Student Rights & Responsibilities

Unlawful Discrimination

This Policy prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, genetic information, age, and protected military or veteran status. Retaliation for reporting or participating in the complaint process is also prohibited

  • Right: No student shall be subject to unlawful discrimination on the grounds of religion, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability in any activity sponsored by the University.
  • Responsibility: Students shall not engage in unlawful discrimination against other students or faculty members. Every student shall treat all college community members with respect and courtesy.

Freedom of Expression and Inquiry

The First Amendment guarantees our right to free expression and association, which means that the government does not have the right to forbid us from saying what we like and writing what we want; we can form clubs and organizations and participate in demonstrations rallies. Students, faculty, and staff are obligated to respect freedom of inquiry and expression and to take appropriate action when illegal prevention or disruption of this right occurs.

  • Right: Students have First Amendment rights to freedom of expression and inquiry. Such freedom is protected to build a community dedicated to the pursuit of truth, grounded in respect for diversity and civil discourse.
  • Responsibility: Students must express themselves civilly and lawfully that does not materially or substantially disrupt the operation of the University or interfere with the rights of others.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity means that one should respect another person's work and efforts. Any activity undertaken to create or obtain an unfair academic advantage over other students' academic work, or inhibiting the progress of another person's academic work, violates academic integrity. The University strives to create a learning environment that is both challenging and supportive. The University is committed to upholding the fundamental values of honesty, respect, and individual responsibility.  

  • Right: Students have the right to expect a learning environment where academic integrity is valued and respected.
  • Responsibility: Students are responsible for demonstrating academic integrity and shall not engage in or condone acts of academic dishonesty.

Freedom of the Press

Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, primarily published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely.

  • Right: Students may publish news and commentary under established First Amendment standards.
  • Responsibility: Students may not misuse University property (including computer resources) or the college name for unauthorized purposes. Students are responsible for adhering to appropriate state and federal law, including laws regarding defamation, obscenity, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, prohibited harassment, ethnic intimidation, and threats of violence. Students shall adhere to established standards of journalistic ethics, including a commitment to honest reporting and a responsibility to allow diverse views to be heard.

Freedom of Speech

Academic freedom is essential to higher education and to the University's goals of fostering critical thinking, moral discernment, and active citizenship among its members. It is the responsibility of the faculty and the administration to protect academic freedom. This Policy is intended to protect members of the University community from discrimination, not regulate protected speech. This Policy shall be implemented to recognize the importance of rights to freedom of speech and expression.

  • Right: Students have the right to express their views on matters affecting University life per established procedures for University governance.
  • Responsibility: Students are responsible for encouraging a diversity of views and following democratic procedures designed to create a climate of reasoned discourse and action.

Freedom from Harassment

Harassment is a form of discrimination that is prohibited under our non-discrimination policy. Harassment includes unwelcome verbal, physical, or other actions that intimidate, harass, threaten, coerce, or otherwise endanger the health or safety of any person based upon a student's age, ancestry, arrest or conviction record, genetic testing, marital status, military service, national origin, political affiliation, color, religion or religious creed, disability, gender and gender identity, race, sex, sexual orientation, or any other protected class.

  • Right: Students have the right to be free from unlawful intimidation or coercion, including sexual harassment.
  • Responsibility: Students are responsible for respecting the rights of others to be free from unlawful intimidation or coercion, including sexual harassment.

Freedom of Association

Freedom of association encompasses both an individual's right to join or leave groups voluntarily, the right of the group to take collective action to pursue the interests of its members, and the right of an association to accept or decline membership based on specific criteria.

  • Right: Students have the right to freedom of association.
  • Responsibility: Students are responsible for respecting the rights of others to freedom of association. When assembling and expressing their views, students must do so in a manner that does not materially or substantially disrupt the educational process or the college's operations.

Freedom from Arbitrary and Capricious Grading

Student academic performance will be evaluated on an intellectual basis (including attendance) and the ability to apply skills, not on a student's opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.

  • Right: Students have the right to be free from arbitrary or capricious grading and seek appropriate review of legitimate grievances, as specified in University regulations.
  • Responsibility: Students are responsible for achieving reasonable standards of performance and behavior established for each course.

Right to Privacy

Students have the right not to be discriminated against by any agent or organization of Leighton University for reasons of age, creed, ethnic or national origin, gender, disability, marital status, political or social affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, or any other protected class as described by law. As members of student organizations, students are not responsible for discriminating against others.

  • Right: Students have rights to privacy, inspection, and challenge of their educational records, as provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
  • Responsibility: Students have the responsibility to respect the established privacy rights of others, including the privacy of educational records belonging to other students.

Disability Accommodation

The University affords reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities admitted at the university. As the term is used in this publication, “reasonable accommodations” refer to those academic adjustments, services, and aids made available to otherwise qualified students with disabilities to facilitate equal access to University programs and activities. The Office for Accessibility Services (OAS) coordinates the University’s efforts to provide these reasonable accommodations.

  • Right: Students have a right, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to request for reasonable accommodation.  It is also your right to decide whether or not to disclose a disability to an employer.
  • Responsibility: In general, students have the responsibility to inform the university of their status as a person with a disability and their need for reasonable accommodations. Students with disabilities should direct their requests for reasonable accommodations. In order to be considered for reasonable accommodations, the student must meet the following requirements:
    • The student must secure from OAS, complete, and  submit a completed Application for Services to OAS
    • The student must have a disability and provide documentation of a disability in accordance with the applicable documentation criteria.