The purpose of this document is to enumerate the essential
provisions of the student's rights and freedoms, together with the corresponding
responsibilities which the student assumes while enrolled at Texas Christian
University. It is understood by all persons concerned that the rights and responsibilities
enumerated herein are to be exercised within the framework of the philosophies
and objectives of TCU. If need for clarification arises, the University Judicial
System shall be used to interpret the philosophies and objectives of the University.
Section I. Freedom of Access to Higher Education
A. The University shall be open to all applicants regardless
of race, religion, sex, age or national origin who are qualified according
to its admission requirements.
B. The appropriate facilities and services of the University
shall be available to its enrolled students.
C. Each student has the responsibility to meet all of
his/her financial obligations to the University.
D. Each student has the responsibility to observe the
regulations of the University.
Section II. Classroom Expression
A. Any student who is in good standing with the University
has the right to register for and attend any class (course) for which he has
met the prerequisites as stated in the official University catalog and which
is open to further enrollment.
B. Freedom of discussion and expression of views relevant
to a course shall be protected.
C. Students are responsible for meeting the stated requirements
of any class for which they are enrolled.
D. Students have the right to academic evaluations which
are neither prejudiced nor capricious and which are based on stated class
Section III. Student Records
A. The confidential status of student records including
information about student views, beliefs and political association shall be
protected. The term "confidential" means the ethical, moral, and
legal responsibility not to divulge information of a personal nature that
has been obtained in the course of a professional relationship except:
1. When necessary to prevent anindividual's serious
injury to himself and/or to another person;
2. For use by members of the faculty and administration
when necessary to carry on the internal operations of the University;
3. When a parent or guardian has legal access to such
4. When ordered by a court of competent
jurisdiction to release such information.
B. No entry may be made on a student's official
transcript without notification to the student.
C. Access to the University record is guaranteed to each
student, subject only to applicable state and federal laws and reasonable
University regulations as to time, place, and supervision.
D. Entries relating to student's race and religion
may be solicited but shall not become part of the student's official
E. Within a maximum of five years from the date of an
individual's termination from the University, a routine destruction of
his/her disciplinary records shall be accomplished.
F. The student has the responsibility to give full, accurate
and complete information for all official records required by the University.
University Judicial System
This Judicial system is intended to provide an orderly
system for adjudication of disputes arising under the Bill of Rights and for
the just resolution of grievances based on actions of University employees or
groups recognized by the University. A grievance is defined as any dispute or
difference concerning the interpretation or enforcement of any provision of
University regulations, policy procedures or state or federal law.
I. Boards of Original Jurisdiction
A. The University committees enumerated below shall serve
as quasi-judicial boards of original jurisdiction.
1. The Student Organizations Committee shall hear cases
involving student organizations officially recognized or approved by the Committee.
It shall have the authority to delegate responsibility for judicial hearings
to other student groups (such as the Panhellenic Council, the Interfraternity
Council, etc.) but no dispute (case) handled by one of these groups can be
appealed to the University Court until a ruling has been made by the Student
Organizations Committee itself. Cases may be brought by University staff members,
officers of student organizations under the jurisdiction of the Committee
or by individual students who charge that their rights have been violated
by such organizations.
2. The Student Publications Committee shall hear cases
involving University sponsored student publications, e.g., The Daily Skiff
and Image. Cases may be brought by University staff members, student
editors or editors or writers and individual students who think their rights
have been violated by the press. The Committee shall also hear cases involving
controversy over such questions as compliance with the Canons of Responsible
Journalism and FCC Regulations and the standards of taste in the University
3. The Public Presentations Committee shall hear cases
regarding controversies in the areas of speakers, films, theatre, dance and
art exhibitions to be presented by student organizations. Judgments concerning
the appropriateness of a presentation (as defined in the Student Bill of Rights)
will be made by this committee. Cases may be brought by University staff members,
by student organizations that sponsor public presentations, or by individual
students who charge their rights are violated by such presentations.
4. The Academic Appeals Committee shall hear cases brought
to it by students who are appealing a specific grade or who have been accused
of cheating on examinations, plagiarism, or other academic dishonesty. Controversies
in this area may only be brought to the Committee after regular channels of
department and college have been used.
5. The Traffic Appeals Committee shall hear cases involving
disputes over the enforcement of University traffic regulations. Cases may
be brought by students, faculty or administrators.
6. The Student Conduct Committee hears appeals from individual
students who have been disciplined by the Office of the Dean of Campus Life.
It also may have discipline cases referred directly to it by the Office of
the Dean of Campus Life.
7. The Student Grievance Committee shall hear cases brought
to it by students when such cases do not fall within the jurisdiction of the
other quasi-judicial committees listed above. Individuals are expected to
resolve grievances informally whenever possible, before appealing to this
B. All quasi-judicial committees must have both student
and faculty members.
II. University Court
A. The Court shall have the authority to hear appeals
from the quasi-judicial committees listed herein, only under conditions when:
(1) the dispute involves an alleged violation of the Bill of Student Rights;
and (2) the board of original jurisdiction made procedural errors. If new
evidence has become available since the original hearing, the case shall be
referred back to the board of original jurisdiction. The Court itself will,
by majority vote, determine which cases it will hear.
B. Under conditions when a case will be heard by the
University Court, the Court shall have injunctive power to stay, for a maximum
of 10 school days or until a University Court hearing can be held, whichever
comes sooner, implementation of policies and decisions of University committees,
administrative officers, faculty members and student organizations which may
violate the Student Bill of Rights.
C. In cases of dispute over jurisdiction, the Court will
determine which quasi-judicial committee will have authority over a particular
D. The Court shall be composed of four faculty members
appointed by the Faculty Senate, four students appointed by the president
of the House of Student Representatives with the approval of the House and
three administrators appointed by the Chancellor.
E. Members shall be appointed in April for terms beginning
in June and ending in May. Temporary appointments may be made by the respective
bodies for summer if regular appointees are not able to serve.
F. The Court shall be free to select its own chairperson.
G. The University Court shall annually review and report
to the ratifying bodies upon the quasi-judicial procedures and functions of
the University Committees.
H. Records of University Court proceedings shall be kept
on file for at least five years as a guide for precedent; however, the confidentiality
of participants must be protected by the administrator to whom the records
III. The Chancellor
A. Because the ultimate institutional responsibility
has been delegated to the Chancellor by the Board of Trustees, he/she retains
the right to reverse any decision of the University Judicial System. The Chancellor
may delegate this authority to an appropriate vice chancellor.
IV. Judicial Procedures
A. Each quasi-judicial committee and the University Court
shall determine its own hearing procedures, provided these procedures meet
accepted "fair play" standards.
B. Each quasi-judicial committee and the University Court
must observe rules of procedure which include the following "fair play"
1. The right to be informed in writing of the charges
and the possible punishment.
2. The right to have at least three school days in which
to prepare a defense to refute the charges.
3. The right to a hearing which should elicit information
from both sides. If possible, the accused shall be able to face his accuser(s)
and have the right to be advised by legal or other counsel.
4. The right to be furnished a list of names of accusers
and witnesses and a statement of facts they testified to, if the accused does
not face his accusers. However, because of the close proximity in which students
live and interact on campus, it is sometimes necessary to protect the anonymity
of a witness or accuser. In such cases the Dean of Campus Life may verify
the identity of a witness and accept a written statement from him/her without
revealing the name of the witness or accuser to the accused.
5. The right to present oral or written testimony.
6. The right to remain silent about any incident in which
he/she is a suspect. No form of harassment shall be used by an institutional
representative to coerce admissions of guilt.
7. The right to be advised in writing of the results
of the hearing.
8. The right to receive a transcript or tape recording
of the proceedings, at the individual's own expense, provided this is
requested 24 hours before the hearing.
V. Student Affairs
A. Campus Expression
1. Students shall be free to examine and discuss all
questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately.
2. Students have the right to assemble freely and peaceably.
3. Students shall be free to support or protest causes
by orderly means.
4. Students have the right to be interviewed on campus
for any position for which they meet the qualifications specified by any prospective
employer permitted to recruit on campus by the University.
5. Student organizations officially recognized by the
University shall be allowed to invite and hear speakers of their choosing.
Speaker presentations shall be conducted in a manner consistent with an academic
community and consistent with the philosophy and objectives of Texas Christian
University. Student organizations have the right to present "entertainment"
productions. (As used in this document, entertainment refers to films, theatre,
dance, music and art exhibitions.) All productions shall be conducted in a
manner consistent with an academic community and consistent with the philosophy
and objectives of Texas Christian University.
B. Campus Organizations
1. Organizations consistent with the philosophies and
objectives of TCU shall be recognized by the University Committee on Student
Organizations for any lawful purpose upon submission of a constitution and
a list of current officers.
2. Membership lists are confidential and solely for the
use of the organization except that they may be solicited for internal use
by the University Committee on Student Organizations.
3. Campus organizations, including those affiliated with
an extramural organization, shall be open to qualified students without respect
to race, creed or national origin. Religious qualifications may be required
by organizations whose aims are primarily sectarian.
4. Campus organizations shall have use of appropriate
University facilities for their group activities, subject to such regulations
as are required for scheduling meeting times, places and payment of any required
5. No individual, group or organization may use the University
name without the expressed authorization of the University except to identify
University affiliation. University approval or disapproval of any organization's
policy may not be stated or implied by that organization.
C. Student Communication Media
1. The student communication media shall be free of censorship.
The editor and managers shall be free to develop their own editorial policies
and methods of news coverage within the framework of the philosophies and
objectives of the University. (The term "censorship" in reference
to student communications media means any attempt to threaten or coerce any
editor, manager, or staff member of a student-run publication or broadcast
station in order to prevent the dissemination of any factual account or the
expression of any opinion, or generally, to hinder the free flow of ideas.)
2. The editorial freedom entails a responsibility to
observe the Canons of Responsible Journalism and applicable regulations of
the Federal Communications Commission, to avoid the publication of libelous
and other unlawful statements and to show regard for the standards of taste
of the University.
D. Student Governance
1. The role and responsibilities of recognized governing
bodies composed primarily of students shall be delineated in the constitutions
and by-laws of the respective organizations. Actions of student government
within the areas of its jurisdiction shall be reviewed only through orderly
and prescribed procedures.
2. In the formulation of University policy, students
are entitled to a participatory function.
E. Student Rooms and Property
1. Students have the right to be free from unreasonable
search and seizure by University personnel and during the process of search
and/or seizure the safety of personal effects will be protected.
2. A student's room shall not be occupied during
the term of a housing contract by anyone other than the student without written
consent from the student.
3. The student, by moving into a University residence
hall, acknowledges his responsibility to abide by the terms of the housing
VI. Disciplinary Sanctions
A. University disciplinary sanctions shall be imposed
upon a student only in accordance with the provisions of a written officially
adopted and published Code of Student Conduct.
B. When charged with a violation of the Code of Student
Conduct, students shall have procedural "Fair Play" rights.
C. Students formally charged with violating University
regulations shall be informed of their "fair play" rights in writing.
D. Students shall have the right to appeal any disciplinary
sanction within the provisions of the University judicial system.
E. Students are responsible for answering honestly any
questions posed to them in disciplinary hearings unless the individual claims
the right to remain silent on the basis of possible self-incrimination.
VII. Equal Opportunity
Texas Christian University does not discriminate on the
basis of personal status, individual characteristics of group affiliation, including
but not limited to classes protected under federal and state law.
VIII. Unremunerated Rights and Responsibilities
The preceding enumeration of rights and responsibilities
shall not be construed to be all-inclusive for students in their capacity as
members of the student body or as citizens of the community at large.
IX. Judicial System
Any controversies which may arise in connection with rights
and responsibilities of students outlined in this document shall be adjudicated
according to the University Judicial System.
Amendment to the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities may
be proposed only by the House of Student Representatives, the Faculty Senate
or the TCU Chancellor. When proposed, amendments shall be referred to a special
committee by a majority vote of the House of Student Representatives or the
Faculty Senate, or at the request of the Chancellor. The Committee shall consist
of three members appointed by the President of the House of Student Representatives,
three members appointed by the Chairman of the Faculty Senate and three members
appointed by the Chancellor. When the Committee recommends an amendment to the
Bill of Student Rights and Responsibilities, it will require an affirmative
vote of a majority of the Texas Christian University students voting in a campus-wide
election and a majority of the faculty voting in a faculty election, upon recommendations
by a majority of the House of Student Representatives and the Faculty Senate,
and by approval of the Chancellor.
Ratification of this statement shall be by affirmative
vote of a majority of the Texas Christian University students voting in a campus-wide
election and a majority of the faculty voting in a faculty election, upon recommendation
by a majority of the Student House of Representatives and the Faculty Senate,
and by approval of the Chancellor.
Student Grievance Procedure
The University has established both informal and formal
procedures which a student may follow when presenting grievances. A grievance
is defined as any dispute or difference concerning the interpretation or enforcement
of any provision of University regulations, policies or procedures or state
or federal laws applicable on the campus. Administrators, faculty and students
are encouraged in all instances to resolve grievances informally, and as promptly
as possible. However, formal procedures may be followed when needed.
Detailed information about the University Judicial System
is given in the Student Handbook, available at the beginning of each fall semester.
Individuals who have additional questions about how to gain access to the system
may contact the office of the Dean of Campus Life.
Alcohol Use Policy
TCU has the responsibility of maintaining an educational
environment conducive to academic achievement and at the same time helping young
people grow into mature and responsible adults. Though each individual ultimately
must decide whether or not to use alcoholic beverages, the University through
its Board of Trustees has determined what practices will permitted on campus.
Students should be aware that the legal drinking age in
the State of Texas is 21 years. Texas Christian University will conform to the
state law and also has further specific regulations to govern the use, sale
and possession of alcoholic beverages on the property of the University.
Students who choose to drink, either on or off the campus,
are expected to handle alcohol responsibly and conform to the laws of this state.
Violation of state law, city ordinance or University regulations will be considered
grounds for disciplinary action.
Except for certain specified areas in University residence
halls approved by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and for specific
events authorized by the Chancellor or Provost in the Dee J. Kelly Alumni and
Visitors Center or other buildings, the consumption, sale or use of alcoholic
beverages is prohibited on the campus. The consumption of alcohol is permissible
for persons of legal drinking age in parking lots immediately adjacent to Amon
Carter Stadium from two hours before until two hours after TCU home football
games. Alcohol is not permitted in the Stadium at any time.
Residents of legal age (21 years) and over may possess
and consume alcoholic beverages in their rooms or in the rooms of other students
21 years of age or older. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited
in hallways, stairways, elevators, lobbies, lounges, recreation areas, restrooms,
and all other areas of the residence hall. Students' rooms may not be used
as an "open bar" but may be used for private gatherings with no more
than six guests.
The purchase or sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited
everywhere on the campus. Furthermore, no person may provide any alcoholic beverages
to any person less than 21 years of age. The University also prohibits the use
or possession of alcoholic beverages in all instructional settings including
those remote to the campus.
Information about specific penalties imposed for violation
of alcohol use policies may be obtained from the Dean of Campus Life or the
Office of Residential Services.
Drug Abuse Policy
Students enrolled in TCU are subject to disciplinary action
for the possession, manufacture, use, sale or distribution (by either sale or
gift) of any quantity of any prescription drug or controlled substance or for
being under the influence of any prescription drug or controlled substance,
except for the use of an over-the-counter medication or for the prescribed use
of medication in accordance with the instructions of a licensed physician. Controlled
substances include, but are not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, cocaine derivatives,
heroin, amphetamines, barbiturates, LSD, PCP, and substances typically known
as "designer drugs" such as "ecstasy" or "eve."
Possession of paraphernalia associated with the use, possession or manufacture
of a prescription drug or controlled substance is also prohibited.
The minimum penalty for a first-time violation of the Drug
Abuse Policy for use or possession of a prescription drug or controlled substance
will be disciplinary probation for a full year, and a requirement for participation
in a drug abuse education and/or treatment program. Any student who violates
the Drug Abuse Policy for use or possession of a prescription drug or controlled
substance for a second time will be suspended from the University for at least
one year. Possession of drug paraphernalia will subject a student to the same
penalties as those imposed for use and possession of a prescription drug or
The penalty for a violation of the Drug Abuse Policy for
sale, distribution, or manufacture of a prescription drug or controlled substance
will be permanent expulsion from the University. A student who voluntarily seeks
help for drug or alcohol abuse is not subject to disciplinary action; in fact,
University officials will do everything they can to assist the student in obtaining
appropriate treatment. If the student continues to use drugs, then he/she does
become subject to disciplinary action.
Legal Sanctions for Illegal Use of Alcohol and Other
In accordance with federal regulations the following information
is provided for all students. In addition to sanctions imposed by the University
for violation of the Alcohol Use Policy and the Drug Abuse Policy, a student
may be subject to regulations of civil authorities. Various local, state and
federal regulations prohibit the illegal use, possession and distribution of
illicit drugs and alcohol. Penalties for violation of such statutes vary depending
on the type of drug, the amount of the drug involved, the type of violation,
and in the case of alcohol, the age of the persons involved. Detailed descriptions
of legal penalties are available in the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education,
the Dean of Campus Life Office, and in the office of Residential Services.
The University reserves the right to refer students to
court authorities for any behavior that is in violation of the law regardless
of any sanctions imposed by the University.
Health Risks Associated with Substance Abuse
Abuse of alcohol and drugs has been shown to cause serious
health problems including:
Alcohol. Frequent or heavy use of alcoholic beverages
can result in brain damage; cirrhosis of the liver; cancer of the liver; cancer
of the mouth, throat and pancreas; stomach ulcers; heart damage; lowered sex
hormone production; and lowered immunity to infections and disease.
Alcohol use by pregnant women can also cause birth defects,
lowered birth weight and/or mental retardation in children.
The use of alcohol is involved in half of all traffic related
deaths and permanent disabilities. Alcoholism can lead to family dysfunction
and violence. Alcoholics are six or more times as likely to commit suicide as
Drugs. The use of illegal drugs, including but not
limited to marijuana, cocaine, heroin, crack, amphetamines, psychedelics and
so called "designer drugs" has been shown to result in physical and
Lung damage (including lung cancer), lowered immunity to
disease, memory loss, depression, flashbacks, lowered production of sex hormones,
birth defects, low birth weight infants and severe psychological disorders may
result from the use of drugs. These drugs are highly addictive, both physically
and psychologically. The body builds a tolerance to such drugs so that larger
and more frequent doses are required to satisfy the need for the drug.
Academic Conduct Policy
An academic community requires the highest standards of
honor and integrity in all of its participants if it is to fulfill its missions.
In such a community faculty, students, and staff are expected to maintain high
standards of academic conduct. The purpose of this policy is to make all aware
of these expectations. Additionally, the policy outlines some, but not all,
of the situations which can arise that violate these standards. Further, the
policy sets forth a set of procedures, characterized by a "sense of fair
play," which will be used when these standards are violated. In this spirit,
definitions of academic misconduct are listed below. These are not meant to
Any act that violates the spirit of the academic conduct
policy is considered academic misconduct. Specific examples include, but are
not limited to:
A. Cheating. Includes, but is not limited to:
1. Copying from another student's test paper, laboratory
report, other report, or computer files and listings.
2. Using in any academic exercise or academic setting,
material and/or devices not authorized by the person in charge of the test.
3. Collaborating with or seeking aid from another student
during an academic exercise without the permission of the person in charge
of the exercise.
4. Knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting,
or soliciting in its entirety or in part, the contents of a test or other
assignment unauthorized for release.
5. Substituting for another student, or permitting another
student to substitute for oneself, in a manner that leads to misrepresentation
of either or both students work.
B. Plagiarism. The appropriation, theft, purchase,
or obtaining by any means another's work, and the unacknowledged submission
or incorporation of that work as one's own offered for credit. Appropriation
includes the quoting or paraphrasing of another's work without giving
C. Collusion. The unauthorized collaboration with
another in preparing work offered for credit.
D. Abuse of resource materials. Mutilating, destroying,
concealing, or stealing such materials.
E. Computer misuse. Unauthorized or illegal use
of computer software or hardware through the TCU Computer Center or through
any programs, terminals, or freestanding computers owned, leased, or operated
by TCU or any of its academic units for the purpose of affecting the academic
standing of a student.
F. Fabrication and falsification. Unauthorized
alteration or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Falsification involves altering information for use in any academic exercise.
Fabrication involves inventing or counterfeiting information for use in any
G. Multiple submission. The submission by the
same individual of substantial portions of the same academic work (including
oral reports) for credit more than once in the same or another class without
H. Complicity in academic misconduct. Helping
another to commit an act of academic misconduct.
I. Bearing false witness. Knowingly and falsely
accusing another student of academic misconduct.
Sanctions. Sanctions will be imposed for acts of
academic misconduct. Students may obtain a complete copy of the Academic Conduct
Policy in the offices of all the academic deans, the Dean of Campus Life, the
Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, and the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.