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Student Handbook - Privileges & Responsibilities

Student Responsibility

Students are expected to act in every way as responsible citizens. Students are expected to govern their conduct by standards of considerate and ethical behavior so as not to discredit or harm themselves, the University or any other individual. Enrolling in the University, students assume responsibility for obeying the regulations and accepted practices of the University, both academic and non-academic, and the rules established by the various colleges, until such time as these may be officially changed. The relationship between the University and each student is based on University policies, procedures and practices and is non-custodial; no special relationship, such as an in loco parentis status, exists by virtue of his or her status as a student, regardless of the student's age.

Any violation of local, state or federal laws, whether on campus or off campus, is subject to the authority of the police and the courts. In addition, students engaged in illegal activity may also face disciplinary action by the University.

Since its founding, the University has emphasized the requirement that every student exercise responsibility and personal honor. In the area of academic conduct, the honor system has provided an influential dimension in student life. The expectation of honorable conduct is not confined to the classroom; the concept of honor is intended to permeate all aspects of student life at Rice.

The University reserves the right to withdraw any student who fails to accept his or her responsibility, as evidenced by inadequate scholastic achievement, or conduct that violates University rules or policies or which is not consistent with the students' obligations and responsibilities to their fellow community members.  Such action is taken only after careful consideration by appropriate officials of the University.

In both non-academic and academic matters, the University is committed to maintaining an atmosphere of free and open inquiry and civility. The University seeks a positive and equitable climate on campus, one in which all students may enjoy maximum personal and intellectual growth. To that end, this section outlines the non-academic privileges and responsibilities of the members of the Rice community.



Members of the Rice community are entitled to the following privileges:

Freedom from harassment
All members of the Rice community may pursue their educational opportunities free from harassment, including physical abuse, threats or intimidation. Rice University provides equal educational opportunities to its students without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status. The University prohibits discrimination on any of these bases and will take steps necessary to remedy any instances of such discrimination.

Freedom of speech and action
Rice students may express their beliefs, feelings and opinions so long as the manner of expression does not violate another community member's rights. Specific examples of such violations include, but are not limited to, disrupting University functions and impeding access to any part of the campus and violations of the Code of Student Conduct. The University reserves the right to impose "reasonable regulations" as to the time and place for some activities and, in certain circumstances, to require written permission before they may be undertaken.

Within these limits, members of the Rice community may engage in such specific activities as demonstrating, picketing and other public expressions of beliefs, feelings or opinions, as well as other activities which are not specified here, but which are consistent with their obligations and responsibilities to their fellow community members.



All members of the Rice community are subject to local, state and federal laws. Specific University rules governing student life are given elsewhere in this handbook. Additionally, members of the Rice community have the following general responsibilities:

• To refrain from deliberately violating the privileges of any other member, and to consider all actions carefully to ensure that they do not unintentionally violate others' privileges. All members of the Rice community are responsible for their own actions. Participation in a group, the influence of alcohol or drugs or "acting without thinking" does not diminish this responsibility.
• To remind others of their responsibility for their actions and to counsel and educate other members of the community whose conduct violates the privileges of others, whether deliberately or inadvertently.
• When necessary, to report to the proper authorities any non-academic conduct that violates the privileges of others. "Necessary" in this instance includes situations which are severe (such as physical assault), situations in which negotiation has failed and the violations continue, or any case in which the public discussion or law has been broken. Organizations and individuals who might be contacted in these circumstances include:


• College Masters
• College officers
• College Court system
• Rice Counseling Center
• Dean of Undergraduates
• Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
• Office of the Assistant Dean, Student Judicial Programs
• Office of Multicultural Affairs
• Office of International Students and Scholars
• Rice University Police Department
• Various other groups trained to deal with victims' rights, as appropriate

In emergency situations, consult the specific emergency procedures on page 32 of this handbook. The same information is printed inside the back cover for your convenience.