Cerritos College - Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities

Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities

Preamble | Classroom Rights & Responsibilities | Campus Rights & Responsibilities | In the Larger Community | Student Publications 


The community College exists for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community students should be encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth and knowledge.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility so as not to endanger the rights, goals and beliefs of other students.

Cerritos College should be open to all qualified students regardless of race, creed, national origin, disability or sex.


The professor in the classroom and in conference should permit free discussion, inquiry and expression of thought by the student. Student performance should be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or willingness to accept professors personal beliefs, or conduct unrelated to academic standards. Student should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study for which they are enrolled and for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled. The student has the right to have the course taught in a systematic, meaningful manner and of knowing at the beginning of the course those academic standards required of the student in the course.

Administrative staff and faculty members should respect confidential information about students such as student views, beliefs and political associations, which is acquired in the course of their work. Transcripts of academic records should contain only information about academic status.


Students should be free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them, and express opinions publicly and privately. They should be free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests. The membership, policies and actions of a student organization will be determined by vote of only those persons who hold bona fide membership in that college organization. Campus advisors shall advise organizations in the exercise of their rights and responsibilities.

Student organizations shall be required to submit a statement of purpose, criteria for membership, rules of procedures, a current list of officers and the advisor shall certify the list of verified members. Campus organizations should be open to all students.

Student and student organizations should be free to support causes by orderly means which do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the college. Student organizations shall have the right to recommend, invite and to hear any person of their own choosing as long as such speakers and topics are in accordance with federal, state and local laws, and guarantee the safety of students and protection of public property. Guest speakers invited by students or student organizations should be subjected only to those policies, requirements, and regulations as established by the Board of Trustees in order to insure an appropriate and meaningful contribution to the academic community. It should be made clear to the academic community and the larger community that the public expressions of students, student organizations and guest speakers speak only for themselves.

As constituents of the academic community, students should be free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of institutional policy, instruction, the evaluation of professors as it pertains to their course content and on matters of general interest to the student body.


College students are both citizens and members of the academic community. As citizens, students should enjoy the same freedom of speech, peaceful assembly and right of petition that other citizens enjoy. As citizens, they should be subject to civil law as others and may incur penalties prescribed by civil authorities when violating these laws. Only where the colleges interest as an academic community are distinct and clearly involved should the special authority of the college be asserted.


Student publications and the student press perform the traditional roles of informing, entertaining and influencing. They are both instructional and informational, and as such should meet the highest academic and professional standards in serving the broad college community and should set forth as the primary goal of the student newspaper the coverage of news events, happenings and experiences on the college campus.

Associated Student Body, administrative and academic authorities, in consultation with students and advisors have the responsibility to define and clarify the role of student publications and the standards to be used in their evaluation.

They must also assure that both academic freedom and editorial freedom are protected and exercised so that the integrity of the student publications program and the free press will not be compromised.

It is incumbent upon student editors and managers to act according to the highest ethics of responsible journalism. This corollary responsibility includes careful adherence to the laws of libel and good taste, and such considerations as the avoidance of indecency, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, and the techniques of harassment and innuendo and should allow adequate space for rebuttal and differing views in regard to articles in which there is some controversy.

Safeguards to assure freedom of the student press with responsibility should include freedom from censorship or arbitrary control of the press, and protection of editors and managers from arbitrary attack, suspension, or removal because of disapproval of editorial policy or content by any external influence.