facilities (where applicable), and all other financial and other obligations associated with inviting and hearing said persons.

  7. Students are free to assemble, to demonstrate, to communicate, and to protest, recognizing that freedom requires order, discipline, and responsibility, and further recognizing the rights of all faculty and students to pursue their legitimate goals without interference. Students are free to use campus facilities for meetings of University-recognized organizations subject to uniform regulations as to time and manner governing use of the facilities.

  8. The student body shall have clearly defined means to participate in the formation and application of institutional policy.

  9. A student is free to be present on campus and to attend class pending action on criminal or civil charges, except in cases of clear and present danger to the student or to other persons, to University property, or to the orderly processes and functions of the University.

  10. A student who is accused of violating a University regulation may admit his/her guilt, or he/she has the right to have his/her guilt determined by established hearing procedures, with the subsequent right of appeal.

  11. Students have the right to question the legality or fairness of rules and regulations of this University through established committees and other appropriate channels.

  12. Except under extreme emergency circumstances, and/or as stipulated in the residence hall contract, residence hall premises occupied by students may not be entered by University staff members without student consent or the written authorization of the Vice President for Educational and Student Services.

    Residence hall premises or personal possessions may not be searched by non-University personnel without a legal search warrant.

Rights Concerning Student's Records

  1. The University shall have a carefully considered policy as to the information which should be part of a student's permanent educational record and as to the condition of its disclosure. To minimize the risk of improper disclosure, academic and disciplinary records shall be separate.

  2. Transcripts of academic records shall contain only information about academic status; this includes the recording of any action which affects a student's eligibility to register at the institution (e.g., suspension or expulsion for academic or disciplinary reason).

  3. Information from disciplinary or counseling files may not be available to unauthorized persons on campus or to any person off-campus without the express consent of the student involved. No records shall be kept which reflect the political activities or beliefs of students. The University does maintain an annual roster of the officers and advisors of recognized student organizations.

  4. Non-current disciplinary records shall be periodically, routinely destroyed.

  5. Administrative staff and faculty members shall respect confidential information about students which they acquire in the course of their work.

  6. Students have the right to examine their own educational record under procedures established pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

Rights Concerning the Student in the Classroom

  1. The student has freedom of research and of pertinent classroom discussion and of the advocacy of alternative opinions to those presented in the classroom.

  2. The student shall be evaluated on the basis of stated course objectives for purposes of granting academic credit. Students shall have protection through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious evaluation.

  3. The teacher-student relationship within the classroom is confidential. Disclosures of a student's personal or political beliefs expressed in connection with course work may not be made public without explicitly granted permission of the student.

  4. The preceding rights shall be consistent with those policies authorized by the NISG Senate, the University Faculty Senate, the President of the University, and prescribed by the State Board of Regents.

Office of the Vice President for Educational and Student Services, January 1994 rev.