Students' Rights & Responsibilities
Students' rights and responsibilities as described here are not definitive; rather, they are indicative of the direction of a growing and changing educational environment Students enjoy the same basic rights and are bound by the same responsibilities to respect the rights of others, as are all citizens. James Madison University considers individuals as students upon receipt of deposit for admission until their official graduation date.
- The student as a citizen has the rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, freedom of political beliefs and freedom from personal force and violence, threats of violence and personal abuse.
- The student as a citizen has a right to be considered equally for admission to, employment by and promotion within the campus in accordance with the provisions against discrimination in the general law.
- James Madison University is not sanctuary from the general law; furthermore, the campus is a community of growth and fulfillment for all rather than a setting described in the concept of in loco parentis.
All students have additional responsibilities and rights based on the nature of the educational process and requirements of the search for truth and its free presentation. These rights and responsibilities include the following:
- Each student has the freedom—dependent on level of competence—to teach, learn, conduct research and publish findings in the spirit of free inquiry.
- Each student has the right to pursue normal curricular and co-curricular activities, including freedom of movement.
- Each student has the right to expect his or her record contains only information which is reasonably related to the educational purposes or to the health and safety of the individual or others. Furthermore, it is assumed that the student has the right to protection from unauthorized disclosure of confidential material contained in university records.
- Each student has the right to reasonable and impartially applied rules, designed to reflect the educational purposes of the institution and to protect the safety of the campus.
- Each student has the right to recourse if another member of the campus is negligent or irresponsible in the performance of his/her responsibilities, or if another member of the campus represents the work of others as his/her own.
- Each student who holds opinions about basic policy matters of direct concern to him/her has the right to have them heard and considered at appropriate levels of the decision-making process. It should be noted that students who have a continuing association with the institution and who have substantial influence have an especially strong obligation to maintain an environment supportive of the rights of others.
- Each student has the responsibility to act in a manner that is conducive to learning by: being prepared, prompt, attentive and courteous in all academic settings (including classrooms, laboratories, libraries, advising centers, departmental and faculty offices, etc.) and by complying with requests made by a faculty or staff member in an academic setting.
Violation Procedure Rights
All students have the right to fair and equitable procedures, which shall determine the validity of charges that they have violated university regulations. (Refer to Accused Student Rights for information regarding student rights in the judicial process.)
- Each student has a right to expect that the procedures shall be structured to facilitate a reliable determination of the truth or falseness of the charges, provide a fundamental fairness to the parties and be effective as an instrument for the maintenance of order.
- Each student has the right to know in advance the range of sanctions for violations of university policies. The definition of adequate cause for separation from the university should be clearly formulated and made public.
- Each student charged or convicted of violations of a general law may be subject to university sanctions for the same conduct, in accordance with university policies and procedures, when the conduct is in violation of a university rule.
- James Madison University does not represent accusing faculty,staff or students, but provides a process for fact-finding and fair decision-making.
- James Madison University reserves the right to hold students accountable for certain types of off-campus behavior. Disciplinary action will result if a student’s behavior compromises the educational atmosphere or mission of the institution. Examples of such off-campus behavior would include, but not be limited to, crimes of violence, sexual assault, and/or alcohol or drug violations, as determined by the Office of Judicial Affairs.