I. Basic Assumptions

I.  Basic Assumptions

A.  Freedom of Expression

Student organizations and individual students shall be free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately.  They shall be free to support causes by orderly means that do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the institution.  At the same time, it shall be made clear to the academic and the larger community that in their public expressions or demonstrations the students or student organizations speak only for themselves.

The students have the rights and responsibilities of a free academic community.  They shall respect not only their fellow students' rights but also the rights of other members of the academic community to free expression of views based on their own pursuit of the truth and their right to function as citizens independent of the University.

B.  Freedom from Discrimination

The University will not permit discrimination on grounds of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, or any other illegal basis in any University-recognized area of student life.  Additionally, all areas of student life are subject to the provisions of the District of Columbia Human Rights Act.  However, those campus organizations that are essentially and avowedly social fraternal groups may limit membership on the basis of sex; those campus organizations that are essentially and avowedly sectarian may limit membership on the basis of religion.

C.  Student Rights in the Governing of the University

The University is a community of scholars engaged in the search for knowledge.  Students, faculty, and administrators participate in this search.  In light of this, the student body shall have clearly defined means, including membership on appropriate committees and administrative bodies, to participate in the formulation and application of the institutional policy affecting student affairs.  The concern of students, however, legitimately extends beyond what has normally been considered student affairs.  Their interest in academic policies, for example, is a development to be encouraged bearing in mind the teaching -- learning context of the University community.

D.  Professional Rights of the Faculty

In order to safeguard the professional rights of the faculty, no provision for the rights of students can be considered valid if it suspends professional rights or in any measure invades them.

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