Student Bill of Rights

Student Rights

  1. Students have the right to receive regular and organized instruction and guidance consistent with the aims of the course for which they have registered.
  2. A student's grade in a course would be determined only by academic achievement consistent with the aims and content of that course. At the beginning of the course, the instructor should make known the factors that will be considered in determining the grade such as class attendance, class participation, papers, examinations, projects and/or presentations.
  3. A student has the right to have papers and tests graded and returned within a reasonable amount of time, generally before the next assignment is due. In the case of final exams, students should be allowed access to their exam scores and final grades.
  4. A student has the right to meet with his or her instructor to ask questions about or discuss course material, either during office hours or during a scheduled appointment.
  5. All students have the right to use the educational resources of the university in accordance with the rules concerning their use.
  6. A student has the right to the opportunity to participate in student government, athletics and other activities on campus (as set forth in this Student Policy Book).
  7. The University of St. Thomas recognizes that free inquiry and free expression are indispensable elements for the achievement of the goals of an academic community. Students have the right to freedom of expression, including the right to dissent, protest and/or take reasoned exception to the information and views offered in any course.
  8. Financial regulations are set forth in the university catalog and the award form. Financial aid offered and officially accepted according to these conditions will not be revoked except for serious cause after a hearing by an ad hoc Financial Aid committee. The students will be notified and/or allowed to be present at this hearing. An exception to the above may occur when the funding for any kind of aid does not cover the amounts awarded. In this case, the Committee may modify awards without a hearing in order to reduce awards to the amount of funds available.
  9. Each student has the right to fair and reasonable treatment by other members of the university community.
  10. All students have the right to the opportunity to participate in and receive the benefits of the programs at St. Thomas. No one may be excluded on the basis of disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, creed, gender, age, sexual orientation or economic status.
  11. If a student feels that his/her rights have been violated in the process of attempting to resolve a grievance, he or she has the right to bring the case before the University Grievance Committee (see "Grievance Process" in this Student Policy Book).

Student Responsibilities

  1. Each student is responsible for learning the content and the skills required by his or her courses.
  2. Each student is responsible for being honest in all of his or her classes. Students will not cheat on examinations, copy another student's work, plagiarize from secondary sources or from other students or engage in any other forms of academic dishonesty.
  3. Students have the responsibility to attend their classes; the student is expected to arrive by the beginning and remain for the class period. Attendance policies will be stated in the course syllabus. The student has the responsibility of notifying Academic Counseling and his or her instructors of extended absences due to illness or other allowable reasons. If a student knows that he or she will be absent on a particular day, the student is responsible for seeing the instructor beforehand to obtain the assignments for that day.
  4. If a student misses a class, he or she is responsible for making up the work by obtaining a classmate's notes and handouts and turning in any assignments due.
  5. The student is responsible for arranging with faculty any modifications of class requirements necessitated by special needs, such as medical conditions, physical disabilities, or learning disabilities. Students with physical or learning disabilities who desire accommodations are required to provide documentation of their disability before accommodations are provided.
  6. Each student has the responsibility to treat other members of the university fairly, and respect their rights.
  7. Students must use library and all educational resources of the university in a responsible manner. Students may not deface or vandalize books, periodicals, and/or computer resources in the St. Thomas libraries as well as computer lab hardware, software and related equipment.
  8. While students have the right to freedom of expression, including the right to dissent, protest, or take reasoned exception to the information and views offered in any course, this expression cannot interfere with the rights of others, impede the progress of instruction, or disrupt the processes of the university. Students have the responsibility to express views in a reasonable and orderly fashion as further described in the Student Policy Book.
  9. Each student has the responsibility to know and abide by what is contained in the Student Policy Book of the University of St. Thomas and all other applicable university regulations and policies.

Grievance Process

Students who believe they have been aggrieved according to the specifications in the "Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities" should utilize the following process to resolve that grievance. In the governance of a college there is a "chain of command." Grievances should be first discussed with the alleged aggrievor and if the grievance is unresolved, the student should proceed up the chain of command (see Grievance Procedure diagram) until the grievance has been satisfactorily settled. Any student who feels aggrieved may consult with the Dean of Students concerning the process and the procedures. All persons who become involved in the process will attempt to resolve the grievance prior to any formal Grievance Committee hearings.

The Grievance Committee will hear any case in which a student thinks one of the rights listed in the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities has been denied. The Grievance Committee will consider only whether the challenged action or decision by a member of the faculty, administration, student body or any agency of these groups was unfair (arbitrary) or capricious.

The committee will first examine the facts presented (in writing) by the student. If the committee judges that there is sufficient evidence, it will investigate the matter and hear testimony. If the Grievance Committee decides that the student's complaint is justified, it will discuss the matter with the person or persons concerned and determine the means to ensure the student's rights. The decision of the Grievance Committee will be binding on all parties concerned unless the decision is appealed to the executive vice president.

Grievance Appeal Procedure

Either interested party (defendant or plaintiff) may appeal a decision of the Grievance Committee to the executive vice president of the university within five days from the receipt of the decision. The executive vice president will choose an appeal board of three members. The appeal board will not rehear the case, but will consider evidence of a violation of the proper procedures or manifest partiality. The appeal board will bring its recommendation to the executive vice president, whose decision will be final.