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"Time for a Bill of Rights"

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"Time for a Bill of Rights"


Student activities
College student newspapers and periodicals--Law and legislation


Letter to the editor advocating for a Student Bill of Rights at MWC.


Mello, Michael A.


The Bullet


HIST 298, University of Mary Washington




The materials in this online collection are held by Special Collections, Simpson Library, University of Mary Washington and are available for educational use. For this purpose only, you may reproduce materials without prior permission on the condition that you provide attribution of the source.


300 dpi






Fredericksburg, VA

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Time for a Bill of Rights

The SA Constitution, which is presently under revision, should contain a clear definition of the rights and privileges guaranteed to MWC students. The inclusion of a Student Bill of Rights within the Constitution would have one overwhelming advantage over the present situation by making explicit the rights which we already have. Present ambiguities in crucial aspects of MWC life would be clarified. This Bill of Rights should include the following provision:

A. Free inquiry, expression and assembly are guaranteed to all students and shall not be abridged. Discussion and expression of all views is permitted within the institution subject only to requirements for maintenance of order.

B. The right of students, living in residence halls, to be secure in their persons, living quarters, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be abridged.

C. Students have the right to due process of law in all matters concerning discipline or status as members of the College community. No disciplinary sanctions may be imposed on any student without notice to the accused of the nature and cause of the charges, and a fair hearing which shall include confrontation of witnesses against him.

D. Organizations may be established within the institution for any legal purpose. Affiliation with an extramural organization shall not, in itself, disqualify the institution branch or chapter from institution privileges. Membership lists shall be confidential and solely for the use of the organization except that names and addresses may be required as a condition of access to College funds.

E. The student media is to be free of censorship. The editors and managers shall not be arbitrarily suspended because of student, faculty, administration, alumni, or community disapproval of editorial policy or content. This freedom entails a corollary obligation under the cannons of responsible journalism and applicable regulations of the FCC.

F. Students have the same rights of privacy as any other citizens and surrender none of these rights by becoming members of the academic community. These rights of privacy extend to residence hall living. The institution is neither arbiter nor enforcer of student morals. Social morality, not in violation of a public law, is of no disciplinary concern to the institution.

These provisions were presented to the MWC student body in November, 1970. The Bill of Rights was based on an American Bar Association/Law Student Division report. It was ratified by the students by a vote of 1,447 to 43, only to be shelved by Chancellor Grellet Simpson. The time has come for a re-introduction of a Student Bill of Rights.



Original Format


Contributor of the Digital Item

Kowalewski, Carolyn

Student Editor of the Digital Item

Williams, Megan




Mello, Michael A., “"Time for a Bill of Rights",” HIST298, accessed January 16, 2021, http://hist298.umwhistory.org/items/show/23.