Case Study On Consumer Rights Wikipedia

Student rights are those rights, such as civil, constitutional, contractual and consumer rights, which regulate student rights and freedoms and allow students to make use of their educational investment. These include such things as the right to free speech and association, to due process, equality, autonomy, safety and privacy, and accountability in contracts and advertising, which regulate the treatment of students by teachers and administrators. There is very little scholarship about student rights throughout the world. In general most countries have some kind of student rights (or rights that apply in the educational setting) enshrined in their laws and proceduralized by their court precedents. Some countries, like Romania, in the European Union, have comprehensive student bills of rights, which outline both rights and how they are to be proceduralized. Most countries, however, like the United States and Canada, do not have a cohesive bill of rights and students must use the courts to determine how rights precedents in one area apply in their own jurisdictions.

Canada[edit]

Canada, like the United States, has a number of laws and court precedents which regulate higher education and provide student rights. The Canadian Encyclopedia, which details issues of Canadian life and governance, states that in Canada "Basically two sorts of rights apply to students: substantive rights – the actual rights that students should enjoy – and procedural rights – methods by which students claim their rights. This article is concerned with students in public institutions, although those in private schools can claim rights under the common law and provincial education Acts."[1]

Canada does not yet have a national student Bill of Rights or comparable document. If and when one is put in place in Canada it is likely that this document will be called a Charter of Student Rights and Freedoms. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is equivalent to the National Bill of Rights in the United States. The Canadian national student union or government is the Canadian Federation of Students and it has not put forth any such bill.

France[edit]

Laws and court precedent on student privacy rights[edit]

In the AlBaho Case, a French criminal court found three senior academics at the École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris (ICPSE) guilty of email espionage. This was the first incident where academic staff were found guilty of a criminal act as a result of a complaint made by a student – and where those staff members had the full support of their institution.

United States[edit]

In the US, students have many rights accorded by bills or laws (e.g. the Civil Rights Act and Higher Education Act) and executive presidential orders. These have been proceduralized by the courts to varying degrees. The US does not, however, have a national Student Bill of Rights and students rely on institutions to voluntarily provide this information. While some colleges are posting their own student bills, there is no legal requirement that they do so and no requirement that they post all legal rights.[2]

Laws and court precedent regarding institutional regulations[edit]

  • Right to protection from arbitrary or capricious decision making

Decision making should not be arbitrary or capricious / random and, thus, interfere with fairness.[3][4][5][6][7] While this case concerned a private school, Healy v. Larsson (1974) found that what applied to private intuitions applied also to public.[8]

  • Right to have institutions follow their own rules

Institutions are required, contractually, to follow their own rules.[3][9][10][11][12] Institutional documents may also be considered binding implied-n-fact contracts. Goodman v. President and Trustees of Bowdoin College (2001) ruled that institutional documents are still contractual regardless if they have a disclaimer.

  • Right to adherence to bulletins and circulars

Students are protected from deviation from information advertised in bulletins or circulars.[13][14]

  • Right to adherence to regulations

Students are protected from deviation from information advertised in regulations.[13][14]

  • Right to adherence to course catalogues

Students are protected from deviation from information advertised in course catalogues.[13][14][15]

  • Right to adherence to student codes

Students are protected from deviation from information advertised in student codes.[16][17]

  • Right to adherence to handbooks

Students are protected from deviation from information advertised in handbooks.[16][18]

  • Right to fulfillment of promises made by advisors

Healy v. Larsson (1974) found that a student who completed degree requirements prescribed by an academic advisor was entitled to a degree on the basis that this was an implied contract.

  • Right to a continuous contract

Mississippi Medical Center v. Hughes (2000) determined that students have an implied right to a continuous contract during a period of continuous enrollment suggesting that students have the right to graduate so long as they fulfill the requirements as they were originally communicated.[16] Degree requirement changes are unacceptable.[16][19]Bruner v. Petersen (1997) found also that contractual protections do not apply in the event that a student, who has failed to meet requirements, is readmitted into a program.[16] The student may be required to meet additional requirements which support their success. This may also help avoid issues of discrimination.

  • Right to notice of degree requirement changes

Brody v. Finch University of Health Sciences Chicago Med. School (1998) determined that students have the right to notice of degree requirement changes.[16]

  • Right to fulfillment of verbal promises

Verbal contracts are also binding.[20][21]The North Carolina Court of Appeals in Long v. University of North Carolina at Wilmington (1995) found, however, that verbal agreements must be made in an official capacity in order to be binding (Bowden, 2007). Dezick v. Umpqua Community College (1979) found a student was compensated because classes offered orally by the dean were not provided.

Laws and court precedent on student rights in academic advising[edit]

  • Right to fulfillment of promises and verbal promises by advisors

Verbal contracts are binding.[20][21][22] They must be made in an official capacity, however, to be binding.[8]Dezick v. Umpqua Community College (1979) found a student was compensated because classes offered orally by the dean were not provided. Healy v. Larsson (1974) found that a student who completed degree requirements prescribed by an academic advisor was entitled to a degree on the basis that this was an implied contract. An advisor should, thus, be considered an official source of information.

  • Right to a continuous contract during a period of continuous enrollment

Mississippi Medical Center v. Hughes (2000) determined that students have an implied right to a continuous contract during a period of continuous enrollment suggesting that students have the right to graduate so long as they fulfill the requirements as they were originally communicated.[23] Degree requirement changes are unacceptable.[19][24]Bruner v. Petersen (1997) found also that contractual protections do not apply in the event that a student, who has failed to meet requirements, is readmitted into a program.[23] The student may be required to meet additional requirements which support their success. This may also help avoid issues of discrimination.

  • Right to notice of degree requirement changes

Brody v. Finch University of Health Sciences Chicago Med. School (1998) determined that students have the right to notice of degree requirement changes (Kaplan & Lee, 2011[23]). If a student, for instance, is absent for a semester and is not continuously enrolled they need to know if degree requirements have changed.

  • Right to protection from arbitrary or capricious decision making

Decision making should not be arbitrary or capricious / random and, thus, interfere with fairness.[3][4][6][24][25] This is a form of discrimination. While this case concerned a private school, Healy v. Larsson (1974) found that what applied to private intuitions applied also to public.[8]

Laws and court precedent on student rights in recruitment[edit]

  • Right to basic institutional facts and figures before admission

The 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act (HOEA, 2008)[26] requires that institutions disclose institutional statistics on the Department of Education (DOE) website to allow students to make more informed educational decisions. Information required on the DOE website includes: tuition, fees, net price of attendance, tuition plans, and statistics including sex, ability, ethnic and transfer student ratios as well as ACT/SAT scores, degrees offered, enrolled, and awarded. Institutions are also required to disclose transfer credit policies and articulation agreements.

  • Right to protection from ability discrimination in academic recruitment

The 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act prohibits ability discrimination in academic recruitment. This includes ability discrimination in recruitment. Individuals designated with a disability by a medical professional, legally recognized with a disability[19][24][27] and deemed otherwise qualified are entitled to equal treatment and reasonable accommodations.[28][29] The Supreme Court defined Otherwise qualified as an individual who can perform the required tasks in spite of rather than except for their disability.[30][31]

Laws and court precedent on student rights in admissions[edit]

  • Right to protection from sex discrimination in admissions

Title IX of the 1972 Higher Education Act Amendments[32] protect all sexes from pre-admission inquiries with regard to pregnancy, parental status, family or marital status. It can be seen that this act also protects against such inquiry regarding inter-sexed, transsexual, transgender or androgynous individuals.

  • Right to protection from ability discrimination in admissions

The 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)[33] and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.[34] This includes ability discrimination in admissions. Individuals designated with a disability by a medical professional, legally recognized with a disability[19][24][27] and deemed otherwise qualified are entitled to equal treatment and reasonable accommodations in both educational and employment related activities.[28][29] The Supreme Court defined Otherwise qualified as an individual who can perform the required tasks in spite of rather than except for their disability.[30][31]

  • Right to protection from racial discrimination in admissions

Individuals may not be discriminated against on the basis of their color in either undergraduate or graduate school admissions.[35][36]

  • Right to testing in admissions accommodations

Protection from discrimination in admissions[30][37] entails that students receive accommodations required to prove they are otherwise qualified, protection from unfair testing practices, testing accommodations for speech, manual and hearing disabilities and access to alternative testing offered in accessible facilities. Alternative testing must also be offered as frequently as are standard tests.[38] Where no alternative testing exists, institutions, however, are not responsible for accommodations.[38][39]

  • Right to protection from sex discrimination in admissions testing

Educational tests which are biased in favor of one gender, may not be relied upon as the sole source of information decision making.[24][40]

  • Right to protection from racially segregating testing policies

Students' equality entails that individuals not be treated differently by individuals or systematically by an institution. Thus, testing policies which systematically discriminate, are unlawful according to the constitution. United States v. Fordice (1992) prohibited the use of ACT scores in Mississippi admissions, for instance, because the gap between ACT scores of white and black student was greater than the GPA gap which was not considered at all.[24]

  • Right to race conscious affirmative action in admissions to correct for discrimination

When a school has engaged in racial discrimination in the past they are required by law to take race conscious affirmative action to correct it.[24][41][42][43]

  • Right to protection from reverse discrimination

White students are protected from racial discrimination at historic minority institutions.[24][44][45] Racial equality calls for the equal treatment of all individuals; it does not permit, however, lower admissions test requirements[35][46] or subjective judgments for racial minorities when there are objective standards in place for all applicants.[35][47]

  • Right to protection from subjective interviews

There may be no segregation in the admissions process including subjective interviews[23][41][42][48][49] when there are objective standards in place for all applicants.[35][47]

  • Right to protection from differential testing requirements

Students are protected from the use of lower admissions test scores.[24][46]

  • Right to protection from admissions quotas based on demographics

Students are protected from the use of quotas which set aside seats for certain demographics.[35][41][42][49][50][51]

  • Right to adherence to registration materials

Students are protected from deviation from information advertised in registration materials.[24][52] This may be a binding implied-in-fact contract. Goodman v. President and Trustees of Bowdoin College (2001) ruled that institutional documents are still contractual regardless if they have a disclaimer.

Laws and court precedent on student rights in readmissions[edit]

  • Right to equality in readmissions

Institutions must be careful with readmissions after students have failed to complete necessary program requirements. Readmission raises questions as to why individuals were removed from the program in the first place and whether future applicants may be admitted under like conditions. Discrimination may be alleged regarding both the initial removal and also in the case that other students are not readmitted under like circumstances. Kaplan & Lee and Lee (2011)[23] recommend that institutions, if they wish to avoid breach of contract and discrimination accusations, have an explicit readmission policy even if that policy denies readmission. If students take a voluntary leave of absence, institutions must have a valid reason to refuse readmission.[24][53]

Laws and court precedent on student classroom rights[edit]

  • Right to adherence to class syllabi

Students are protected from deviation from information advertised in class syllabi.[54][55][56] This may be a binding implied-n-fact contract. Goodman v. President and Trustees of Bowdoin College (2001) ruled that institutional documents are still contractual regardless if they have a disclaimer.

  • Right to the advertised course content

Students are entitled to receive instruction on advertised course content.[57][58] Institutions have the right to require coverage of designated course material by teachers[59][60][61][62] and faculty and students are generally protected if they adhere to syllabus guidelines.[54][55]

  • Right to the advertised level of course instruction

Students may expect teaching in conformity with the course level advertised.[11][15]Andre v. Pace University (1994) awarded damages on the grounds of negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.[3]

  • Right to attention to course objectives

Teachers must give reasonable attention to all stated course subjects.[63]

  • Right to the advertised content covered in sufficient depth

Students may have all advertised content covered in sufficient depth.[59][64]

  • Right to uniformity across class sections

Scallet v. Rosenblum (1996) found that "tight control over the curriculum was necessary to ensure uniformity across class sections".[65]

  • Right to fair grading in accordance with the course syllabus

Students may be graded fairly and in accordance with criteria set forth by the course syllabuses and may be protected from the addition of new grading criteria.[54][56] Institutions have the responsibility of preserving quality in grade representations and comparability between classes and prevent grade inflation.[24][56] Teachers have the right, under the first amendment, to communicate their opinions regarding student grades,[59][66] but institutions are required to meet students implied contract rights to fair grading practices. Departments may change grades issued by teachers which are not in line with grading policies or are unfair or unreasonable.[66][67]

Students have the right to learn.[59][68][69][70][71] Teachers do not have free rein in the classroom. They must act within departmental requirements which ensure students' right to learn and must be considered effective.[59][72]Sweezy v. New Hampshire (1957)[70] found that teachers have the right to lecture. They do not have academic freedom under the law.[71] Any academic freedom rules are put in place by the school.

  • Right to protection from the misuse of time

Students may expect protection from the misuse of time;[73] teachers may not waste students' time or use the class as a captive audience for views or lessons not related to the course.[56][73]Riggin v. Bd. of Trustees of Ball St. Univ. found that instructors may not "wast[e] the time of the students who have come there and paid money for a different purpose."

  • Right to effective teaching

Students can expect effective teaching even if it requires departmental involvement in teaching and curriculum development.[74][75] Kozol (2005)[76] observed that the curriculum development may not be beneficial for all students since some students come from disadvantaged backgrounds where not every student has equitable opportunities to succeed in school. If there is departmental involvement in the students' learning then the departments need to acknowledge that students are different when they belong to a minority group. Ogbu (2004)[77] argued that for an effective teaching to take place, departments need to understand students at a group level as well as at an individual level because even students within the same minority groups are different. Given that students have the right to effective teaching, department involvement needs to understand cultural diversity and cultural differences before a curriculum development is considered.

  • Right to protection from written or verbal abuse

Teachers have the right to regulated expression[59][64] but may not use their first amendment privileges punitively or discriminatorily[24][78] or in a way which prevents students from learning by ridiculing, proselytizing, harassment or use of unfair grading practices.[24][79]

  • Right to protection from ability discrimination in learning

The 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act[33] and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act[34] prohibit disability based discrimination in the classroom. Act This includes ability discrimination in learning[19][23][27] and deemed otherwise qualified are entitled to equal treatment and reasonable accommodations in both educational and employment related activities.[28][29] The Supreme Court defined 'Otherwise Qualified' as an individual who can perform the required tasks in spite of rather than except for their disability.[30][31]

  • Right to ability accommodation in classroom facilities

Disabled students are entitled to equal access to classrooms facilities required to achieve a degree.[24][33][38][80][81]

  • Right to protection from testing policies which racially segregate

Students Equality entails that individuals not be treated differently by individuals or systematically by an institution. Thus, testing policies which systematically discriminate, are unlawful according to the constitution. United States v. Fordice (1992) prohibited the use of ACT scores in Mississippi admissions, for instance, because the gap between ACT scores of white and black student was greater than the GPA gap which was not considered at all.[35]

Laws and court precedent on student group rights[edit]

  • Right to equality in the provision of student activities

Institutions have an obligation to provide equal opportunities in athletics, bands and clubs. This includes equal accommodation of interests and abilities for both sexes, provision of equipment and facility scheduling for such activities as games and practices, travel allowance and dorm room facilities. It includes also equal quality facilities including locker rooms, medical services, tutoring services, coaching and publicity.[82] To ensure that sufficient opportunities are made available for women, institutions are responsible for complying with Title IX in one of three ways. They must provide athletic opportunities proportionate to enrollment, prove that they are continually expanding opportunities for the underrepresented sex or accommodate the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex.[83]

  • Right to the disclosure of athletics plans and expenditures

The 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act[26] also requires the disclosure of athletics information including male and female undergraduate enrollment, number of teams and team statistics including the number of players, team operating expenses, recruitment, coach salaries, aid to teams and athletes and team revenue (HEOA, 2008). This information is required to ensure equality standards are met.

Laws and court precedent on student residence or residence hall rights[edit]

  • Right to have visitors in residence hall rooms

Good v. Associated Students Univ. of Washington (1975) found students have the right to have visitors and solicitors in their residence hall rooms.

  • Right to sex equality in housing standards

Students are entitled to housing of equal quality and cost and to equal housing policies.[82]

  • Right to protection from gender segregation in residence

Until the nineteen nineties gender segregation was permissible so long as institutional rationale for doing so was narrowly defined and justifiable.[24][84] This precedent was officially reversed, however, after the Supreme Court in United States v. Commonwealth of Virginia (1992) found that a woman mistakenly admitted to a men's military college was entitled to remain enrolled.[35][80]

  • Right to disability accommodation in residence facilities

Students with disabilities are also entitled to equal quality dormitories with living accommodations (Section 504 Rehabilitation Act, 1973; Kaplan & Lee, 2011.[24][85] All accommodations are currently free to the student even if the student has the financial means to pay for them.[35][86]

  • Right to protection from age discrimination in residence

Students are entitled to equal treatment in housing regardless of age unless there is a narrowly defined goal which requires unequal treatment and policy is neutrally applied.[24][87][88][89]Prostrollo v. University of South Dakota (1974), for instance, found that the institution may require all single freshmen and sophomores to live on campus.[24] They did not discriminate between age groups.[35][88]

  • Right to protection from dorm search and seizure

Piazzola v. Watkins (1971) established that students are not required to waive search and seizure rights as a condition of dormitory residence.[90] Random door sweeps are impermissible.[91][92]

  • Right to clearly defined terms of dorm search and seizure

Institutions may enter rooms in times of emergency, if they have proof of illegal activity or a threat to the educational environment.[93][94] Both these terms must be clearly stipulated in advance. Otherwise institutions must ask for permission to enter.[23][95][96] When dorms rooms are legally searched for narrowly defined reasons or officials are legally permitted to enter student rooms, students are not protected from property damage incurred in the search process[24][97] or action taken when evidence is in plain sight.[35][98]

  • Right to protection from illegal police search and seizure

Evidence found in student dorm rooms by institutional employees cannot be used in a court of law and institutions cannot allow police to conduct a search and seizure with out warrant.[99][100][101] Students may not be punished for refusing a warrantless search from institutional authorities or police officers.[23][102] When students freely allow institutional officials to enter institutions can hold students accountable for evidence in plain sight.[35][98]

Laws and court precedent on student privacy rights[edit]

  • Right to privacy in higher education

Griswald v. Connecticut (1965) found that the third, fourth, and fifteen amendments together constitute an inalienable right to privacy. Students are extended the same privacy rights extended to the community at large.[35][98][103]

  • Right to privacy of student records

The 1971 Family Rights and Privacy Act[104] and the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act[105] protect student information. Students have the right to access their records, dispute record keeping and limited control over the release of documents to third parties.

  • Right to approve release of student information

FRPA and the HOEA require students sign a release before their student records will be provided to third parties (e.g.: to parents and employers tec.). This legislation does allow schools, however, to release information without student approval for the purpose of institutional audit, evaluation, or study, student aid consideration, institutional accreditation, compliance with legal subpoenas or juvenile justice system officers[104] or in order to comply with laws requiring identification of sex offenders on campus.[26] Institutions may also disclose information to student guardians if the student is declared a dependant for tax purposes (FERPA).

  • Right to notice of information disclosures

Under FERPA, schools may publish directory information, including the students name, address, phone number, date of birth, place of birth, awards, attendance dates or student ID number, unless students ask the school not to disclose it. The institution must inform students they are entitled to these rights.

  • Right to use pseudonyms on public internet forums

Individuals may use pseudonyms online and are not required to identify themselves (Kaplan & Lee, 2011).[23][106] Drug testing Random National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) urine testing is legal to protect athlete health, fair competition and opportunities to educate about drug abuse in sports.[107] Officials are allowed to watch athletes urinate.[108] This overturned an earlier ruling which prohibited urination watching.

Laws and court precedent on student information rights[edit]

  • Right to basic institutional facts and figures before admission

The 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act[26] requires that institutions disclose institutional statistics on the Department of Education (DOE) website to allow students to make more informed educational decisions. Information required on the DOE website includes: tuition, fees, net price of attendance, tuition plans, and statistics including sex, ability, ethnic and transfer student ratios as well as ACT/SAT scores, degrees offered, enrolled, and awarded. Institutions are also required to disclose transfer credit policies and articulation agreements.

  • Right to financial aid information disclosures

The 2008 HOEA[26] also requires institutions of higher education provide financial aid information disclosures, which essentially advertise the financial aid program, pre eligibility disclosures pertaining to the individual student, information differentiating federally insured or subsidized and private loans, preferred lender agreements, institutional rational for the establishment of preferred lender agreements and notice that schools are required to process any loan chosen by students.

  • Right to information about the full cost of attendance

According to the 2008 HOEA, financial aid information disclosures must include the average financial aid awarded per person, cost of tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies and transport.[26]

  • Right to information about the full cost of loan repayment

According to the 2008 HOEA, financial aid information disclosures must include the amount of aid not requiring repayment, eligible loans, loan terms, net required repayment.[26]

  • Right to detailed federal student loan information

Pre-eligibility disclosures must include notice of repayment, lender details, the principle amount, fees, interest rate, interest details, limits of borrowing, cumulative balance, estimated payment, frequency, repayment start date, minimum and maximum payments and details regarding deferment, forgiveness, consolidation and penalties.[26]

  • Right to standards terminology in financial aid forms

Institutions are also required to utilize standard financial terminology and standard dissemination of financial aid information, forms, procedures, data security and searchable financial aid databases to ensure that students can easily understand their contractual rights and obligations. Forms must be clear, succinct, easily readable and disability accessible.

  • Right to detailed third party federal student loan information

The HOEA (2008) requires third party student loan lenders to disclose information concerning alternative federal loans, fixed and variable rates, limit adjustments, co-borrower requirements, maximum loans, rate, principle amount, interest accrual, total estimated repayment requirement, maximum monthly payment and deferral options.

  • Right to financial aid awareness campaigns for underrepresented students in high education

The HOEA (2008) requires institutions of higher education to engage in financial aid eligibility awareness campaigning to make students aware of student aid and the realities of accepting it.

  • Right to information on use of student fees

Van Stry v. State (1984) found institutions may not use student fees to support organizations outside the university.[90] Teachers, likewise, have the right to refuse to pay union fees when they are allocated to objectionable political purposes.[90][109] This implies that students have a right to know what activities they are being allocated towards.

  • Right to the disclosure of athletics plans and expenditures

The 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act requires the disclosure of athletics information including male and female undergraduate enrollment, number of teams and team statistics including the number of players, team operating expenses, recruitment, coach salaries, aid to teams and athletes and team revenue (HEOA, 2008). This information is required to ensure equality standards are met. This ensures that institutions are abiding by Title IX of the 1972 Higher Education Act Amendments which limits sexual discrimination and requires institutions to offer equal sport, club and opportunities.

  • There are many other implied information rights. If legislation states that students are entitled to certain information in pre-eligibility loan disclosures, this implies that they are also entitled to have a pre-eligibility loan disclosure.
  • Right to information on the justification of policies

Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia (1995) found student fees must be allocated in a viewpoint neutral way. They cannot be based on religious, political or personal views (Henderickson; Good v. Associated Students University of Washington) and they cannot be levied as a punishment.[90][110] This suggests that students have a right to policy justification so that they know they are viewpoint neutral.

  • Right to information regarding course objectives and content

Students may expect protection from the misuse of time;[73] teachers may not waste students' time or use the class as a captive audience for views or lessons not related to the course.[56][73]Riggin v. Bd. of Trustees of Ball St. Univ. found that instructors may not "wast[e] the time of the students who have come there and paid money for a different purpose." This assumes that students are entitled to know course objectives and content.

  • Right to a course syllabus

Students may be graded fairly and in accordance with criteria set forth by the course syllabuses and may be protected from the addition of new grading criteria.[54][56] Institutions have the responsibility of preserving quality in grade representations and comparability between classes and prevent grade inflation.[24][56] This assumes that students have the right to a syllabus to ensure fair grading.

Laws and court precedent on student rights in discipline and dismissal[edit]

  • Right to protection from ability discrimination in discipline and dismissal

The 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act[111] and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act protect students against discrimination based on ability.[24][31][34][39][90][112] This includes ability discrimination in discipline and dismissal. Individuals shall be designated with a disability by a medical professional, legally recognized with a disability.[19][24][27]

  • Right to due process in disciplinary action

Matthews v. Elderidge (1976) found when there is the possibility that one’s interests will be deprived through procedural error, the value of additional safe guards and governmental interests, including monetary expenses, should be weighed.[3]Foster v. Board of Trustees of Butler County Community College (1991) found that students are not entitled to due process rights when appealing rejected admissions applications.[24] They are not yet students.

  • Right to due process in disciplinary with the potential to lead to a monetary loss

Due process is required when actions have the potential to resulting a property or monetary loss or loss of income or future income etc. This includes degree revocation[3][113] or dismissal. Students have a property interest in remaining at the institution and have protection form undue removal.[24][114]

  • Right to due process in disciplinary with the potential for a loss of liberty

Students also have a liberty right to protect themselves from defamation of character or a threat to their reputation. Federal district courts have, therefore, found that due process is required in cases involving charges of plagiarism, cheating[90][115] and falsification of research data.[3][113]

  • Right to a clear notice of charges in the disciplinary process

In disciplinary measures students are entitled to the provision of a definite charge.[11][90][116][117]

  • Right to a prompt notice of charges in the disciplinary process

Students are entitled to a prompt notice of charges, e.g., ten days before the hearing.[90][118][119]

  • Right to a hearing before an expert judge

In cases involving expulsion or dismissal students are entitled to right to "expert" judgment with a judge who is empowered to expel.[90][118][119]

  • Right to inspect all documents in disciplinary hearings

Students may inspect documents considered by institutional officials in disciplinary hearings.[90][118][119]

  • Right to be a witness in disciplinary hearings

Students may stand as a witness and tell their story during disciplinary hearings.[118][119][120]

  • Right to record disciplinary hearings

Students may record disciplinary hearings to ensure they are conducted in a legal fashion.[90][118][119]

  • Right to unbiased ruling in disciplinary hearings

Students can expect rulings in disciplinary hearings to be based solely on evidence presented at the hearing.[118][119][121] Students are also entitled to a hearing before a person or committee not involved in the dispute.[11]

  • Right to a written statement of findings in disciplinary hearings

Students may expect to receive a written account of findings from disciplinary hearings showing how decisions are in line with evidence.[90][118][119]

  • Right to fairness in disciplinary hearings

Board of Curators of the University of Missouri et al. v. Horowitz (1978) found that fairness means that decisions, a) may not be arbitrary or capricious, b) must provide equal treatment with regard to sex, religion or personal appearance etc. and c) must be determined in a careful and deliberate manner.

  • Right to hearing before discipline

Hearings must be conducted before suspension or discipline unless there is a proven threat to danger, damage of property or academic disruption.[122]

  • Right to action in line with inquiry findings

Texas Lightsey v. King (1983) determined that due process requires that the outcomes of investigation be taken seriously. A student cannot, for instance, be dismissed for cheating after a hearing has found him not guilty.[3]

  • Right to investigation and consideration of circumstance

The American Bar Association (ABA) found that the need for a fair and just hearing also precludes the use of zero tolerance policies which ignore the circumstances surrounding an action.[3] An individual who commits a crime because they believe they are in danger may not be held accountable in the same way as an individual who conducts the same crime for self-interest.

  • Right to greater due process in criminal matters

Students accused of criminal acts including drug possession,[3][123] plagiarism, cheating[90][115] and falsification of research data or fraud, may have greater due process rights.

  • Right to cross examine in criminal matters

Students accused of criminal acts may cross-examine witnesses,[3][124] counsel.[3][125]

  • Right to an open trial in criminal matters

Students accused of criminal acts may have an open trial to ensure that it is conducted fairly,[3][124] counsel.[3][125]

  • Right to a fair evidentiary standard of proof in criminal matters

In non-criminal hearings in the educational setting, schools may use a lesser standard evidence but where criminal matters are concerned they must have clear and convincing evidence.[3][124]

On March 15, 1962, President John F. Kennedy presented a speech to the United States Congress in which he extolled four basic consumer rights, later called the Consumer Bill of Rights. The United Nations through the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection expanded these into eight rights, and thereafter Consumers International adopted these rights as a charter and started recognizing March 15 as World Consumer Rights Day.

Background[edit]

Before the mid-twentieth century, consumers had limited rights with regard to their interaction with products and commercial producers. Consumers had limited ground on which to defend themselves against faulty or defective products, or against misleading or deceptive advertising methods.

The consumer movement began to gather a following, pushing for increased rights and legal protection against malicious business practices. By the end of the 1950s, legal product liability had been established in which an aggrieved party need only prove injury by use of a product, rather than bearing the burden of proof of corporate negligence.

Helen Ewing Nelson was a drafter of the Consumer Bill of Rights and sought an outlet for distributing it.[1][2][3] During Kennedy's election campaign he made a promise to support consumers.[2] After his election, Fred Dutton, a colleague of Nelson's and a government officer who advised the president, asked for Nelson's suggestions on how the president could support consumers, and she sent him the Consumer Bill of Rights.[2] Kennedy presented those rights in a speech to Congress on March 15, 1962.[4] In that speech he named four basic rights of consumers.

Some of the Rights[edit]

The right to safety[edit]

The assertion of this right is aimed at the defense of consumers against injuries caused by products other than automobile vehicles, and implies that products should cause no harm to their users if such use is executed as prescribed. The right was further formalized in 1972 by the US federal government through the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). This organization has jurisdiction over thousands of commercial products, and powers that allow it to establish performance standards and require product testing and warning labels.

The right to be informed[edit]

This right states that businesses should always provide consumers with enough appropriate information to make intelligent and informed product choices. Product information provided by a business should always be complete and truthful. Aiming to achieve protection against misleading information in the areas of financing, advertising, labeling, and packaging, the right to be informed is protected by several pieces of legislation passed between 1960 and 1980.

Some of the legislation which was made because of the assertion of this right include the following:

The Right to Choose[edit]

The right to free choice among product offerings states that consumers should have a variety of options provided by different companies from which to choose. The federal government has taken many steps to ensure the availability of a healthy environment open to competition through legislation including limits on concept ownership through patent law, prevention of monopolistic business practices through anti-trust legislation, and the outlaw of price cutting and gouging.

The right to be heard[edit]

This right has the ability of consumers to voice complaints and concerns about a product in order to have the issue handled efficiently and responsively. While no federal agency is tasked with the specific duty of providing a forum for this interaction between consumer and producer, certain outlets exist to aid consumers if difficulty occurs in communication with an aggrieving party. State and federal attorneys general are equipped to aid their constituents in dealing with parties who have provided a product or service in a manner unsatisfactory to the consumer in violation of an applicable law. Also, the Better Business Bureau is a national non-governmental organization whose sole agenda is to provide political lobbies and action on behalf of aggrieved consumers.

Expansion to eight rights[edit]

In 1985, the concept of consumer rights was endorsed by the United Nations through the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection, which expands them to include eight basic rights.

The right to satisfaction of basic needs[edit]

This right demands that people have access to basic, essential goods and services: adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water, and sanitation

The right to redress[edit]

The right to redress provides for consumers to receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods, or unsatisfactory services. For example, a consumer should be able to go to consumer court against mobile phone companies that put hidden charges on the bill that were not previously explained, or activate ringtones without the consumer's permission.

The right to consumer education[edit]

The right to consumer education states that consumers should be able to acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices about goods and services, while being aware of basic consumer rights and responsibilities and how to act on them.

The right to a healthy environment[edit]

This is the right to live and work in a work space or home that is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.

World Consumer Rights Day[edit]

The NGOConsumers International adopted the eight rights and restated them as a charter.[6] Subsequently, the organization began recognizing the date of Kennedy's speech, March 15, as World Consumer Rights Day.[7]

United Kingdom provisions[edit]

As of May 2014, the UK Government has introduced proposed legislation before Parliament. The bill is the "Consumer Rights Bill", and it will consolidate and develop Unfair Contract Terms provisions and Consumer Protection provisions.[8]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

Consumers International

a network of consumer organizations promoting the consumer movement

Members
  • Choice, Australia
  • Consumentenbond, The Netherlands
  • Consumer council of Fiji, Fiji
  • Consumers' Federation of Australia, Australia
  • Consumer NZ, New Zealand
  • Consumers Union of Japan, Japan
  • Consumer Reports, United States
  • Option consommateurs, Canada
  • Stiftung Warentest, Germany
  • Swedish Consumers' Association, Sweden
  • Test-Aankoop / Test-Achats, Belgium
  • UFC Que Choisir, France
  • Which?, United Kingdom
Projects
  1. ^Smith, Rebecca (4 September 1995). "Pioneer fights on for consumer safety - Baltimore Sun". articles.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  2. ^ abcShearer, Julie (1977–1979), Pat Brown - Friends and Campaigners, Berkeley, California: Regional Oral History Office, retrieved 8 July 2013 
  3. ^"Helen Nelson (1913-2005) will be greatly missed by the consumer movement". consumer-action.org. Consumer Action. 23 March 2005. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  4. ^Kennedy, John F. (March 15, 1962). "John F. Kennedy: Special Message to the Congress on Protecting the Consumer Interest". presidency.ucsb.edu. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  5. ^ abcdLush, Mary; Hinton, Val (2007). "Consumer Bill of Rights". In Burton S. Kalisk. Encyclopedia of business and finance (2. ed.). Detroit: Thomson/Gale. ISBN 978-0028660615. 
  6. ^"Consumers International - Who we are - consumer rights". consumersinternational.org. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  7. ^Guest, Jim (15 March 2012). "Jim Guest: Fighting for Consumer Rights, Fifty Years After Kennedy's Call". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  8. ^"Consumer Rights - Law Commission". lawcommission.justice.gov.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 

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