Appendix G

Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities

(Senate: 1/23/68, 11/9/71, 7/15/75, 5/10/77, 11/26/85, 2/18/97, 6/2/15, 11/5/19; President: 3/26/68, 11/18/71, 12/31/75,* 6/30/77, 12/20/85, 6/6/97, 10/13/15, 1/3/20; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 2/8/18)

*Should any provision of this approved Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities be deemed contrary to procedural regulations under Title IX or any other regulation of the federal government, such provisions will be null and void until properly amended. The voiding of any one section shall not invalidate any other section.


Academic institutions exist for the pursuit of knowledge, the search for truth, and the development of students. Free inquiry and free expression are essential to the attainment of these goals. The freedom to learn and the freedom to teach are inseparable aspects of academic freedom that depend on appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community.

The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to academic freedom is shared by all members of the academic community. Students are expected to exercise their freedom with responsibility and critical judgment. The University has a duty to develop policies and procedures with the highest standards to safeguard academic freedom.

Summarized below are the rights, responsibilities, and policies and procedures that are necessary to achieve the desired goals of freedom to teach, freedom to learn, and freedom to search for truth.

  1. Academic Advisement.
    Students have the responsibility to seek advisement throughout their enrollment at this University.  To meet this responsibility, they have the right to reasonable access to faculty and professional advisement relative to all segments of their academic programs and to their career goals related to those academic programs.  From academic major advisors, undergraduate students should expect advisement including the appropriate selection of major and General Education courses related to their goals and interests. From faculty advisors, graduate students should expect advisement on their academic study plan, Advancement to Candidacy, and requirements and expectations for the culminating experience. All students should expect advisement on matters relating to all college and department and most university regulations and procedures. From other appropriate university offices, students should expect advice on matters relating to state and university regulations and procedures.  Students have the responsibility to consult the handbook for rules and regulations concerning their courses.  See Chapter IV of the Faculty Handbook for more detailed policy pertaining to academic advisement.

  2. Instruction.
    When appropriate to the mode of instruction in the classroom as well as in conference and advisement, the instructor should encourage open inquiry and free expression.  Students shall be evaluated solely on the basis of their academic performance, not on their opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic performance.

    1. Freedom of Expression.  Students are responsible for mastery of the content of any course in which they enroll, but they are free to take reasoned exception at appropriate times to the interpretation of data or opinions offered.

    2. Academic Evaluation.  Students are responsible for meeting standards of academic performance established by the faculty.  Evaluations based on standards other than academic performance in the course being offered shall be considered arbitrary or capricious.  The measurement of a student’s performance is the responsibility of the faculty member teaching the course.  The assignment of a final grade is the responsibility solely of the instructor.  However, students have the right to file an academic grievance should they believe that the instructor’s evaluation to be clerically erroneous, capricious, or prejudicial, or dispute a finding of academic dishonesty. If the student chooses to file an academic grievance, the student should follow the Grade Appeals/Academic Grievance policy as laid out in Appendix H of the Faculty Handbook.

    3. Instructional Practice. Students have the right to substantial instruction in the course content at the time scheduled for class meetings except in mitigating circumstances. Chapter V of the Faculty Handbook details students’ rights and responsibilities regarding the university Missed Class Time and Makeup policy, Waiting List policy, exclusion from class, information that should be provided in the class syllabus, and other rights and responsibilities related to instructional practice.  

    4. Access to instructional Materials. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), all students have the right to equal access to information resources provided by the course instructor.  Students who are registered with the Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD) have the right to appropriate accommodations to access these information resources as decided by OSD.

    5. Academic Honesty. Students have a responsibility to adhere to the Academic Honesty policy as outlined in Chapter V of the Faculty Handbook. 

  3. Student Input in Academic Personnel Processes.
    Students have the right and responsibility to provide feedback about their instructors and their instructional practice in anonymous student opinion surveys that are conducted at the end of each semester. Students also have a right to submit written, signed statements about their direct experience with faculty performance of job duties. Such statements may be submitted to the faculty person’s department chair or the college dean. Anonymously written or unsigned materials will not be considered.

  4. Student Official Records and Information.
    Students have a number of rights regarding their records and other information. These rights include specific efforts to separate official university academic records from other records such as those pertaining to discipline, counseling, medical, and activities records. In addition, information from these other records is only available to authorized persons within the University who require such records in the normal course of performing the assigned duties of their position.

    Student records shall not be available to any extra-institutional person, agency, or organization except as permitted under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, 20, U.S.C. 1232 [g]). Policies related to confidentiality of student records, and especially FERPA, are outlined in Chapter V of this handbook, section IV. Chapter V also refers to information about FERPA and related policy from student records administration at Cal State LA.

  5. Freedom of Information.
    Students have the right to access information related to their degree programs, courses, and procedures and policies related to their enrollment and success more generally. Such information is especially outlined in the University's General Catalog and Golden Eagle Handbook. The University, including colleges, departments, and various other groups, is responsible for adhering to these established policies at all times.  

    Students also have the right to specific information about each course they are enrolled in. This information must be communicated to the student by the first class meeting. The details of this information can be found in Chapter V of this handbook, in the section titled "The Class Syllabus".

    Finally, given that such information is made accessible to students, students are obligated to be aware of it. Students’ lack of awareness of information which has been made available to them is not cause for waiving those policies, procedures, and regulations.

  6. Student Affairs.

    1. Freedom of Access to Higher Education. The University will make clear the characteristics and academic performance of students which it considers relevant to success in the institution's program. The California State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, genetic information, religion, veteran status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or disability in its programs and activities, including admissions and access. Thus, within the limits of its facilities, the University shall consider all students who are qualified and offer admission based on its admission plan approved by the CSU Chancellor’s Office.

    2. Freedom of Association. Students bring to the campus a variety of interests previously acquired, and develop many new interests as members of the academic community. They shall be free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests.  Cal State L.A. shall not recognize any fraternity, sorority, living group, honor society, or other student organization that discriminates on the basis of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, color, age, gender, gender identification, ancestry, marital status, citizenship, political affiliation, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, mental condition, pregnancy, genetic information, covered veteran status, or any other classification that precludes a person from consideration as an individual except in cases of fraternity and sorority organizations which are exempt by federal law from Title IX regulations concerning discrimination on the basis of sex. Students have the responsibility to comply with University policy as outlined in the Student Organization Handbook.

    3. Student Participation in Shared Governance. As members of the academic community, students shall be free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of institutional policy and on matters of general interest to the student body.**  The role and character of student government shall be reviewed and modified only through prescribed University procedures.

    4. Student Publications and Media Broadcasting. Student publications and the student press are valuable aids in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of free and responsible discussion and intellectual exploration on the campus. They are a means of bringing student concerns to the attention of the faculty and the institutional authorities, and of formulating student opinion on various issues on the campus and in the world at large. They also represent the institution to the public. To this end, the editorial freedom of student editors and managers entails corollary responsibilities to be governed by the canons of responsible journalism, where libel, indecency, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, and the techniques of harassment and innuendo are especially inappropriate.

    Particular questions with respect to a student's rights and responsibilities should be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Student Life.

    *Title 5, California Administrative Code, section 41503, requires student organization to submit a constitution.

    **The student body and its official governing arm, the Associated Students, Inc., have a clearly defined role in the expressing the wishes of the student body and in determining institutional policy (See ASBOD Minutes of October 13, 1966, items 4.11-4.13, and the Faculty Constitution, Appendix C).