Student Rights and Responsibilities

Updated: 7/1/19; Reviewed: 10/13/21
Contact: Student Life Office

Charter of Students Rights and Responsibilities


William Jewell College is a community of critical thinkers pursuing meaningful lives.   We flourish through authentically engaging with one another, being courageous citizens, creatively expressing ourselves, including all individuals in our community, innovating our thoughts, and exploring our spirituality as humans.

It is the policy of William Jewell College that all students are entitled to the same freedoms as all United States citizens, regardless of the student’s nationality, as consistent with the provisions of law and the purposes and goals of the College as an institution of higher learning. The College welcomes students to join our community, as well as to take on the responsibility incumbent upon a citizen of the Jewell community.

On this campus, the concepts of rights and personal responsibility are inextricably bound. The college community is founded on the principle that each member will respect and protect the rights of our fellow students. In choosing to become a member of the Jewell community, individuals commit themselves to the responsibilities of campus citizenship. Even though students may not agree with some rules established by the College, it is expected that they will comply with them in a manner conducive to the highest moral standards and in keeping with the discipline of the academic community. Through living out the College’s values, students will show themselves to be mature, self-disciplined members of this community.

William Jewell College is committed to the highest standards within an educational experience.  When students commit infractions and offenses, our community’s aim will always be to expect honesty leading to education, responsibility, restitution, and restoration through the College’s processes.  However, William Jewell College is also an institution within larger communities, involving local municipal and county authorities, the State of Missouri and the United States of America.  Students should expect that the College will cooperate with civil authorities regarding violations of civil and criminal law, and, in some cases, will initiate contact with civil authorities.

History and Process

This charter was developed during the 2011-12 academic year in a cooperative effort of the College administration and Student Senate leadership, who initiated the revision. The Charter replaces the Student Bill of Rights, which was an important statement from students of ideals and aspirations for the College. In 2012, the College administration and Student Senate agreed to draft a new document that would express and guide College policy. It is a melding of the Student Bill of Rights (originally developed in the 1980’s, revised in 2005 and 2012), the statement on Community Standards from the Student Handbook 2011-12, and ideas gained by reviewing similar documents at selected colleges and universities. A taskforce composed of students, faculty, staff, and administrators finalized the charter language in the summer of 2012. The Charter was added to the Student Handbook for the 2012-13 academic year.

This document will be reviewed every three years by the Office of Student Life in consultation with the leadership of Student Senate, Faculty Council, and the President’s Cabinet.

Statements of Student Rights and Responsibilities

William Jewell College students understand their obligation to uphold College policy as outlined in the College Catalog, Student Handbook, the Honor Code, and other such documented College policy and to responsibly exercise the rights and responsibilities herein delineated.

Section 1. General Rights & Responsibilities
William Jewell College affirms the following general rights and responsibilities regarding students.

Clause 1.  Students have the right to the best education possible and the responsibility to be active co-creators in their learning. Students have the right to ready access to academic information, ideas, and material promoting their learning.

Clause 2.  Students have the right to the establishment and practice of representative self-government as set forth in the constitution and bylaws of the Student Senate;

Clause 3.  Students have the right to freedom of expression, in speech, press, broadcasting, and religion, and the responsibility to avoid abusive expression, use of personal force or violence, or threats of violence.

Clause 4. Students have the right to gather peacefully and responsibly consistent with the rights outlined in Section 1, Clause 3. They have the right to both present the administration with grievances and the right to express their thoughts and judgments concerning the professional competency of the faculty and other professional personnel, without retribution.  As such, students also have the responsibility to participate in the College’s course assessment program and in surveys designed to collect student perceptions about a myriad of student-related experiences.

Clause 5. Students have the right to fair treatment and to expect that:

a. All discipline cases shall follow procedures of fair process as set forth by College Policy and outlined in the Student Handbook, including the right to counsel. No student shall be tried twice for the same offense by the administration at William Jewell College. No student is required to testify against himself or herself. A student is considered innocent until proven guilty. A suspicion of wrongdoing, based on probable cause, must exist before a student shall be subject to disciplinary procedures. Punishment shall be reasonable and in relation to the offense.  Students have the responsibility to be informed of and abide by the Honor Code and Standard of Conduct.
b. All persons are equal and shall not be discriminated against on the basis of age, color, creed, disabilities, ethnic origin, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or socio-economic class.

Clause 6. Students have the right to timely notification regarding financial aid. Financial aid shall not be removed without prior written notification of just cause, defined and outlined in the official College Catalog. Students are responsible for being well-informed regarding the College’s financial, financial aid, and academic progress policies.

Clause 7. Students have the right to access to College administration. The College Administration will seek to foster lines of communication with students, consulting student opinion and representation prior to major changes in college policy, especially changes directly affecting students. Students will seek active and responsible participation in such changes. Implementation of such changes shall be publicly announced before going into effect.

Section 2. Academic Freedom
Academic freedom is a foundation of any college community. The affirmation of academic freedom of students should be accepted as a reciprocal understanding by each individual student and among groups of students and the faculty and administration. The student is not only privileged to think independently but, in the tradition of the College, is responsible for developing independent thinking. The College seeks to provide and maintain an academic climate which is conducive to learning.

Clause 1. Students have the right to learn and to be exposed to a curriculum that encourages and enables them to develop into independent and critical thinkers.

Clause 2.  Students have the right to express views on academic subjects which conflict with those expressed by a professor in a course and the responsibility to provide a rationale for their views.

Clause 3.  Students are subject to the College policy on intellectual property, as amended from time to time, and to the Honor Code. However, any content a student creates on Jewell electronic devices shall be deemed the intellectual property of the student. A copy of the College’s Intellectual Property Policy is available for student's review in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Clause 4. Students will have the opportunity to achieve their academic capabilities. Thus,

a. At the beginning of each course, all enrolled students shall be guaranteed access to course requirements and grading policies.  Students are responsible for being familiar with course expectation documents provided by the instructor.
b. Attendance and engagement policies will be stated clearly in all course syllabi

Clause 5. Students fulfilling the college’s graduation requirements shall receive their duly earned degrees. Students have the responsibility to accurately report their educational background and degrees.

Section 3. Residential Life
Students are expected to abide by local, state, and federal laws. The College’s Community Standards exist to create an environment which is conducive to learning, respectful of students’ rights and freedoms, and free of conflict that is harmful to campus relationships and the well-being of the College.

Students shall conduct themselves responsibly respecting the personal and property rights of all community members. It is to the advantage of the student body, as well as in the best interest of the College and the community, for everyone to work together to maintain community standards and to build good relations among the citizenry.

Clause 1. Students shall be secure in their persons and property, which includes a student’s physical, personal mail and educational and medical records consistent with federal and state laws.        

a. This section shall not be construed to restrict routine inspection and maintenance of College property provided by authorized college personnel or by emergency and/or public safety responders in their line of duty. Students will be given reasonable notice of routine service or maintenance.
b. Probable cause for suspicion of wrongdoing shall exist before search and seizure. Searches shall be specific in intent.

Clause 2. Officers of the college exercising their right to enter student rooms for the purposes of search will make every reasonable effort to do so when the student is present.

Clause 3. Civil police authorities shall obtain a legal search warrant before entering a student’s room for the purpose of searching a room.

Clause 4. Students have access to confidential student wellness services administered by licensed professionals. Students have the responsibility to utilize the College’s resources in a respectful and considerate manner. Students have the responsibility to go to the aforementioned professionals for health services and to not burden their roommates, peers, or other members of campus with their health care needs in an unreasonable manner. Students have the responsibility to refer their peers to Student Life or the appropriate professional resources if they have a fear for somebody’s well-being.

Clause 5. Students have the right to conduct themselves on campus as they would be able to off campus, subject to regulations necessary for the safety and welfare of the College. Students have the right to use alcohol in accordance with the law, but the responsibility to do so in a manner that is respectful to themselves and other members of the community, as well as in accordance with Residence Life regulations made to promote the safety and wellbeing of the residence community. Students have the right to possess tobacco products as legally permitted, but they have the responsibility to wait until they are off campus to consume them.

Clause 6. Students have the right to freedom from fear and insecurity in their housing accommodations. The College will strive to provide gender neutral housing spaces as necessary in order to best serve the needs of all members of the campus. Students have the responsibility to be active participants in their residence communities and to foster an atmosphere of care, learning and growth.