Student Rights

The following statement is made in view of the fact that the College recognizes and desires to make provisions for the broadest possible participation of the college commu- nity in conducting the affairs of the college. The statement is also intended to provide a means for hearing the student’s voice in all affairs of the College, ranging from conditions to policy, but also to encourage students to exercise their freedom with responsibility.

Statement on Student Rights and Responsibilities. Southern Union State Community College is a part of the Alabama College System and adheres to the standards set forth for the system. This statement of rights and responsibilities is designed to clarify those rights which the student may expect to enjoy as a member of the student body of a community college and the obligations which admission to the College places upon the student.

  1. The submission of an application for admission to Southern Union represents a voluntary decision on the part of the prospective student to participate in the programs offered by the institution pursuant to the policies, rules, and regulations of the college and rules and regulations of the State Board of Education as administered by the Department of Postsecondary Education. College approval of the application, in turn, represents the extension of a privilege to join the college community and to remain a part of it so long as the student meets the required academic and behavioral standards of the college system.

  2. Each individual student is guaranteed the privilege of exercising his/her rights without fear of prejudice. Such rights include the following:

    1. Students are free to pursue their educational goals; appropriate opportunities for learning, in the classroom and on the campus shall be provided by the College for curricula offered by the College.

    2. No disciplinary sanctions may be imposed upon any student without the recourse of due process, except as explained in the following sections.

    3. Free inquiry, expressions, and assembly are guaranteed to all students provided their actions do not interfere with rights of others or the effective operation of the institution.

    4. Academic evaluation of student performance shall be neither arbitrary nor capricious.

  3. The College recognizes the right of students to be provided with a means to have input into the affairs and conditions of their college lives. While the attention of the College is given to student grievances of all kinds, it should be emphasized that all students are expected to voice their grievances and make their suggestions through the following channels that are provided.

    1. College Administration, Faculty, and Staff: Student Services offices are open
      to hear all student problems and suggestions. College administrators, deans and faculty members will hear student problems and assist or refer them to the appropriate persons and/or committee. The Residence Hall Associates and residence assistants are available for residence hall problems.

    2. College Committees: The college appoints committees whose responsibility is to establish policy. Students are represented on appropriate committees. Students may obtain a list of these committees from the Associate Dean of Students, the Instructional Deans, Dean of Student Affairs, the College President, or the Student Government Association (SGA). All suggestions or complaints should be submitted, in writing, to the appropriate committee. The committee will review and make recommendations to the Dean. The Dean will follow-up with all responsible parties.

    3. Student Government Association: Meeting days and hours of the SGA are posted at the beginning of each semester, and all meetings are open. Any student desiring to bring a concern to the attention of the SGA may present337 his/her ideas in writing during the regular business session. The SGA serves as the official governing body and representation for all students.

  4. General Student Complaints/Concerns
    Students are provided various opportunities to articulate opinions and to provide contributions into the evaluative and decision-making process of Southern Union State Community College. These avenues include the classroom/instructor evalu- ations, administrative and services evaluations through the institutional
    effectiveness process; and the Student Government Association and other student organizations. The Office of the Associate Dean of Students serves as an initial point of contact for information and assistance. Likewise, students may visit the Office of the Campus Director on the Valley Campus with questions, concerns, and to
    receive the appropriate referral and assistance. The Associate Dean of Students can also be contacted through this office on the Valley Campus. If a student wishes to disclose or submit a complaint or express a concern, he or she may contact the Associate Dean of Students to receive specific procedures and assistance aimed at resolving the complaint or concern through the proper channels.

    Academic, administrative, compliance, and student issues are examined through established channels of communication. Based upon the nature of the complaint or comment, the student should select and follow the appropriate channel of communication as listed below:

    1. Academic Issues

      1. Instructor 

      2. Department Chairperson

      3. Dean of Instruction

    2. Student Issues

      1. Chief of Police

      2. Associate Dean of Students

      3. President

    3. Administrative Issues

      1. Administrative Supervisor

      2. Dean of Instruction/ Associate Dean of Students

      3. President

    4. Compliance Issues

      1. Compliance Officer

      2. President

      3. Chancellor, Alabama Dept. of Postsecondary Ed. (Title IX complaints only)