University of Houston-Victoria

Handbook

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Preface

The following statement of students’ rights and responsibilities is intended to reflect the philosophical base upon which university policies are built. This philosophy acknowledges the existence of both rights and responsibilities that are due an individual not only as a student at the University of Houston-Victoria but as a citizen of the United States of America.

The Student Government Association(SGA) is the official liaison between the student body and the university administration. It serves as the mechanism for student input in institutional decision making. The Student Government Association is comprised of representatives and Officers elected by the student body.

It is the responsibility of SGA to represent the entire student body and give thoughtful consideration to concerns These concerns should be presented to the appropriate University administrator and if necessary to the University's President's Cabinet for consideration. Decisions affecting the entire student body should be communicated promptly.

Recommendations may be presented to the President’s Cabinet for consideration at the request of a simple majority of SGA. Recommendations shall be in written form and shall be presented to the President’s Cabinet through the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Student Government Association President. The President’s Cabinet shall consider all recommendations and inform the Student Government Association of its decision(s). The President’s Cabinet may request that the Student Government Association consider various matters deemed by the Cabinet to require review by the student body.

Student Rights

Section 1

A student shall have the right to participate in a free exchange of ideas, and there shall be no university rules, regulations, or administrative policy that in any way abridges the rights of freedom of speech, expression, petition, and peaceful assembly as set forth by the U.S. Constitution.

Section 2

Students shall be treated on an equal basis in all areas and activities of the university regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, spirituality, nationality, citizenship, physical or mental abilities, or other identities.

Section 3

A student has the right to personal privacy, except as otherwise provided by law, and this privacy will be observed by students and the university authorities alike. See “Confidentiality of Records” for more information.

Section 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 Student Code of Conduct regarding off campus conduct.

Section 5

Each student subject to disciplinary action arising from violations of university regulations shall be assured procedural due process. At all judicial hearings, an accused student shall be assumed innocent until proven guilty, and in the initial judicial hearings, the burden of proof shall rest with those bringing the charges. In all proceedings, the student shall be guaranteed substantive and procedural due process.

Section 6

Hazing and harassment practices by any member of the student body or by any organization shall be prohibited.

Student Responsibilities

Section 1

A student has the responsibility to respect the rights and property of others, including other students, the faculty, staff, and administration.

Section 2

A student has the responsibility to be fully acquainted with the published University policies and procedures and to comply with them, as well as the laws of the U.S.

Section 3

A student has the responsibility to recognize that student actions reflect upon the individuals involved and upon the entire university community. If a student violates any university policy or procedure, the student will be subject to due process of university policy regardless of any civil or criminal action that may be pending as a result of the same violation. The university reserves the right to refuse acceptance to prospective, or former students who have criminal records including conviction of a felony or other offenses of a serious nature. If a student has deliberately attempted self-inflicted harm, the university may withdraw the student when the Vice President of Student Affairs deems such action to be in the best interest of the student and the university. If a student remains in school, the university assumes no responsibility for the welfare of the individual.

The University reserves the right, through due process, to issue a warning, to suspend, or to dismiss any student for conduct that is harmful to members of the University community, or damaging to the educational interests of the university.