Rights and Duties of Students of the University of Puerto Rico
A. The fundamental right of University students in the academic community is the right to an education. This right is not limited to the classroom but encompasses the aggregate of the students' possible relations and experiences with their fellow students, teachers, and administrators at the University and with their fellow citizens in the community at large. In like manner, the students' principal duty consists of fully exercising that right and conducting themselves in a manner that does not hinder other community members in the exercise of their rights or in the fulfillment of their duties.
B. These regulations cover separately: (1) student rights and duties inherent in the sphere of the educational program; (2) those pertaining to extracurricular activities within the facilities of the University; (3) those related to student participation in the different aspects of institutional services; (4) those indicated by the standards and restrictions characteristic of academic life; and (5) the sanctions corresponding to violations of regulations and the procedure for the imposition of these sanctions.
A. The work involved in the subject under study constitutes the basis of teacher-student relationship. Maximum integrity and intellectual honesty should govern the drive to attain knowledge. The teacher shall foster creative dialogue and freedom of discussion and expression among students. The student shall have the opportunity to present reasonable objections to the facts and opinions stated by the teacher if in disagreement. Both may examine any aspect of the subject under discussion in accordance with the standards of intellectual responsibility vital to all academic endeavors. Neither one nor the other shall use the classroom as a forum to preach political, sectarian, religious, or other doctrines alien to the subjects being taught. The right to dissent from the opinion of the teacher does not release the student from the responsibility of complying with the teacher’s requirements for the course. The student’s grade shall be based on considerations relative to academic achievements measured in the varying ways in which this is possible.
B. The basis of the teacher-student relationship is trust and confidence which should be respected by both and by the administration. Opinions and beliefs expressed by students in the classroom are of a privileged nature, and students are entitled to have their teachers refrain from disclosing them to third parties. The preceding does not bar teachers from stating opinions about students' character and abilities or from discussing their progress with colleagues as part of the academic program and of the students' formative process.
C. The relationship between students and teachers outside the classroom constitutes a part of the educational process. Students shall have the right to meet with teachers at specially designated times to request guidance on and clarification of aspects of their academic work.
D. Academic and disciplinary files shall be kept separate. Any information relative to disciplinary files shall not be made available to unauthorized persons within or outside the University without the students' consent except by a court order. No record of the students' political beliefs shall be kept.
The legal and academic tradition recognizes the rights of students as members of the University community and also the obligation of moral and intellectual responsibility concomitant with these rights. The legal and academic tradition also recognizes the responsible participation of students in assuring and maintaining order, safety, and normalcy of academic life. These rights and responsibilities, the disciplinary procedures for dealing with their violation, and many other matters of interest are described in the UPRM Student Manual (Reglamento de Estudiantes del Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez) available in the Office of the Dean of Students.
University law and tradition recognize the rights of students as members of the University community, and dictate the students' moral and intellectual responsibilities as members of that community. Also recognized is the responsible participation of students in insuring and preserving order, safety and normalcy of institutional tasks and procedures. The University graciously welcomes the democratic and responsible participation of its students in the institutional processes.
Article 1. To the extent that they are collaborators in the University's mission of education, culture, and service, students are members of the University community and, as such shall be entitled to participate effectively in the life of the community. They shall have all the moral and intellectual responsibilities of members of the community.
Article 2. Students have the duty and right to engage in the search for truth and strive for its expression, always respecting opinions. Academic discipline, behavior intrinsic to the academic community, and the dictates of conscience, itself, shall serve as guides.
Article 3. University students have the duty to seek the elements of intellectual and spiritual formation which can lead to their full development as persons. They also have the right to demand them in view of their responsibility as members of the Puerto Rican community.
Also incumbent upon them is the duty and the right to preserve, enhance, and disseminate the values of learning and culture both universal and Puerto Rican.
Article 4. Students may hold, pursuant to established standards, any public function, meeting, or ceremony and invite any person they wish to hear speak on any subject of interest provided that the exercise of any of the aforementioned rights does not interrupt the educational, technical, or administrative work of the institution and that there is compliance with the provisions of the regulations in effect.
Article 5. Students may associate freely and may publish and circulate publications in accordance with the prevailing standards set forth by the office of the Dean of Students.
Article 6. No student may be deprived, by reason of sex, race, origin, social condition, or political or religious creed, of the right of association nor of the services and programs offered by the University.
Article 7. University students are entitled to have the University refrain from disclosing information or keeping records related to their political, religious, or philosophical beliefs.
Academic and disciplinary files shall be kept separate. The information contained in the academic and disciplinary files shall be confidential and shall not be made available for use by unauthorized persons within or outside the University without the written consent of the student or the student's parent or guardian, unless a court order to that effect has been obtained.
Article 8. Students shall have the right to meet with teachers at specially designated hours in order to receive guidance and clarification on matters related to their academic work.
Article 9. Students shall have the right and the duty to actively participate in classes and related activities, consult their teachers, express their doubts and differences on criteria, and be informed of their deficiencies and achievements in academic work.
Students shall be entitled to receive from their teachers at the beginning of each session proper guidance on oral or written contents of the course, which shall include: explanations of academic ends and objectives, teaching methods, topics of study, reading assignments, and other work requirements, grading criteria, and other pertinent data. All this must in no way affect the necessary flexibility of the courses.
Students shall have the right to discuss with their teachers the tests taken, the grades received, and the evaluation of the course as an essential part of the college learning process.
Article 10. Students have an obligation to exercise in a comprehensive and responsible manner all the rights and duties established in these Regulations so that the example they set inside and outside the classroom may serve as a bulwark for the continual enjoyment of such rights and duties by them and their fellow students.
(Copies of these Regulations including the remaining provisions are available from the Office of the Dean of Students.)
Privacy of Educational Records
The University of Puerto Rico intends to comply fully with the clauses of the Buckley Amendment of the United States Federal Government (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended). This Act protects the private nature of students' educational files and establishes their right to inspect and examine them. It also provides guidelines to correct the accuracy of such information through informal and formal hearings. In relation to alleged violations of the Act by the institution, students have the right to file complaints written complaints to: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201.
Copies of the institutional policy established by the University in compliance with the Act may be obtained in the Office of the Registrar, the General Library, the Office of the Dean of Students, the Financial Aid Office, and the Student Affairs Office. These offices maintain student lists and the location of students' educational records kept at the University. Questions related to this Act should be addressed to the Office of the Registrar.
The Mayagüez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico guarantees applicants equal opportunities for employment and academic admission. It also guarantees student and employee equality in study and employment opportunities as well as in the benefits of the services and academic programs offered and the terms and conditions of employment. UPRM does not exclude from participation nor denies benefits to nor discriminates against any person by reason of age, race, sex, color, place of birth, social origin or condition, physical or mental handicap, or political or religious beliefs. Any applicant for academic admission or employment or any student or employee, who feels discriminated against for any of the reasons cited above may file a complaint in writing with the Dean of Academic Affairs. The establishment of this policy as well as its compliance and publication are pursuant to Federal regulations for the implementation of Title IX, Educational Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.
UPRM is committed to promote a safe atmosphere for disabled students where they will have access to all academic programs, support services, social events, and physical facilities.
Regulations specified in Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act (1973) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1980, establish norms and procedures which guarantee handicapped persons’ equal access to programs and services.
At present, responsibility for the effective means of providing these services lies in the Office of the Dean of Students through the Coordinator of Services to Handicapped Students (SEI).
Services for handicapped students stem from the following principles:
1. Request for accommodations must be initiated by the student.
2. Accommodations offered by the university have a shared responsibility among student, faculty, staff and Office of the Dean of Students.
3. Procedures and policies must be reasonable and easily understood by all parties involved.
4. The student’s right to confidentiality will be protected at all times during the process of accommodation.
5. Appeal processes will take place in a fair manner and within a designated time frame.
Foreign Non-Immigrant Students
The Mayagüez Campus is authorized by law to admit foreign non-immigrant students. Refer to the sections on “Academic Regulations” and to the section on “Special Fees for Non-resident Students” for additional information.
Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research
This institution complies with all applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare Act and other Federal statutes and regulations concerning animals. It also complies with the U. S. Public Health Service policy on human care and use of laboratory animals. Its practices are guided by the U.S. government principles for the utilization and care of vertebrate animals used in testing, research, and training.
Protection of Human Subjects in Research
This institution complies with all Federal regulations regarding human subjects in research, including those stated in the Code of Federal Regulations, the Department of Health and Human Services, Title 45 (Public Welfare), Part 46: Protection of Human Subjects (revised March 8, 1983).
Intellectual and Scientific Misconduct
It is the institutional policy of the Mayagüez Campus to observe the highest standards of intellectual and scientific integrity and to pursue the prosecution of all violations. The lack of integrity and the perpetration of academic and scientific fraud including plagiarism, falsification, false attribution, and all violations of the cannons and practices of honesty generally accepted in the academic community, always excepting those which may result from involuntary errors or honest differences in the interpretation or handling of data or information.
This institution adheres to the principles and statutes concerning sexual harassment and discrimination because of gender in the areas of employment, conduct in the workplace, and provision of services. Grievance procedures are stated in Circular Letter 88-07 (May 27, 1988) of the President of the University of Puerto Rico and the Administrative Board Certification #93-94-303 of April 7, 1994.
Smoking is forbidden in all enclosed campus areas, including, but not limited to, classrooms, laboratories, lecture rooms, elevators, auditoriums, offices, museums, and all other places where people regularly meet. Smoking is permitted in public areas such as open hallways and other open spaces.
The University of Puerto Rico pursues a vigorous policy in combating the manufacture, distribution, supply, possession, and illegal use of controlled substances within its grounds as defined by Puerto Rico Law No. 4 of June 23, 1971, and further treated in subsequent Federal and Commonwealth legislation. The policy, means and procedures for its enforcement are detailed in Circular Letter 89-01 (June 6, 1989) of the President of the University of Puerto Rico.