Joint Statement on Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities
The purpose of Concordia College is to influence the affairs of the world by sending into society thoughtful and informed men and women dedicated to the Christian life. The college is committed to academic excellence, the well-being of the whole person, and the exploration of each individual's call to serve in the world.
The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus and in the greater community. The entire college community shares a responsibility to secure and respect those conditions conducive to the pursuit of learning and development of individuals. Personal freedom and responsibility are vital elements for individual and community growth.
In order to fulfill Concordia College's mission, it is essential to establish standards and expectations for academic performance and personal conduct. By choosing to enroll at Concordia, students enter into an agreement with the institution, thereby consenting to fulfill the College's expectations of them. Through its Catalog and other publications, the college agrees to provide the educational opportunities and services stipulated.
The purpose of the Joint Statement on Student Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities is to outline the basic rights and responsibilities of Concordia students. These rights and responsibilities are also clarified in the various corollary policy statements. All corollary policies must be consistent with the provisions of this document. This document and all corollary policy statements must also be interpreted in a manner consistent with the provisions of the Concordia College Corporation's Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.
Admission to the College
Students are considered for admission to the college regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status or status with regard to public assistance. To be considered for admission, students must have adequate academic preparation, demonstrated ability to do college-level work, and supportive character references.
Within the limits of its facilities and resources, Concordia College is open to all students who have followed admissions procedures and are qualified according to established admissions standards. Furthermore, it should be understood that the college, within the context of its mission as an institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, makes a concerted effort to recruit Lutheran students.
Rights and Responsibilities in Academic Pursuits
In order to promote a spirit of intellectual inquiry, in the context of the college's mission, Concordia explicitly articulates rights, responsibilities and procedures for resolving disputes related to the pursuit of academic excellence.
This statement of rights and responsibilities affirms the Joint Statement on Academic Responsibility and is enforced by both students and faculty in an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding. Within the curriculum and structure of the college, students and faculty should strive to meet the needs of a community of scholars by acting honorably in every situation. The following are recognized as the fundamental academic rights and responsibilities of students.
Student Rights. Students should be:
a. Free to take reasoned exception to data, interpretations, or views offered in the classroom or other academic settings, but not to the extent that they infringe upon the rights of others.
b. Clearly informed of the factors used in the evaluation of their performance and the weighting of these factors.
c. Able to judge their progress through the return of evaluated material at reasonable intervals.
d. Protected against improper disclosure of privileged information, such as students' views, beliefs and political associations acquired in the course of instruction by professional personnel on-campus. Such material should be considered confidential.
e. Required to do work directly related to the course of study. Students' work should not be exploited for private or corporate advantage by others.
Student Responsibilities. Students are expected to:
a. Maintain standards of academic performance established by the college and for each course in which they are enrolled
b. Maintain orderly and responsible personal conduct in the academic setting, including the appropriate handling of academic property.
c. Act honorably in all academic situations.
1. Academic Integrity at Concordia
2. Joint Statement on Academic Responsibility
3. Academic Responsibility Conduct Procedures
4. Sexual Harassment Policy
5. Sexual Violence Policy
6. Bias-related Violence, Intimidation, and Harassment Policy
7. Hazing Policy
Rights and Responsibilities for Student Conduct
In the context of the college's mission, Concordia has a special obligation to provide an atmosphere conducive, not only to academic growth, but to spiritual, intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth as well. Growth and development is most effectively nurtured in an atmosphere of support, challenge and freedom; an atmosphere where individuals are encouraged to live up to their potential. An atmosphere of challenge and freedom does not, however, imply living without limits. One of the ways in which individual growth is nurtured is through teaching personal responsibility. The college can help stimulate personal responsibility by establishing expectations for appropriate student conduct. These policies need to be carefully developed, articulated and reasonably enforced, thereby holding students accountable for their actions.
The Student Affairs Committee has the responsibility for recommending to the President of the College changes in or additions to standards of conduct and sanction guidelines for policy violations. These standards of conduct or changes in these standards must be published and distributed so all students have ready access to them.
All members of the college community - students, faculty and staff - share a responsibility for upholding the standards of conduct. Any member of the Concordia community may file a complaint against any other member for violating established policies.
1. Student Responsibility Conduct Procedures
2. General Institutional Policies
3. Housing Policies
4. Sexual Harassment Policy
5. Sexual Violence Policy
6. Bias-related Violence, Intimidation, and Harassment Policy
7. Hazing Policy
8. Student Conduct Sanction Guidelines
Rights and Responsibilities of Students Living Off-Campus
Concordia students living off-campus are both citizens of the Fargo-Moorhead community and members of the college community. As citizens, students living off-campus have the same rights and responsibilities as other citizens. As members of the college community, students living off-campus are also responsible to the institution where the interests of the college community are involved. When there are problems related to a student's off-campus conduct, the college reserves the right to investigate and take action.
1. Alcohol Policy
Procedural Standards in Disciplinary Actions
When it appears students have violated a college policy or regulation, their conduct should be confronted. If a conduct complaint is initiated, procedural fairness should be guaranteed to the student. Procedural fairness requires that students be informed of the complaint against them, that they be given a fair opportunity to explain their account of the incident, that the college not be arbitrary in its actions, and that there be provision for appeal of a finding.
Investigation of Student Conduct
Except in emergency situations, the personal possessions of students or premises occupied by students should not be subject to a thorough search unless appropriate authorization has been obtained. On college property, or property controlled by the college, appropriate authorization requires a campus search warrant signed by a Student Affairs Dean or his/her designee. Applications for a campus search warrant must specify the reasons for the search and the objects or information sought. Authorization should only be given in circumstances where there is reasonable cause to believe a violation of college policy exists. College officials should make a reasonable attempt to contact students in order for them to be present for an authorized search. This provision does not preclude room inspections or limited searches.
For off-campus premises not owned or controlled by the institution, ordinary requirements for lawful search must be followed.
Status of Student Issued a Complaint for Violating College Policy
Students should be notified within a reasonable amount of time of any complaint alleging they violated a policy. Furthermore, students should be notified of their rights at the time they are issued a complaint. Pending final action on most conduct complaints, the status of a student should not be altered, nor should his or her right to be present on the campus and to attend classes suspended. However, in those instances which the college determines the presence of a student on-campus poses a threat to him/herself, other persons, or property, she/he may be suspended on an interim basis until the matter is reviewed by a dean or conduct board.
Institutional Authority and Civil Penalties
In instances either on or off-campus in which students are alleged to be involved in a violation of college policy or civil law, the college reserves the right to take disciplinary action. Furthermore, if civil charges are filed against students, the college retains the right to take on-campus disciplinary action against the student prior to the civil hearing. The courts have referred to this concept as overlapping jurisdiction. However, institutional authority should never be used merely to duplicate the function of general laws, e.g., imposing a similar sanction.
1. Student Responsibility Conduct Procedures
2. Academic Integrity at Concordia
3. Joint Statement on Academic Responsibility
4. Academic Responsibility Conduct Procedures
5. Inspections and Searches Policy
Rights and Responsibilities Associated With Student Records
Concordia College affirms a student's right to privacy and protection against improper disclosure of information contained in institutional records as defined in the College Record Policy. In order to secure these rights, an explicit set of policy statements must be maintained. These statements should inform students of the existence of such records, differentiate among the types of information contained in institutional records, and assure that information is used only for its intended purposes.
Based on established law and policy, students should have the right to inspect and review information contained in their educational records; to challenge the contents of their educational records; to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory; and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if they feel the findings of the decision makers are unacceptable.
Information about individuals should be retained only so long as it is valid, useful or legally mandated; and those responsible for the records have an obligation to destroy the information when conditions under which it was collected no longer prevail.
College policies regarding student records should be written and maintained in accordance with prevailing state and federal law (e.g., the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974).
1. Records Policy
Rights and Responsibilities of Inquiry and Expression
Individual students and student organizations will be free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest and concern to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. Students will always be free to support causes by orderly means which do not disrupt the purpose or essential operation of the institution. At the same time, it should be made clear to the academic and the larger community that in their public expressions or demonstrations, students or student organizations speak only for themselves and not for the institution.
Students will be free through recognized student organizations to invite and hear any person of their own choosing. Those routine procedures required by the college before a guest speaker is invited to appear on campus shall be designed only to ensure there is orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event, and that the occasion is conducted in a manner appropriate to the academic community.
Recognizing the desirability of an informed dialectic, a speaker should not be invited to the campus for the sole purpose of sensationalism or embarrassment of the college, but rather sponsoring organizations are encouraged to invite speakers who represent the spectrum of thought so a variety of views may be presented.
The institutional control of campus facilities will not be used as a device of censorship. It should be made clear to the academic and larger community that sponsorship of guest speakers does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement of the views expressed, either by the sponsoring group or the institution.
Action by individuals or groups to prevent speakers invited to the campus from speaking, to disrupt the purpose or essential operations of the college in the course of a demonstration, or to obstruct and restrain other members of the college community and campus visitors by verbal harassment or physical force is destructive to the pursuit of learning and a free society. All members of the college community are obligated to protect its processes from these tactics.
Speakers invited to campus must be accorded the courtesy of an uninterrupted presentation. Except for ceremonial occasions, speakers must accept as a condition of their appearance the right of their audience to question or challenge statements made in the address. Questions must be permitted from the floor unless other opportunities are made available for questioning or questioning is prevented by the physical limitations of the situation or the size of the audience. The invitation or scheduling of such a program must represent desire of the sponsoring organization and not the will of external individuals or organizations.
Student Participation in Institutional Governance
As constituents of the academic community, students shouldbe free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of institutional policy and on matters of general interest to the student body. Consistent with the provisions of this document, students are free to establish a Student Government Association which is to be their official representative in the formulation and application of institutional policy and in enhancing student life. As the official voice of the student body, Student Government Association is free to represent students, subject to the will of students at large. This special role of Student Government Association must be made explicit in its constitution.
The Student Government Association should have clearly defined means of participating in institutional policy-making, including the appointment of students to appropriate institutional committees. As a campus organization, Student Government Association is expected to follow established college policies and procedures governing student organizations.
Given its special status, the college will provide mechanisms for the financial support of Student Government Association. Student Government Association will annually make an initial student activity fee recommendation to the Student Affairs Committee. After review, the Student Affairs Committee will recommend a fee to the college's Budget Planning Committee, who in turn will make a recommendation to the Board of Regents. The Board has the power of final approval. Once the student activity fee has been approved and collected, the Student Affairs Committee and Student Government will jointly determine the method for allocating these fees. The college reserves the right to prevent any allocation that may violate civil law or college policy.
1. The Concordia College Student Government Association Constitution and Bylaws
Rights and Responsibilities of Association
Students will be free to pursue their various interests both individually and collectively on campus and in the community. Concordia College encourages its students to organize and join associations that promote their common interests and contribute to their educational experience. The rights of association must not be exercised with such autonomy so as to infringe upon the rights of others in the community. The college should, therefore, establish policies deemed necessary to assure responsible exercise of the right of association.
Criteria for Association
In order to be eligible for recognition as a campus organization, all groups must meet the following criteria:
a. Consist of four or more members who are full-time Concordia students.
b. Have purposes consistent with the purposes and standards of Concordia College and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
c. Have a constitution which includes 1) a statement of purpose and 2) criteria for membership which stipulates the organization is open to all students without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance, that all officers are to be full-time Concordia students, and that all voting members must be enrolled at Concordia.
d. Identify any affiliations with external organizations.
Rights of Association
The college should assure recognized student organizations the opportunity to
a. Hold meetings and social events.
b. Use the name of the college in connection with the publicity of the organization's activities.
c. Use the facilities of the college, such as buildings, equipment and vehicles subject to appropriate restrictions.
d. Have its events listed on appropriate calendars.
Responsibilities of Association
In order to implement and maintain official recognition, student organizations are responsible for
a. Securing a faculty or professional staff adviser.
b. Annually registering with the Office of Student Leadership and Service.
c. Maintaining and abiding by its approved constitution.
d. Complying with all policies and procedures established by the Office of Student Leadership and Service.
e. Complying with the provisions of this document and applicable corollary policies.
f. Adhering to college policies and procedures.
g. Maintaining an active and worthwhile student-centered organization.
h. Maintaining fiscal responsibility and depositing organization funds in the Business Office, and, if funded by Student Government Association, complying with funding policies.
i. Recognizing that failure to comply with provisions of this document and corollary policies may result in the revocation of institutional recognition
Role of Adviser
If not already designated by the college, organizations will be free to choose their own adviser. However, in the event an organization is unable to secure an adviser, a staff member from the Office of Student Leadership and Service may serve as the adviser until another adviser is selected. It is expected that advisers:
a. Provide opportunities for students to integrate curricular and co-curricular learning.
b. Provide continuity in the functioning of the group.
c. Serve as a resource to help inform and guide activities of the group.
d. Stimulate interest in, and encourage the maintenance of, a worthwhile student-centered organization.
e. Serve as a check to help ensure the organization follows college policy and fulfills its responsibilities as a student organization.
1. Recognition and Responsibilities of Student Organizations
2. Pledging Guidelines
3. Demonstrations Policy
4. Hazing Policy
5. Display Policy
6. Multi-College Recognition Policy
7. Fundraising and Sales Policy
8. Organizational Constitutions
Rights and Responsibilities of Student Publications and Broadcast Media
Student publications and broadcast media are a valuable aid in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere for free and responsible discussion, for intellectual exploration on campus, and as a means of formulating student opinion on various issues. In addition, they serve to bring student concerns to the attention of the faculty and the administration. The audience for publications and broadcasts is not limited to students but includes faculty and staff as well as alumni and friends of the college.
Because any publications or broadcasts, official and unofficial, which utilize college facilities or services, are not financially and legally separate from the college, Concordia College bears legal responsibility for their content. In the delegation of editorial responsibility to students, the college must provide sufficient editorial and financial autonomy for the student publications and broadcast media to maintain their integrity of purpose as vehicles for free inquiry and free expression in the college community.
At the same time, the editorial freedom of student editors and managers entails the corollary duty to engage in responsible journalism and broadcasting. It is the additional responsibility of editors and managers to exhibit quality in publications and programming reflective of the college's purposes and commitment to excellence.
The role of student publications and broadcast media in both their general and specific responsibilities should be made explicit. Administrative authorities, in consultation with students and faculty, have a responsibility to clearly outline the role of student publications and broadcasts, the standards to be used in their evaluation, and limitations on external control.
Student publications and broadcast media will be
a. Free of censorship and advance approval of copy. Editors, managers and directors will be free to develop their own editorial policies in agreement with this document and corollary policies.
b. Protected from arbitrary suspension and removal of editors, directors, and managers because of student, faculty, administrative or public disapproval of editorial policy or content. Only for proper and stated causes should editors and managers be subject to removal and then only by orderly and prescribed procedures.
c. Responsible for explicitly stating that the opinions therein expressed are not necessarily those of Concordia College or its student body.
d. Responsible to the Student Affairs Committee, acting as a Board of Publication and Broadcast, and ultimately to the president of the college for all official and unofficial publications or broadcasts.
Amendment, Interpretation and Enforcement
The Student Affairs Committee of Concordia College, composed of three voting representatives each from the administration, faculty and Student Government Association, will be responsible for interpreting and enforcing this document.
In interpreting this document, the committee will abide by the following provisions:
a. Matters of Policy. These will be considered by the committee in an advisory capacity. Policy questions would include, but not be limited to, any modifications or additions to this document. Any recommended changes in this Joint Statement must be referred to the President of the College and Student Government Association for approval. Changes may also be referred to the Board of Regents for approval.
b. Matters of Corollary Policies. The committee will delineate specific corollary policies essential to the implementation of and consistent with this document. Such policies will be recommended to the President of the College.
c. Matters of Procedure. The committee will outline specific procedures essential to implement this statement. Decisions of the committee are binding, except where a majority of the representatives from one of the constituent bodies (faculty, administration or students) appeals the procedure by which a decision was made. In that case, the matter should be referred to the President of the College, who will consult with the constituent bodies involved to resolve the matter.
d. Matters of Enforcement. The committee will be responsible for investigating alleged violations of this statement. It will also adjudicate those matters specifically assigned to it in the implementation of procedures. All enforcement proceedings will be consistent with provisions of this statement. Decisions by the committee will be made by a simple majority of the committee membership. The committee will have the power to adopt standard operating procedures deemed necessary to implement this statement in a manner consistent with its provisions.
The Student Affairs Committee is accountable and advisory to the President of the College. The jurisdiction and powers of this committee and its subordinate bodies are subject to the provisions of the Concordia College Charter and Bylaws and to the laws of the State of Minnesota.
The original Student Rights and Responsibilities Statement was approved by the Student Affairs Committee, the Student Senate and the Board of Regents on October 5, 1984.
The revised Student Rights and Responsibilities Statement was referred by the Student Affairs Committee to the Student Government Association and the College President and approved on August 7, 2008.