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Student Rights

This section of the Code of Conduct explains the rights of students.

2. Student rights

Free inquiry and free expression are essential attributes of a community of scholars. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus generally, and in the community at large. The responsibility to secure and respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the university community. Students should strive to develop the capacity for critical judgment and the ability to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth, while endeavoring to exercise their freedom with maturity and responsibility. As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the university community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students.

2.1 Rights of students

In recognition of students' rights and dignity as members of the university community, Central Michigan University is committed to supporting the following principles and to protecting those rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the laws of the United States and the State of Michigan, local ordinances, and the policies adopted by the Board of Trustees.


Students have the right to free inquiry, expression and association.


Students have the right to editorial freedom in student publications and other student media, e.g. CM Life, WMHW, and MHTV.


Students have the right to representation on the appropriate, designated bodies.


Students accused of misconduct or of violating university policy have the right to have a determination of their violation or non-violation in accordance with university procedures.


Students have the right to protection against improper disclosure of their student records.


Students have the right of access to their personal educational records.


Students have the right to access all policies, rules and decisions concerning their continued enrollment, and to the required course materials and facilities necessary to pursue their studies.


Students have the right to educational programs that meet the objectives of the master syllabus, to teaching consistent with those objectives, and to a learning environment that encourages the students' engagement with their education.


Students have the right to be informed by the faculty near the beginning of each course about course requirements, evaluation procedures, and evaluation criteria to be used, and the right to expect that those criteria be employed. Faculty members have the authority to change a course syllabus after the beginning of the semester and are expected to inform students of these changes in a timely manner.


Students have the right to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study; they are, however, responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.


Students have the right to be evaluated solely on relevant academic criteria and to have protection against arbitrary or capricious academic evaluation as described in the "Grade Grievance Policy" in the University Bulletin.


Students have the right to request and receive a timely assessment of their academic work by the instructor, or in the case of graduate students by their thesis/dissertation/Plan B committee chairperson and committee members.


Students have the right to request and receive a reasonable and timely review of their grades by the instructor.


Students have the right of complaint about academic matters if they believe their rights have been violated. When not covered by another policy, a complaint is properly filed by presenting the issue first to the faculty member or thesis, doctoral research project or dissertation committee chairperson. If not resolved, the student may take the issue to the department chairperson. If not resolved at this level, the student may take the complaint to the office of the dean of the academic college or the Director of Graduate Studies.

2.2 Relationships with the university


As citizens, students have the same duties and obligations as do other citizens and enjoy the same freedoms of speech, press, religion, peaceful assembly, and petition that other citizens enjoy. In all of its dealings with students, the university will respect the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitutions and laws of the United States, the State of Michigan, and local ordinances.


All registered student organizations are open to all students without respect to race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or national origin except that certain organizations (e.g., social fraternities and sororities) are restricted as to gender, as allowed under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.


Students individually and collectively are free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest to them, including questions relating to university policies, and to express opinions publicly and privately. They are free to support causes by any orderly means that do not disrupt the operation of the university.

2.3 Responsibilities of students and faculty

Students should conscientiously strive to complete course requirements as stated, and accept responsibility to contribute positively to the learning environment established by faculty. Proper evaluation of students in a course is based solely on performance in meeting appropriate standards established and communicated by the instructor for that course. Each course has a master syllabus approved through university curricular processes, which includes a description of the scope of the course and a list of the goals and objectives of the learning experience. Faculty members assigned to teach a course develop a course outline, based on the master syllabus, to provide students with greater specificity about how the course will be conducted in order to accomplish the intended goals and objectives. Proper evaluation of the progress of graduate students in thesis or dissertation work or other research projects is based on attainment of objectives established by the chair of the student's committee according to written departmental guidelines.

2.4 Relationships with law enforcement agencies

In addition to filing complaints under these regulations, victims are encouraged to report crimes to the appropriate law enforcement agency. The CMU Police Department is the designated law enforcement agency for crimes committed on campus. As members of the local community, students are expected to cooperate with all law enforcement agencies.

2.5 Confidentiality of information

All information about students' views, beliefs, and political associations that members of the university acquire in the course of their work as teachers, administrators, advisers, and counselors is confidential. Improper disclosure of confidential information is a serious violation of the obligations of a member of this university community. Judgments of a student's ability and character, however, may be provided under appropriate circumstances.

2.6 Student associations

Students are free to form and join associations that advance the common interest of their members. Activities of such organizations must be conducted in accordance with university regulations and public law.  Failure to conduct a student organization in accordance with university regulations, the association’s bylaws or national regulations, or public law may result in the removal of the association’s recognized status (if any), disbanding of the organization, and/or sanctions against individual association members.