Purdue University Bill of Student Rights (West Lafayette Campus)
(From Vice President and Treasurer Memo A-16. Board of Trustees, April 30, 1970. Revised by the January 9, 1975, July 10, May 31, 1997.)
At an institution of higher learning, the pursuit of knowledge and the attainment of mature attitudes will be greatly facilitated by freedom of expression and decision making as enumerated in the following Bill of Rights. In exercising these rights, however, students must bear the responsibility to act in accordance with local, state, and national laws, and University rules. No right specified by this bill is meant to be construed as enabling students to infringe upon the individual rights of another member of the academic community. We, the students, thereby endorse the Purdue Honor Code and the following Bill of Rights, expecting in all instances to accept these documents with maturity and a level of responsibility that enables the University to retain its academic excellence and to foster an atmosphere conducive to thoughtful and productive individual and collaborative inquiry.
The student has the right to accurately and plainly stated information that enables the student to understand clearly:
- The general qualifications for establishing and maintaining acceptable academic standing within a particular major and at all other levels within the University.
- The graduation requirements for the student's specific curriculum and major.
- The course objectives, requirements, and grading policies set by individual instructors for their courses.
Changes in graduation requirements that would delay completion of a student's program or impose a hardship on the student shall not be applied retroactively. This article shall not apply to professional certification or other requirements imposed from outside the University.
A student's education record or other personally identifiable information except directory information shall not be disseminated outside the University without the student's consent, except under legal compulsion. Within the University, the use of the student's education records or other personally identifiable information shall be limited to providing student services. Disciplinary records of a student other than those required to support encumbrances of the academic transcript and/or registration shall be destroyed within five years after the student's separation from the University.
Purdue University recognizes that in the community of scholars there are certain indisputable rights to freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought, and freedom of expression. The University encourages the search for truth and knowledge and does not abridge searchers' rights to reveal their findings, by both spoken and written word, even if in so doing they might find themselves at variance with their peers as well as the lay community. To dissent, to disagree with generally accepted truth and knowledge, is acceptable, and in many ways is essential to free debate and inquiry. Accordingly, the student shall be free to discuss and express any view relevant to subject matter presented by the instructor or other class members. However, in exercising this freedom, the student shall not interfere with the academic process of the class by speaking to or behaving towards others in a manner constituting unwelcome, targeted conduct that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so undermines and detracts from the educational experience of those to whom the speech or behavior is targeted, that the targeted person is effectively denied equal access to the University's resources and opportunities.
The student's course grade shall be based upon academic performance, and not upon opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. The students have the right to discuss and review their academic performance with their instructors. Any student who feels that any course grade has been based upon something other than academic performance has the right to appeal through the University Grade Appeals system.
Within the limitations generally accepted for proprietary and collaborative work, and those imposed by the relevant standards of academic honesty, the student has the right to freedom of inquiry, to exchange findings and recommendations, and consistent with applicable University regulations, to publish. No publication by a student shall imply University endorsement.
A student, student group, or student organization has the right to distribute written or electronic material on campus without prior approval, providing such distribution is consistent with appropriate regulations concerning the time, place, and manner of distribution and does not interfere with University activities. The student press shall be free of censorship or pressure aimed at controlling editorial policy or staff appointments or removals. The editors and managers shall not be arbitrarily suspended because of student, faculty, administrative, alumni, or community disapproval of editorial policy or content. The same freedom shall be assured oral statements or views on an institution-controlled and student-operated radio or television station. Such editorial freedom entails a corollary obligation under the canons of responsible journalism, applicable regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, and their station constitution or activity guidelines. All student communications shall explicitly state on the editorial page or in broadcast that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the University or of the student body.
The student has the right to freedom from unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, color, age, national origin or ancestry, disability, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, or status as a military veteran. A perceived violation of these principles shall be the basis for a grievance procedure with the Campus Appeals Board.
Students should have clearly defined means to participate in the formation of University policy affecting academic and student affairs. Student representation on University committees shall be provided wherever appropriate as a mode of student participation. In any case, University committees, when appropriate, should schedule and announce hearings at which representatives of the Purdue Student Government, Purdue Graduate Student Government, student organizations, and individual students as well, can present oral or written statements as effective to the committee deliberations.
Students living in University-operated housing shall have the right to share equally in the establishment, modification, and enforcement of residential rules and regulations. Such right shall be exercised through their residential student organizations in cooperation with appropriate University administration. The landlord-tenant rights and responsibilities of both parties shall be recognized as shall all law bearing on such relationships. A perceived violation of this right shall be the basis for a grievance procedure with the Campus Appeals Board.
The student has the right to freedom from illegal search and seizure. No contractual arrangement with the University shall be interpreted as waiving this right.
Any group of students may become a recognized Purdue student organization by registration with the University in accordance with the provision of University regulations. Any appeal of a University decision to discontinue or refuse recognition of a student group shall be made through the Campus Appeals Board.
Any student group recognized as a Purdue student organization shall be entitled to the use of available University facilities in conformity with regulations. Recognition shall not imply University endorsement of group goals and activities.
Any recognized Purdue student organization or any group of students that is able to secure sponsorship by a recognized student organization and that is able to demonstrate financial responsibility has the right to present speakers of its choice to address members of the University community using appropriate University facilities. These assemblies shall be subject to regulations necessary to prevent space and time conflicts and to protect the operations of the University and the safety of persons or property.
Freedom of assembly shall be guaranteed to all members of the University community. Such assemblies shall be consistent with University regulations regarding the time, place, and conduct of such assemblies.
Every student and recognized student organization has the right to substantive and procedural fair play in the administration of discipline and the imposition of academic sanctions. This requires that in all situations the student be informed of the nature of the charges, that the student be given an opportunity to refute them, and that the institution not be arbitrary in its actions.
The student who violates civil law may incur penalties prescribed by civil authorities. Only where the University's interests as an academic community are distinct from those of the general community should the special authority of the University be asserted.
It is the right of every student to exercise freely full rights as a citizen. Any student may participate in off-campus activities singly or with any group provided that no claim is made that the student represents the University.
This Bill of Student Rights is a reaffirmation by the entire University community that the constitutional guarantees and the basic principles of fair treatment and respect for the integrity, judgment, and contribution of the individual student, coinciding with each student's freedom to learn set forth in the foregoing articles, are essential to the proper operation of an institution of higher learning. Accordingly, in the interpretation and enforcement of the policies, rules, and regulations of Purdue University, these student rights shall be preserved and given effect, but they shall not be construed or applied so as to limit the rights guaranteed students under the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the state of Indiana.
Whenever a student or a group of students claims that these rights have been violated and that the student or group of students has been or will be adversely affected thereby, and such complaint is not resolved informally by the interested parties, it may be presented to an appropriate body of the campus appeals system. Through this system, an appropriate board or committee shall have the power and duty to hear the interested parties and to make findings on complaints within its jurisdiction. In case of grade appeals, the University Grade Appeals Committees shall have final authority. In all other cases, the Campus Appeals Board shall submit recommendations to the president of the University; provided that all such claims that arise out of or are connected with alleged misconduct for which disciplinary proceedings have been instituted shall be presented and determined in such proceedings. If necessary the president may present such recommendations to the Board of Trustees for its consideration.
The enumeration of this bill of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the student. Nothing contained in this bill shall be construed as any denial or limitation upon the legal authority or responsibility of the Board of Trustees to establish policies and to make rules and regulations governing the operation of Purdue University.
Proposed amendments of this Bill of Student Rights may be initiated by the Purdue Student Government, Purdue Graduate Student Government, University Senate, administrative officials, or the Board of Trustees and shall be submitted to the Purdue Student Government and University Senate for consideration and recommendation before adoption by the Board of Trustees. In the event the Board of Trustees adopts an amendment not approved by the Purdue Student Government, Purdue Graduate Student Government, and University Senate, then the Purdue Student Government or University Senate may withdraw its endorsement of the bill in whole or in part.