In addition to the basic constitutional rights enjoyed by all citizens, students at colleges and universities have specific rights related to academic freedom and their status as students. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends on appropriate opportunities and conditions in all learning environments, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students are expected to exercise their freedom with responsibility.
Individual students and student organizations shall be free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. They shall be free to support causes by orderly means that do not substantially disrupt the regular and essential operation of the college or university. Students shall be free to take reasoned exception to the information or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.
Students shall be free to organize and join organizations to promote their common and lawful interests, subject to college or university policies, procedures, or regulations. Registration or recognition may be withheld or withdrawn from organizations that violate college or university policies, procedures, or regulations.
Students shall have the right to assemble, to select speakers, and to discuss issues of their choice. The college or university shall establish reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions to assure that the assembly does not substantially disrupt the work of the college or university or interfere with the opportunity of other students to obtain an education or otherwise infringe upon the rights of others. Such regulations must not be used as a means of censorship. The president or designee may prohibit any forum when there is a likelihood of harm to individuals or damage to property if the event is held. Prior to any such prohibition, the president shall make his or her best effort to consult with the student association.
Student-funded publications must be free of censorship and advance approval of copy. Their editors and managers shall be free to develop their own editorial and news coverage policies. Editors, managers, and contributors of student publications shall be protected from arbitrary suspension and removal because of student, faculty, administrative, or public disapproval of editorial policy or content. The student fee allocation process must not be used as a means of editorial control of student-funded publications. All student publications must explicitly state on the editorial page that the opinions there expressed are not necessarily those of the college, university, system, or student body.
The policies, procedures, and regulations of the college or university regarding student expectations, rights, and responsibilities must be readily accessible to students.
To the extent possible, students must be provided relevant and accurate information regarding courses prior to enrollment. Catalog course descriptions and website postings must be accurate and based on information existing at the time of publication. To the extent possible, class schedules must list the names of faculty teaching the courses.
Students shall have access to accurate information for establishing and maintaining acceptable academic standing, information which will enable students to determine their individual academic standing, and information regarding graduation requirements.
Student academic performance must be evaluated solely on the basis of academic standards, including any requirements that are noted in the catalog, course syllabus, student handbook, or on the college or university website. Students must have protection against prejudiced or capricious evaluation and not be evaluated on the basis of opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. Students must have the right to review their corrected examinations or other required assignments used by the faculty in evaluating the student's academic performance.
Term papers, essays, projects, works of art, and similar property including property in which the student has intellectual property rights pursuant to Board Policy 3.26 must be returned to a student upon request, within a reasonable timeframe, when no longer needed for evaluation purposes, unless the student grants written permission for them to be retained.
Students must have the right to appropriate levels of participation in college and university decision-making pursuant to Board Policy 2.3 and System Procedure 2.3.1 Student Involvement in Decision-Making.
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities: Board Policies; Chapter 3 – Educational Policies