Students Rights & Responsibilities, Academic Freedom
Board Policy 4030
Institutions of higher learning exist for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual instructor or the institution as a whole. The common good depends on the free search for truth and its free expression; to this end, faculty and students hold the right of full freedom of inquiry and expression.
Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to both teaching and research. Freedom is fundamental to the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of the student in learning.
Academic freedom cannot be separated from academic and professional responsibility.
The instructor has the right to study and investigate, interpret his/her findings and express resulting conclusions to students. The instructor has the responsibility to be thorough in his/her investigations and to draw conclusions supported by the findings. Because human knowledge is limited and changeable, the instructor may present views which are controversial and evaluate opinions held by others while simultaneously respecting and valuing their right of their free expression.
The students shall have the freedom to express and defend their views, to question or differ without suffering repression or scholastic penalty. The students have the same responsibilities as instructors to seek and weigh evidence, express supportable conclusions, identify bias, and evaluate opinions held by others while respecting the right of their own free expression.
The academic freedom policy shall be published in the college catalogs, class schedules, web sites, student handbooks, and other appropriate media.
Freedom of Association
Students bring to the campus a variety of interests previously acquired and develop many new interests as members of the academic community. Students are free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests.
- The membership, policies, and actions of a student organization will be determined by vote of only those persons who are bona fide students of San José City College.
- Affiliation with an extramural organization will not disqualify a student organization from institutional recognition.
- Faculty advisors are necessary; each organization is free to choose its own faculty advisor. Faculty advisors may advise organizations in the exercise of responsibility, but they will not have the authority to control the policies or legal activities of such organizations.
- Student organizations are required to submit a statement of purpose, criteria for membership, rules of procedures, and a current list of officers. They will be required to submit a membership list as a condition of institutional recognition.
- Campus organizations, including those affiliated with an extramural organization, are open to all San José City College students without respect to race, creed or national origin.
Freedom of Inquiry and Expression
It is the policy of the District and SJCC to allow and protect reasonable and legal expressions, speeches and actions according to federal and state laws and Education Code section 76120.
- Students and student organizations will be free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. They should always be free to support causes by orderly means which do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the institution. At the same time, it should be made clear to the academic and the large community that in their public expressions or demonstrations, students or student organizations speak only for themselves.
- Students have the right to exercise free expression, including the use of bulletin boards, the distribution of printed materials or petitions, and the wearing of buttons, badges or other insignia. The policy excludes expression which is obscene, libelous or slanderous according to current legal standards or that incites students to create a clear and present danger or to commit unlawful acts on community college premises or damage to persons or property. Inciting students to riot, or the violation of lawful community college regulations or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the community college, is also prohibited. Copies of the district policies are available online at www.sjeccd.edu.
- Students will be allowed to invite and to hear any person of their own choosing. Those routine procedures required by an institution before a guest speaker is invited to appear on campus should be designed only to insure that there is orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event, and that the occasion is conducted in a manner appropriate to an academic community. The institutional control of the campus facilities should not be used as a device of censorship. It should be made clear to the academic and large community that sponsorship of guest speakers does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement of the views expressed, either by the sponsoring group or the institution.
Exercise of Rights of Citizenship
College students are both citizens and members of the academic community. As citizens, students enjoy the same freedom of speech, peaceful assembly and right of petition that other citizens enjoy and, as members of the academic community, they are subject to the obligations which accrue to them by virtue of this membership. Faculty members and administrative officials insure that institutional powers are not employed to inhibit such intellectual and personal development of students as is often promoted by their exercise of the rights of citizenship both on and off campus.
Institutional Authority and Civil Penalties
Activities of students may, upon occasion, result in violation of law. Students who violate the law may incur penalties prescribed by civil authorities. However, institutional authority should never be used merely to duplicate the function of general laws.
The student who incidentally violated institutional regulations in the course of his/her off-campus activity, such as those relating to class attendance, is subject to no greater penalty than would normally be imposed. Institutional action is independent of community pressure.
Student Participation in Institutional Government
As constituents of the academic community, students will be free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of institutional policy and on matters of general interest to the student body. The student body should have clearly defined means to participate in the formulation and application of institutional policy affecting academic and student affairs. The role of the student government and both its general and specific responsibilities should be made explicit, and the actions of the student government within the areas of its jurisdiction should be reviewed only through orderly and prescribed procedures.
Student Responsibilities and Educational Goals
- It is the student’s responsibility to verify the correctness and completeness of his/her transcript upon transferring to a four-year institution. It is the student’s responsibility to pursue any discrepancies that may occur with the acceptance or non-acceptance of his/her transcript.
- Each student has the responsibility as to the completeness and correctness of his/her transcript to receive an
- It is the student’s responsibility to do the assigned coursework and attend courses regularly.
- It is the student’s responsibility to drop courses he/she does not plan to attend.
Throughout the semester/school year, the District may sponsor voluntary off-campus extracurricular field trips/excursions. If you choose to participate, be advised that in accordance with SJECCD Board Policy 4300),”…you shall adhere to the standards of conduct applicable to conduct on campus.”
Progress Evaluation by Faculty
Any student has the right to request and obtain an informal grade evaluation by his/her instructor prior to the mandatory drop date. In order for a student to make a knowledgeable decision of retention in a class and to increase motivation for improvement, the student needs to know his/her standing in each course.