Student Rights and Responsibilities

Students have not only the right to an education, but to the rights of citizenship as well; therefore, no student shall be deprived of equal treatment and equal access to educational programs, due process, presumption of innocence prior to proof otherwise, free expression and association, or privacy of thought. 

Students bring to college various interests and values previously acquired and they develop new interests as members of an academic community. They shall be free to organize and join groups, in the pursuit of those interests, subject only to regulations and procedures which are intended to preserve the integrity of the District and which are consistent with constitutional guarantees.


In keeping with the ideals of a democracy, students shall be granted the rights and responsibilities of self-government. In the activities of student groups and the conduct of student government, discrimination based on race, ethnic background, national origin, sex, age, sexual preference, or physical disability shall be expressly prohibited. 

Students and recognized student organizations shall be free to examine and discuss questions of interest to them and to express their opinions publicly and privately without fear of reprisal. They shall be free to support legal causes by orderly means that do not disrupt the operation of the College. College documents are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Public Law 93-980). 

Attendant upon the right guaranteed to each student are certain responsibilities, which are respect for the rights of others, acceptance of properly constituted authority, and compliance with the policies, regulations and procedures of the District. Each student bears full responsibility for his or her actions. 

Affirmative Action, District Property, Drug and Alcohol Policies, and More

Affirmative Action 

It is the policy of the West Valley-Mission Community College District (the District) to not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, or within the limits imposed by law, age, or disability in all of its educational and employment programs and activities, its policies, practices, and procedures. This complies with Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act Of 1972 (Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. It is further the policy of this District to support diversity through affirmative action in all of its programs and in all aspects of employment where persons with a disability or of a particular race or sex are underutilized or underrepresented. 

The Affirmative Action Officer for the District is the Director of Human Resources located on the West Valley campus. Specific complaints, questions, or concerns may be directed to the Human Resources Office at West Valley or the Chief Student Services Officer (VPSS) at each campus.

Care of District Property

Each student in the District is responsible for the proper care of District property, supplies, and equipment entrusted to her or his use. 

Students who lose or damage District property shall be notified in writing of the amounts due and the actions which may be taken for failure to pay. Such actions may include the imposition of fees for the loss, damage, or defacement of books and equipment; the cancellation of registration; the withholding of grades or transcript; and, in extreme cases, legal action. 

Distribution of Literature and/or Soliciting Petition Signatures to Students on District Property Pursuant to the provisions of California Educational Code, Section 76120, individuals and or organizations wishing to distribute literature to and/or solicit petition signatures from students of the District, must file a copy of the petitions or materials to be distributed with the Student Activities Office. The application form must include the distributor’s name, address, and social security number. 

The Director of Student Activities or designated representative will specify the time, place, and manner in which literature is distributed or the petition signatures solicited. The distribution period allowed is two days per month unless modified by the VPSS. No materials shall be distributed in, around, or outside any classroom nor in the halls of any District building at any time without approval. 

Distributing literature or soliciting petition signatures at any place or time other than that designated, or in any manner other than that specified by the Student Activities Office is strictly prohibited. 

District and/or College Authority and Criminal Records

District and/or college regulations shall not be applicable, without due process of law, to a student who has been convicted in a criminal proceeding for an act to which the District regulations might otherwise apply.

Drug-Free Schools and Community Act

The District prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and other drugs by students and employees on the institution’s property or at institutionally sponsored activities as defined in the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 (Public Law 101226). General and specific information and assistance are provided by the Student Health Center and the Counseling Program for students and the Human Resources Office for employees. West Valley-Mission College students and employees are subject to sanctions as defined by the Student Handbook, Board Policies, and other local, state, and federal laws.

Exercise of Rights of Citizenship 

Students will enjoy the same freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and right of petition that other citizens enjoy. As members of the College community, they are subject to the obligations which accrue to them by virtue of this membership. District and/or College authority will not be extended to inhibit the exercise by students of their rights as citizens beyond the jurisdiction of the District.

Freedom of Inquiry and Expression

Students and student organizations will be free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest to them, and to express opinions publicly and privately. They will always be free to support causes by orderly means which do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the institution. At the same time, it should be made clear to the academic and the larger community that in their public expressions or demonstrations students or student organizations speak only for themselves. 

Students will be allowed to invite and to hear any person of their own choosing. Those routine procedures required by the college before a guest speaker is invited to appear on campus should be designed only to insure that there is orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event and that the occasion is conducted in a manner appropriate to an academic community. It should be made clear to the academic and larger community that sponsorship of guest speakers does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement of the views expressed, either by the sponsoring group or the college. 

Student Participation in Institutional Government (ASG)

As constituents of the College community, students shall be free individually and collectively to express their views on issues of College policy and on matters of general interest to the student body. The Associated Student Government will participate in the formulation and application of college policy affecting academic and student affairs.

Gender Equity

Building Fairness is a statewide campaign sponsored by the Chancellor's Office of the California Community Colleges to increase students' awareness of, accessibility to, and success in all vocational programs, thereby strengthening their potential for personal fulfillment and economic self-sufficiency. In the past, certain careers were thought to be “men's careers” (e.g. automotive mechanic, fire fighter, plumber) or “women's careers” (e.g. nurse, childcare worker, cosmetologist). Today, community colleges are building fairness and breaking down these stereotypes.


File a grievance using the "Incident Report" form.

A student may file a grievance when he or she believes that a faculty or College staff member has violated College rules, policies, or procedures, or other local, state, or federal laws. There are two types of grievances: Academic and non-academic student grievance. 

Academic Grievance 

An academic grievance may be filed when a student feels that a faculty member has violated state law, federal law, or College policies and procedures relative to grading or other academic areas. All grade appeals are first with the specific instructor, then in order with the Department Chair, the Dean of Instruction, the VP of Instruction, the President, the Chancellor, and the Board of Trustees. 

The State Educational Code provides the following: “All grades awarded by the instructor of record shall be final. The California Code of Regulations Section 55760, permits a grievance to be filed with respect to grading only in situations where a grade was assigned due to ‘mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence’.” 

Non-Academic Grievance 

A general student grievance may be filed by a student who feels an action of a College staff member, office, or group violates existing College rules, policy or procedures; or other local, state, and federal laws. A grievance of discrimination or sexual harassment is not included in this category. 

Grievance Process 

The grievance process is a formalized process to ensure the timely resolution of conflict at the lowest possible level. There are three steps to the grievance process with appeal levels beyond those steps. Either party may be accompanied by an advocate at any step in the grievance process. It is the preference of the District to resolve grievances at the informal level whenever possible. 

Step 1: (Informal Meeting) this step is the informal resolution stage which involves the student who has a complaint and the staff member or specific group who is the other party in the grievance. The student must notify the staff person or representative of a group that he or she wishes to make an appointment for an informal meeting to review an action within ten (10) working days of its occurrence. This informal meeting must then take place within ten (10) working days of the notification of the desire to meet. In the absence of the instructor or staff person and after a good faith effort to make contact, the grievance may directly contact the department chair. 

Should the outcome of this informal meeting not meet with the satisfaction of the grievant, he or she may file a formal Step 2 Grievance with the VPSS within five (5) working days of the informal meeting. The formal appeal form must outline the action and outcome of the Step 1 level and the information for the Step 2 level. (Please refer to the Grievance Form) 

Step 2: (Formal Grievance) If the informal Step 1 meeting does not resolve the issues to the satisfaction of the student, a formal Step 2 meeting may be initiated by the student. The formal grievance form is filed with the VPSS, who will forward it to the Step 2 level staff person. The grievance form will ask the student to provide the following:

  • The exact nature of the grievance
  • The specific details of the grievance; e.g., chronology of events, copies of any information that may be helpful, etc.
  • A description of the informal meeting and the attempted resolution
  • The desired remedy. 

The Step 2 meeting will be with the immediate supervisor of the faculty or staff member involved and must occur within ten (10) working days of filing with the VPSS. The written outcome of the Step 2 meeting must be completed within two (2) working days of the formal meeting and turned into the VPSS who will give it to the student filing the grievance. If the outcome of Step 2 is not satisfactory to the student, a Step 3 appeal may be filed with the VPSS within five (5) working days of receipt of the Step 2 outcome. 

Step 3: (Appeal) The Step 3 appeal with the VPSS must be heard within ten (10) working days of the filing of the appeal. A written decision must be rendered within two (2) working days. 

The student then has two (2) working days to file a formal appeal with the President. 

Grievance Timelines 

Complaint occurs and grievant has a maximum of 30 working days to notify the College staff person/office. Please refer to AP 5530 (link to file) for additional information on the grievance process and timeline. 

Grievance timelines are specific but may be deviated from because of scheduling difficulties and other reasonable problems. All delays must be communicated in writing to the student.

Participation in Institutional Governance (ASG)

As constituents of the college, students shall be free individually and collectively to express their views on issues of college policy and on matters of general interest to the student body. The Associated Student Government will participate in the formulation and application of college policy affecting academic and student affairs.

Smoking and the Use of E-Cigarettes on Campus 

Per Board Policy 3570, Smoking and the use of e-cigarette devices are prohibited in all indoor locations within the District. Smoking and the use of e-cigarette devices are prohibited in any enclosed place of employment on campus, including lobbies, lounges, waiting areas, stairwells,

and restrooms that are a structural part of any building that is a place of employment. Smoking and the use of e-cigarette devices are prohibited in all areas of the Mission and West Valley campuses except in parking lot areas that are at least twenty-five (25) feet away from buildings and pathways.

Student Assembly

In accordance with state law, the District recognizes the right of peaceful assembly and will make facilities available for recognized staff and student groups when such assembly does not obstruct free movement of persons about the campus, the normal use of classroom buildings and facilities, and normal operations of the college or the instructional program, and when it does not jeopardize the safety of persons, lead to the destruction of property or violate the laws of the District, state, or nation.

Persons who engage in activities which violate this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action. Persons who are not members of the student body or the college and who violate this policy shall be subject to the control of public authorities.

Student Membership in Organizations

The Board of Trustees recognizes that any person qualifying for participation in classes of the Colleges shall be entitled to attend these classes, or to participate in any public performance growing out of attendance in the classes, irrespective of any affiliations which the individual may have with any organization. It is not the intention of the Board of Trustees to inject itself in any way into the relationships existing between any student enrolled in any class and the organization with which he or she is affiliated.

Student Production of Goods and Service

Students may produce services and materials for community organizations or groups only to the extent that such production furthers such students’ educational development. Care must be exercised by the administration in interpreting this policy to avoid student exploitation. 


Property of the District as well as that of individuals should be respected. Theft of any kind, the destruction and mutilation of media resource material or the equipment or buildings or grounds of the college are inconsistent with objectives of the District and good citizenship. Those engaging in vandalism are, therefore, subject to disciplinary action.