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Minnesota West Policies

Chapter 3 - Educational

3.1 Student Rights & Responsibilities

3.1.1  Freedom to Learn
Minnesota West students 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 upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students are expected to exercise their freedom with responsibility.

3.1.2  Freedom of Expression
Individual students and student organizations shall be free to examine and 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 disrupt the regular and essential operation of the institution. In the classroom, students shall be free to take reasoned exception to the data 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.

3.1.3  Freedom of Association
Students shall be free to organize and join organizations to promote their common and lawful interests, subject to institutional policies or regulations. Registration or recognition may be withheld or withdrawn from organizations that violate Minnesota West regulations.

3.1.4  Student-Sponsored Forums
Students shall have the right to assemble, to select speakers, and to discuss issues of their choice. Minnesota West shall establish reasonable time, place and manner restrictions to assure that the assembly does not substantially disrupt the work of the college or does not interfere with the opportunity of other students to obtain an education or otherwise infringe upon the rights of others. Such regulations shall not be used as a means of censorship. The President or designee may prohibit any forum when holding the event, in his or her judgment, would result in physical harm or threat of physical harm to persons or property. Prior to any such prohibition, the President or designee shall make his or her best effort to consult with a designated member of the student association.

3.1.5  Student Publications
Student-funded publications shall be free of censorship and advance approval of copy, and their editors and managers shall be free to develop their own editorial and news coverage policies.  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. The student fee allocation process shall not be used as a means of editorial control of student-funded publications. All student publications shall explicitly state on the editorial page that the opinions there expressed are not necessarily those of Minnesota West Community and Technical College or the student body.

3.1.6  Catalog and Course Information
To the extent possible, students at all campuses of Minnesota West will be provided relevant and accurate information regarding courses prior to enrollment. Catalog descriptions will be accurate and based on information existing at the time of publication. To the extent possible, class schedules will list the names of faculty teaching courses.

3.1.7  Academic Information
Students shall have access to accurate information about general requirements for establishing and maintaining acceptable academic standing, information that will enable students to determine their individual academic standing, and information regarding graduation requirements.

3.1.8  Academic Evaluation
Student academic performance shall be evaluated solely on the basis of academic standards, including any requirements that are noted in the catalog, or course syllabus. Students shall have protection against prejudiced or capricious evaluations and shall not be evaluated on the basis of opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. Students shall have the right to review their corrected examinations or other required assignments used by the faculty in evaluating the student's academic performance.

In the case where a student disputes the grade he/she has received in a particular course, class or assignment, the student's first recourse is to meet with the instructor to discuss their concerns of the grade. If no resolution between the instructor and the student can be met the student should then refer to the grievance procedures as found under Student Rights and Responsibilities.

3.1.9  Property Rights
Term papers, essays, projects, works of art, and similar property shall 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.

3.1.10  Off-Campus Conduct
Students who violate a local ordinance or state law risk the legal penalties prescribed by civil authorities. Minnesota West is not concerned with every violation of its students that take place off college controlled property. Nevertheless, the College may take disciplinary action against students for off-campus behavior, following the procedures of the code of conduct.

Approved by: Ron Wood, President
Date: July 1, 2003
History & Revision: