Do You Know Your Student Rights?
Do You Know Your Student Rights?
Did you know that college students have a lot more freedom as compared to their high school counterparts? It is not just the exposure to better parties and free foodstuff. Although you have the same rights as in high school when it comes to discrimination, you are more protected in college for what you say, do in private, and who has the power to arrest you.
To honor Human Rights Day, here are some of the less-known protections for college students that are legally valid. Your realization of these protections may just inspire you to go out and enjoy the new found freedom that you are entitled to.
YOUR COLLEGE IS UNDER OBLIGATION TO KEEP ITS WORD
The information that is provided in print by a college and is stated to be true by the same college has to be true. In a case involving André v. Pace University (1996) and a female complainant, a court ruled in favor of the complainant that she did not receive the level of instruction as per the advertisement in the university catalog.
This right to college integrity is not only limited to publications. Any worker of the college who has the power to make verbal contracts such as the dean and the vice chancellor are required to follow this law. In the case of Healy vs. Larsson (1974), the complainant was awarded with a degree based on the courses which were laid out verbally by the academic supervisor although they did not meet the requirements of the degree in question.
PROTECTION FROM SEARCH AND SEIZURE
If anyone asks or demands to see what is in your room, tell them that they do not harbor the rights to. That is because they actually do not! In the case of Piazzola and Watkins of 1970, the court found out that college students do not give up their rights to protection against unlawful searches simply by signing the dorm room contract. It also found out that the only people who have the legal right to search a student’s dorm room are the city and state officers who have a legal search warrant and not even campus cops have the right to search your room. Therefore, unless it is the federal government officers with a search warrant that want to search your room, do not let anyone take advantage of your rights.
CONTROL OF YOUR PRIVACY
A college student has the same general privacy protection as any other citizen under the Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). However if a student depends on their parent’s taxes, the college has the right to mail the student’s grades directly to the parents. The college also reserves the right to publish information like names of students, phone numbers and addresses without any prior permission unless a student specifically asks that they do not publish the information.
RIGHT TO SAFETY
It is the right of students to be protected from injuries caused by facilities, colleagues or any other preventable causes. A college student was threatened with a knife and raped simply because the school did not lock the doors that night in the case of Miller vs. State (1984). She went on to win the case and this served to illustrate that the college has an obligation to protect its students.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND DEMONSTRATION
Students have the freedom to voice their opinions by use of physical demonstrations, online campaigns and student groups under the First Amendment. Papish v. University of Missouri (1973) demystified this language to incorporate any speech that does not impede with other students’ rights or operation of the school.
This right puts a lot of emphasis in protecting students who are making statements on the school’s notice boards, group publications or intranet. In Rosenberger v. University of Virginia (1995), the school was found guilty of withholding funds for student groups that created a pro-Christian publication.
If you are to face a disciplinary action, you have the right to postpone the process. that means you that you have the right to seek legal counsel, to go through evidence against you and have a just trial. In the case of Texas Lightsey v. King (1983), it is against the constitution for instance to expel a student for cheating after being found innocent by the disciplinary council. Therefore, if a student gets in trouble, they face the fair trial that they deserve.
From the scheduling of ones time in college to enjoying the safety that is available there, a student is entitled to more freedom than they may think. Students need to make sure that they know their rights before they let college take any of their rights from them. It is up to every student to strongly guard their rights and freedom while ensuring that college is everything that they think it should be.
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