Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Part II - Rights and Responsibilities of Students in the Academic Community

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  1. General Policy
    Montana State University Billings is a community of scholars and members of such University communities have traditionally recognized their individual responsibilities in the development of a mature and sophisticated society.

    By enrolling in the University, the student neither loses the rights nor escapes the duties of a citizen.  Each student should conduct his/her personal life in the context of mutual regard for the rights, property, and privileges of others.  Therefore, it is expected that students will demonstrate respect for the law and for the necessity of orderly conduct in the affairs of the local and campus community.

    In certain circumstances where this preferred conduct fails, the University will rely upon the rules and procedures described in its Code of Student Conduct to hold students accountable for maintaining the responsibilities that follow.
  2. Student Rights
    One of the concerns of Montana State University Billings is to provide each student the opportunity to learn.  Therefore, some personal freedoms and rights of students include, but are not limited to:
    1. Freedom of inquiry, speech, and assembly.
    2. Freedom from threats.
    3. Freedom from acts of violence.
    4. Freedom from unfair or obscene treatment from others.
    5. Freedom from interference from others in an unreasonable and unauthorized manner while in class, activities, and public events.
    6. Freedom from theft and willful destruction of personal property.
    7. Right to study and learn in an atmosphere of academic freedom.
    8. Right to procedural due process in University misconduct action.
    9. Right to be governed by justifiable academic regulations.
    10. To be informed in writing of the academic requirements determined by individual instructors.
    11. Right to be informed of the regulations for academic and social conduct, and graduation requirements of the University.
    12. Right to petition for redress of grievances, academic and non-academic
  3. Student Responsibilities
    Each student has the responsibility:
    1. To respect the rights and property of others.
    2. To be fully acquainted and comply with the published rules and regulations of the University.
    3. To comply with all local, state, and federal laws.
    4. To recognize that student activities reflect upon the individuals involved as well as upon the entire University community.
    5. To recognize the University’s obligation to provide a safe environment conducive for learning and academic inquiry.
    6. To adhere to the academic requirements determined by individual instructors.
    7. To abide by the reasonable direction of a University official acting within the legitimate scope of his or her duties.
  4. Disruption or Obstruction of University Activities or Functions
    The University is a forum for ideas and their exchange.  Such exchange can only occur in a scholarly place if order is maintained and standards of decorum and good behavior are recognized by all.  Therefore, any campus demonstration conducted for the purpose of expressing opinions of the participants must adhere to Freedom of Expression Policies – Part VI. G.
  5. Affiliation
    The representative governing body for all full-time and part-time students is the Associated Students of Montana State University Billings (ASMSU Billings). Students may also affiliate with any of the registered student organizations at Montana State University Billings for which they are eligible for membership. Further information is in Part V of this Handbook.
  6. Student Publications and Media
    The official Associated Students of Montana State University Billings sponsored student newspaper is the RETORT.

    Any student publication shall be free of censorship.  The editors shall not be arbitrarily suspended because of disapproval of editorial content.  This editorial freedom carries with it the obligation of responsible journalism.  All student publications must explicitly state that the opinions expressed by the publications are not necessarily those of the University or its students.
  7. Student Identification
    1. All students at the University are entitled to a student identification card referred to as the U-Card.
    2. These wallet-size photo ID Cards are the property of Montana State University Billings and the initial card is issued to students at a cost of $15.00.  In order to determine the identity of individuals, University officials may request to see these cards.  Refusal to present these cards by the student may result in misconduct action.
    3. To be valid, the U-Card must contain the student’s photo.
    4. Lost U-Cards should be reported immediately to U-Card Office in Admissions (657-2023) in order to prevent unauthorized use.
    5. Students needing replacement U-Cards will be charged a $15.00 fee.  The fee must be paid at the Business Office Cashier (if cash only/debit card) or at the U-Card Office in Admissions with check or U-Card funds before the new ID picture can be taken.
    6. Photos for replacement U-Cards are made at the Admissions Office in McMullen Hall 1st Floor West anytime during business hours on Monday through Friday.
  8. Financial Responsibility
    Students are expected to be financially responsible citizens.  They are responsible for meeting their financial obligations to the University and the community.  Specific financial requirements may be found in the University’s General Bulletin.  Students suspended from the University for Misconduct reasons have no right to a refund or cancellation of amounts due.  Students may also be disenrolled from the University for failure to meet financial obligations.
  9. Financial Aid
    The University endeavors to assist students who do not have sufficient financial resources to pay educational expenses.  The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is responsible for administering certain financial aid funds.  Students also have responsibilities which are:
    1. To apply for admission to the University.
    2. To apply for financial aid each year according to the prescribed procedure.
    3. To accept charges with the Business Office every semester.
    4. To maintain satisfactory academic progress at the University.
    5. To notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships of any unusual change in their situation.
    6. To notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships of any additional financial aid not included in the “Award Notification” or subsequent “Award Revisions.”
    7. To repay within the term any over-award, loan, and/or grant resulting from the receipt of aid not included in the “Award Notification” or subsequent “Award Revisions.”
    8. To notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships of changes in enrollment status.
    9. To sign for all funds disbursed on their behalf.
    10. To use funds solely for educational purposes.
    11. To notify the Admissions/Registrar of all address and phone number changes.
    12. To notify the lender when enrolled as less than a half-time student.
  10. Health and Safety
    1. Students at the University have the responsibility to help contribute to the general health and security of the campus.  Therefore, individuals and organizations should take reasonable precautions for the safety and health of all members of the University community.
    2. Students should expect misconduct action to be taken against them by either University, civil authorities, or both, if they:
      1. throw objects into or from University facilities.
      2. misuse fire or other life safety equipment.
      3. use or possess ammunition, firearms, or weapons on University property.
      4. conduct themselves in a manner that significantly endangers the health and safety of other persons on campus.
      5. engage in behavior that is prohibited by federal, state, or local law.
    3. The unauthorized possession, ignition, or detonation of any explosive device, fireworks, liquid, or object which is flammable which could cause damage to persons or property or cause disruption to campus activities is forbidden, unless authorized by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and University Police.
    4. Tobacco Free Policy
      The use, sale, or distribution of tobacco products is prohibited on all properties owned, operated, or leased by Montana State University Billings.
      1. Definition of tobacco
        Tobacco is defined as all tobacco‐derived or containing products, including, but not limited to, cigarettes (clove, bidis, kreteks), cigars and cigarillos, hookah‐ smoked products, and oral tobacco (spit and spitless, smokeless, chew, snuff). Additionally, any nicotine delivery device that has not been approved by the FDA for cessation is included in this policy.
      2. Usage
        The usage of tobacco by students, employees, visitors, guests, and contractors is prohibited on all properties owned, operated, or leased by MSU Billings.
      3. Defined tobacco‐free environments
        Tobacco is prohibited on all property owned, operated, or leased by MSU Billings and satellite campuses, including:
        1. all interior space on the MSU Billings campus and property leased by MSU Billings
        2. all outside property or grounds on MSU Billings campuses, including areas such as walkways, parking lots, sky bridges, and patios;
        3. all outside property leased by MSU Billings;
        4. all vehicles owned or leased by MSU Billings;
        5. all indoor and outdoor athletic facilities.
      4. Sale, distribution and advertising of tobacco products
        The sale of tobacco products and tobacco‐related merchandise (including logo‐containing items) is prohibited, regardless of the vendor. The distribution or sampling of tobacco products is prohibited on all property owned, operated, or leased by MSU Billings, regardless of the vendor. All tobacco industry promotions, advertising, marketing, and distribution are prohibited on campus owned and leased properties.
      5. Tobacco industry sponsorship
        The sponsorship of athletic events, programs, athletes, campus groups, student organizations, events, departments and individuals by the tobacco industry and related companies is prohibited. No university publication shall accept any form of advertising of tobacco products.
        The University will not accept any direct or indirect funding from tobacco companies.
      6. Littering
        The littering of campus owned, operated or leased property with tobacco products is prohibited.
      7. Public events
        MSU Billings offers a wide range of public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events, and sporting events on campus owned and leased properties. All organizers and participants of these events are required to abide by MSU Billings’ tobacco‐free policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating the policy to attendees and for enforcing this policy.
      8. Exceptions
        The following activities may be conducted as exceptions to the policy subject to advance approval as indicated.
        1. The use of tobacco products in laboratory and classroom instruction/experiments, or for artistic purposes. All research, educational, and/or artistic purposes that involve the use of tobacco on campus must be approved in advance by the Provost or designee. Such use must be preceded by reasonable advance notice to the public. Nothing in this policy is intended to prohibit research on tobacco companies or tobacco products.
        2. Specific activities used in connection with the practice of cultural activities by American Indians that are in accordance with the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, 42 U.S.C. sections 1996 and 1996a allow for the use of ceremonial tobacco. All ceremonial use exceptions must be approved in advance by the Chancellor or designee.
  11. Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act
    In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by Montana State University Billings employees and its students on institutional property or at any of its activities is prohibited.  Montana State University Billings will uphold the standards of conduct which prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by its employees and students.

    Montana State University Billings will impose misconduct sanctions (consistent with local, state, and federal laws), and consistently enforce such sanctions, relating to the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by its employees and students.  Violations of this policy will result in misconduct action up to and including termination and may have legal consequences.  (Refer to MSU Billings Personnel Management Memo #21A.) In the case of an enrolled student, suspension or expulsion from the institution may be appropriate.  Specific misconduct procedures and sanctions for students involved in these unlawful activities are outlined in Part IX, B, 2 of this Handbook.  At the option of Montana State University Billings, an employee or student violating this policy may be required to satisfactorily complete a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program as an alternative to termination, suspension, or expulsion.

    Information regarding health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol, as well as alcohol counseling treatment and rehabilitation programs for students and employees is available from Student Health Services or the Employee Wellness Program Office.
  12. 1988 Drug-Free Workplace Act
    In accordance with the 1988 Drug-Free Workplace Act, it is unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, or use an illegally controlled substance in the workplace.  Employees in violation of this act may be suspended, terminated, or required to participate in a rehabilitation program.

    As required by the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, as a condition of employment under the grant, the employee will notify the employer in writing of his or her conviction for a violation of a criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) calendar days after such conviction.

    Montana State University Billings, as an institution, agrees to notify the following agency if an employee is convicted of violating a criminal drug statute:
    1. Director, Grants & Contract Services
      U. S. Department of Education
      400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
      Room 3124, GSA Regional Building no. 3
      Washington, D.C. 20202-5140
    2. This notice will also:
      1. be in writing and done within ten (10) calendar days of employee’s notification of the employer (Montana State University Billings).
      2. include the employee’s name and job title/position.

        Furthermore, Montana State University Billings agrees to take one of the following actions within 30 days of receiving notice from the employee of a drug conviction:
    3. Take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee, up to and including termination, consistent with the 1972 Rehabilitation Act and/or binding collective bargaining agreement, or
    4. Require the convicted employee to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse/rehabilitation program as approved by the appropriate federal, state, or local health or law enforcement agency.

      A brochure is communicated and given to all employees and students of Montana State University Billings, who agree to comply with its terms and conditions.

>  Next: Part III. Student Records