Students' Bill of Academic Rights and Responsibilities

This bill was drafted by the Student Senate, the vice president for student affairs, and members of the Faculty Senate. It was passed in the spring of 1992.

Academic Rights

We, the students of Northeastern University, believe that a quality education is the paramount goal of all students. In order to fulfill this goal, the university must recognize certain rights, which are set down in this document. (The student rights, through their representatives in the Student Government Association [SGA], described in these sections arise from faculty and staff employ­ment responsibilities and obligations to the university. Northeastern University students recognize and accept that it is the sole prerogative of the university to enforce these obligations and responsibilities and to determine whether and to what extent they are being carried out or violated in specific instances. Northeastern University students recognize and accept that their ability to effect redress of complaints arising from these rights is limited to the procedures specified in “Appeals Policies and Procedures.” 

Course-Related Rights

Article 1 Students have the right to instructors who attend scheduled classes on time.

Article 2 Students have the right to view work they submit to satisfy course requirements after it is graded.

Article 3 Students have the right to adequate access to instructors.

Article 4 Students have the right to receive a course outline, which includes a fair and explicit grading policy, at the beginning of each course.

Article 5 Students have the right to instructors who communicate the material pertaining to the course effectively in the English language, except in the case of foreign language instruction.

Article 6 Students have the right to participate in and have access to Student Government Association student teacher course evaluations.

Rights to University Academic Services

Article 7 Students have the right to adequate access to effective academic services, as described in the student handbook and other university publications, provided by the university.

Article 8 Students have the right to an environment conducive to learning. (Because the university operates on a twelve-month calendar in an urban environment, many construction, re­modeling, renovation, and repair projects must take place while the university is in session and while other poten­tial distractions from the learning process arise from the surrounding urban environment on which it is dependent but over which it exerts little or no control. Thus, though the university is committed to maintaining an appropri­ate learning environment for its students, Northeastern University students recognize and accept, as part of their relationship with the university, that the conditions described above may cause occasional disturbances to that environment. The articles shall be interpreted by the Office of the Provost in conjunction with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, and shall be monitored by the Student Government Association. Further, should any student discover that he or she has been subject to any violation of the principles stated herein, the student should follow the appropriate complaint resolution pro­cedure in “Appeals Policies and Procedures.” The Student Government Association, if requested by the student, will monitor the progress of any student academic griev­ances.)

Article 9 Disabled students have the right to be treated in a nondiscriminatory fashion in accordance with the policies described in university publications and consonant state and federal laws.

Scheduling Rights

Article 10 Students have the right to nonconflicting final exam schedules.

Article 11 Students have the right to final exam schedules in accordance with established university policy.

Article 12 Students have the right to be excused from academic commitments for a religious observance.

General Academic Rights

Article 13 Students have the right to be informed, in a timely fashion, of proposed or actual university action to be taken against them.

Article 14 Students have the right of access to their academic and financial aid records and maintenance of the privacy of these records, as provided by the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Article 15 Students have the right to be free from harassment by other members of the university community.

Article 16 Students have the right to the redress of academic grievances.

Student Responsibilities

It is each student’s responsibility to:

  1. Contribute to a climate of open inquiry and honesty in all aspects of the university’s academic life.
  2. Commit sufficient time and effort for study and the use of library, studio, and computational facilities in connection with each course.
  3. Contribute to the classroom/laboratory/studio learning environment through discussion and active participation.
  4. Acquire the necessary prerequisites for full participation in each academic course.
  5. Attend scheduled classes regularly and on time.
  6. Obtain help with problems encountered in a given course by seeking out faculty and teaching assistants outside class time.
  7. Respect the concept of academic freedom of each faculty member.
  8. Assist the university in its self-evaluation by responding honestly and conscientiously.