Student Bill of Rights

Adopted May 1996

Freedom from Discrimination

The University affirms the right of each student to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability. It abides by the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, other existing Federal and State laws and executive orders pertaining to equal rights, and the University President’s Policy on Harassment.

Participation in the University Decision Making Process

As members of the University of Connecticut academic community, students shall be free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of institutional policy and on matters of general interest to the student body. In addition, students’ views on issues that directly affect them will be solicited whenever possible. Students hold memberships on the Board of Trustees, the University Senate, and various campus committees to ensure their continued voice relative to University matters.

Freedom of Association

The University recognizes the right of any group of students to form a voluntary organization for any purpose not forbidden by law.

The facilities and services of the University may be reserved for use by registered organizations for their meetings and programs based upon policies governing such use (e.g. staffing, maintenance, financial resources, hours of operation, etc.). Where applicable, responsibility for costs related to such services will be determined prior to confirmation of the reservation.

All registered student organizations shall be given notice of University policies that govern their activities. These policies shall be provided by the Department of Campus Activities upon request.

All registered student organizations have the right to petition the University for redress of grievances. In addition, they shall be accorded the opportunity to submit suggested amendments and/or modifications to University policies and regulations that may affect them.

Freedom of Expression in the Classroom

Freedom of expression in the classroom is encouraged and protected. It is the responsibility of the classroom instructor to facilitate the orderly presentation of individual viewpoints as they pertain to the subject matter at hand and as time permits. It is especially important to allow the expression of views that may differ from those presented by the instructor or those professed by the majority of students. In the classroom and in conference, the instructor is vested with the responsibility to promote not only the fact but also the spirit of free inquiry.

Information on the students’ views, beliefs, and political associations that instructors acquire by virtue of their roles as instructors, advisors, and counselors is considered confidential by the University.

Freedom of Expression and the Right to Dissent

The right of expression includes the right to dissent. The University recognizes a fundamental obligation to protect this aspect of free expression on campus.

Dissent may involve expressions or actions designed to capture attention in an effort to dissuade persons from embracing a perceived prevailing viewpoint. Orderly picketing and other forms of peaceful demonstration that do not hamper access to or disrupt the normal functions of teaching and research are generally permitted outside University facilities and other areas specifically designated for University activities.

Entry into University buildings may be restricted to those persons engaged in the normal and scheduled activities being conducted therein. The presence of unauthorized persons in such areas after due notice to vacate has been given, orally or in writing, is not permissible, and it may be regarded as interfering with or obstructing a University activity.

Freedom of Publication

Student press editors and managers shall maintain the right to develop their own editorial policy and content.

Students have complete editorial discretion to ensure that their publications shall maintain their integrity of purpose as vehicles for free inquiry and free expression in an academic community. The student press is free from censorship and advance approval of copy by the University.

The Right to Privacy

Nothing in the University-student relationship or in the Terms and Conditions of the Residence Hall Contract shall expressly or implicitly authorize University officials to permit police or other government officials to enter or search a student’s room. Such government officials may only obtain entry by demonstrating compliance with the law.

From time to time, a representative of the Division of Student Affairs, the fire department, or physical plant may seek access to a student’s room to determine occupancy, to inspect its contents for health and safety reasons, to effect maintenance or repairs, or to respond to an emergency. Reasonable effort shall be made to notify an occupant of the room in advance of such entry. The University reserves the right to remove any item from a student’s room that does not conform to University policy.

Confidentiality of Records

The University shall comply with the provision of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended. A student’s name, and other identifying information, including address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, degrees awarded and honors received may be considered public information, unless the student informs the University that he or she does not want the information released.