Assembly releases Bill of Rights draft

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 2/23/16 7:36pm

Student Assembly unveiled a first draft of its student Bill of Rights today via a campus-wide email, following a Feb. 10 announcement of the document’s creation.

The draft of the bill of rights, which is also viewable online, outlines its three main purposes: facilitating communication between students and College administration, increasing transparency of College policies and further defining sections of the student handbook to retain student rights and privileges. The Assembly hopes to incorporate amendments and suggestions.

The five-article document addresses different areas of student rights including academic affairs, judicial affairs and Safety and Security. The document also states that any future amendments must be ratified by the Student Assembly General Body as well as any administrative party involved.

In academic affairs, the Bill calls for professors to provide academic accommodations for students facing an injury or other personal emergency, as well as inform students of all course policies on their syllabuses.

The Bill states that Safety and Security must not engage in coercive activities such as verbal or physical intimidation. The document also calls for all Safety and Security protocols such as walkthroughs and Good Samaritan calls to be published online and printed in the student handbook so that Safety and Security abides by the established protocols and does not misrepresent protocols.

The Bill draft also calls for the establishment of a “two-strike policy” whereby Safety and Security does not have the grounds to enter a room after one noise complaint unless they have probable cause in the form of visual or olfactory evidence that a prohibited activity is occurring. However, if Safety and Security is summoned to the room again, officers may enter the room and disband the gathering.

On Thursday, the Assembly will host a town hall meeting in Collis Common Ground to solicit student feedback on the Bill. After this, the draft will be ratified by the General Body. The Assembly then hopes to work with administrators to incorporate the Bill into the Student Handbook.

Student Assembly communications director Jessica Barfield D’16 said that the end goal is to make the Bill of Rights an official part of the Student Handbook.

The Assembly has been in contact with College administration about the document, and administrators will be present at the town hall event on Thursday, Barfield said. The Assembly encourages students to submit questions and feedback by attending the event or by using the submission form on the Bill’s website, she added.

Barfield is a member of The Dartmouth business staff.

This story will be updated as more information is reported.