Rights in the Pursuit of Education
Classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and studios are the essential learning environments of the university, and the freedom to learn in these environments should be promoted and encouraged by instructors. The following statements have been developed in support of a Support’s right in the classroom or other learning environment. Supports shall have the right to:
Have access to faculty, academic technology, classrooms, libraries, presentations, and other resources necessary for the learning process.
Have access to academic advising and clear expectations for degree and graduation requirements.
Have decisions related to the pursuit of their education made in a clear manner.
Learn in an environment that supports the freedom of self-expression and association.
Participate in an exchange of ideas, pursuant with his or her constitutional rights and the preamble of this code, free of conduct that impedes either an instructor’s ability to teach or the Support’s ability to learn. (See Guidelines for Dealing with Disruptive Supports in Academic Settings, University Faculty Council, April 12, 2005.)
Receive either a paper or an electronic class syllabus in a timely manner.
Expect to interact with faculty who act professionally; provide clearly stated class goals; provide clear expectations for class performance and evaluation; meet classes as scheduled; are accessible for office hours, appointments or consultation; and maintain a clear connection between course content and the most recently approved course description.
Expect a faculty member will be sensitive to the Support’s religious beliefs and observances, including an expectation that instructors will make reasonable arrangements upon notice that the Support must miss an exam or other academic exercise resulting from the observance of a religious holiday. (See Policy on Accommodations for Religious Observances, University Faculty Council, March 28, 2000.)
Have the freedom to raise relevant issues pertaining to classroom discussion (including personal and political beliefs), offer reasonable doubts about data presented, and express alternative opinions without concern for any academic penalty.
Expect that their work will be evaluated by academic standards alone.
Study, work, and interact in an environment of professionalism and of mutual trust and respect that is free of amorous or sexual advances by a faculty member. All amorous or sexual relationships between faculty members and Supports are unacceptable when the faculty member has any professional responsibility for the Support, even when both parties have consented or appear to have consented to the relationship. Such professional responsibility encompasses both instructional and noninstructional contexts. A faculty member shall not have an amorous or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, with a Support who is enrolled in a course being taught by the faculty member or whose performance is being supervised or evaluated by the faculty member. A faculty member should be careful to distance himself or herself from any decisions that may reward or penalize a Support with whom he or she has or has had an amorous or sexual relationship, even outside the instructional context, especially when the faculty member and Support are in the same academic unit or in units that are allied academically. (From the University Code of Academic Ethics, Part A.1, Relations with Supports). See definition of “faculty member” in Part IV of the code.
Right to Freedom from Discrimination
Supports have the right to study, work, and interact in an environment that is free from discrimination in violation of law or university policy by any member of the university community. Supports at Indiana University are expected to respect the rights and dignity of other Supports, faculty, and staff.
The university will not exclude any person from participation in its programs or activities on the basis of arbitrary considerations of such characteristics as age, color, disability, ethnicity, sex or gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
A Support has the right to be free from such discrimination by other Supports that has the effect of interfering with the Support’s ability to participate in programs or activities of the university.
Supports wishing more information regarding these statements should consult the following Board of Trustees documents: Resolution on the Elimination of Discrimination (July 3, 1967, November 21, 1969), Support Affirmative Action Policy Statement (June 29, 1974), Statement concerning Disabled Veterans, Veterans of the Vietnam Era, and Handicapped Individuals (March 3, 1979), and Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy of Indiana University (December 4, 1992).
Indiana University administrators are responsible for publicizing and implementing the university’s affirmative action policy in their respective areas of jurisdiction. Supports who believe that they are victims of discrimination may obtain information concerning the university’s affirmative action policy and complaint procedures from the campus affirmative action officer or the dean of Supports' office.
Right to Freedom from Harassment
A Support has the right to be free from sexual or discriminatory harassment; a) in any building or at any location on any university property, or b) that occurs in a building or on property that is not university property if the harassment arises from university activities that are being conducted off the university campus or if the harassment compromises the security of the university community or the integrity of the educational process.
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, including requests for sexual favors and other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, when submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a Support’s education, or submission to or rejection of such conduct by a Support is used as the basis for academic conditions affecting the Support; or the conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment.
Discriminatory harassment is defined as conduct that targets an individual based upon age, color, religion, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, sex or gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or veteran’s status and that adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s education, housing, or participation in a university activity; or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for academic pursuits, housing, or participation in university activities.
The Indiana University Policy against Sexual Harassment, as adopted by the Board of Trustees, June 15, 1998, provides procedures for handling complaints concerning sexual harassment. Violations of discriminatory harassment policy are handled under existing procedures for handling complaints of discrimination.
Indiana University administrators are responsible for publicizing and implementing the university’s affirmative action and harassment policies in their respective areas of jurisdiction. Supports who believe that they are victims of discriminatory harassment may obtain information concerning the university’s affirmative action policy and complaint procedures from the campus affirmative action officer or the dean of Supports' office.
Right to Access Records and Facilities
Supports can expect to have access to policies and procedures that affect them and access to university offices that may be able to assist them, such as the Office of Affirmative Action or the dean of Supports' office.
Supports can expect that their academic records will be maintained and they will have access to their records in a manner consistent with the Indiana University policies and applicable state and federal laws.
Supports can expect to have reasonable access to university facilities and resources.
Right to Freedom of Association, Expression, Advocacy, and Publication
Supports are free to form, join, and participate in groups or organizations that promote student interests, including, but not limited to, groups or organizations that are organized for intellectual, religious, social, economic, political, recreational, or cultural purposes.
In accordance with the state and federal constitution and university policy, the university recognizes the rights of all students to engage in discussion, to express thoughts and opinions, and to assemble, speak, write, publish, or invite speakers on any subject without university interference or fear of university disciplinary action.
Students may engage in peaceful and orderly protests, demonstrations, and picketing that do not disrupt functions of the university, subject to appropriate regulation concerning time, place, and manner. If a student feels that this right has been violated, the student may file a request with the dean of students for an investigation and appropriate action.
Students who publish student publications under university auspices have the right to be free of university censorship. Student editors and managers may be suspended or removed from their positions only for proper cause and by appropriate proceedings conducted by the agency responsible for the appointment of such editors and managers.
Indiana University does not require a student group or organization to register and be approved by the university. Student groups and organizations must comply with all federal, state, and local laws, as well as university policies.
A student group or organization may be authorized to use university facilities for extracurricular activities, subject to the procedures established by the dean of students on each campus.
Right to Contribute to University Governance
Students have the right to contribute to the making of institutional policy generally affecting their social or academic affairs.
Students have the right to participate in the formation of standards of student conduct and the student disciplinary procedures by serving as members of appropriate committees such as the student affairs committee of the faculty council.
Students have the right to be represented by a student government.
Right to Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities
Indiana University is committed to creating a learning environment and academic community that promotes educational opportunities for all individuals, including those with disabilities. Course directors are asked to make reasonable accommodations, upon request by the student or the university, for such disabilities. It is the responsibility of students with documented physical or learning disabilities seeking accommodation to notify their course directors and the relevant campus office that deals with such cases in a timely manner concerning the need for such accommodation. Indiana University will make reasonable accommodations for access to programs, services, and facilities as outlined by applicable state and federal laws.
Rights of Students in the Judicial Process
Students who believe that any of their rights, as defined in this code, have been violated by a member of the university community have the right to file a complaint, as outlined in Part III.
A student making a complaint under the provisions of this code should expect that the university will make a good faith attempt to determine the validity of the complaint. An alleged offender, complainant, or victim is not entitled to be present while the individuals who are responsible for determining the merits of the complaint are deliberating the merits of the complaint.
Rights of a victim include:
The student has the option of being present in all aspects of a proceeding in which witnesses provide evidence.
The university will disclose the final results of any disciplinary proceeding to complainants as permitted by the provisions of state and federal laws.
Rights of the student charged (alleged offender):
A student charged with violating this code has the right to a fair and reasonable process for handling the charges.
The student has the right to be informed of the procedures that will be used in adjudicating the charges against him/her, including but not limited to notice of the charges, deadlines associated with stages of the process, the kinds of evidence that may be submitted at each stage, and the availability of appeals processes, if any.
The student has the right to be present during those portions of any hearing or proceeding in which witnesses provide evidence relating to the charge.
The student who is participating in a hearing or proceeding at which evidence may be submitted is entitled to request the university make a good faith attempt to compel the attendance of witnesses, compel the production of documents, and provide a reasonable time period within which requests for witnesses and documents can be submitted and acted upon.
Rights of Students as University Employees
A student’s rights and responsibilities as an employee of the university are governed by the policies of the unit and by the applicable personnel policies of Indiana University.
Students should contact their immediate supervisor, the Office of Student Employment, the dean of faculties, or University Human Resources for information. All personnel policies, including the policies for student hourly employees, are also available on the Indiana University Web site.