Midland College students possess rights and responsibilities to help them succeed and feel comfortable while attending the school, according to Rita Nell Diffie, vice president of student services.
The MC catalog, which is available on the MC website, lists the obligations and rights of students granted by the college’s Board of Trustees.
If a student has a complaint or question involving his or her rights as an MC student, he or she is directed to report to the Student Services office located in the Scharbauer Student Center. “There are all kinds of reasons they (students) might have a complaint,” Diffie said. “It could be an academic issue, it could be a student involvement issue, it could be a residential life issue. There are all types of things.”
Due process includes all the rights of a student involving discrimination, disciplinary action, final grades and denial of admission.
A student experiencing any difficulty with due process should report to the SS office so that he or she can be assisted in taking the next step.
“You can always come to me,” Diffie said. “That’s not an issue at all. I am always open to help any student.”
Due process may involve a hearing if the student feels it is necessary. “Some (students) have already made all the steps,” Diffie said. “They’ve gone to the instructor, they’ve gone to the dean and they’re still not satisfied and then they come to me. I can walk them through what a due process hearing involves.”
During a hearing, a student and the opposing party have the chance to tell their side of the story to a neutral panel who will then make the determination on whether there needs to be a change or if the results should stand they currently are.
The panel members ask both parties questions before any decision is made.
Students are granted an advocate who will prepare them for the hearing.
For a student having a problem with a grade, he or she may be able to receive an appeal.
“The grade appeal is very similar to the other (due) process,” Diffie said. “If a student is having a problem with a grade, they might want to talk to the instructor first.”
There are students who are aware of their rights and do seek assistance when a problem occurs.
“I like the idea that if I’m not happy with a grade, I am able to sit down and talk to the professor about it,” said MC Student Marla Wilson. “But if they won’t cooperate, I can go to the dean and actually get something accomplished.”
Other issues concern students.
“I feel that since I’m in college, I should be able to voice my opinion (in and out of class) without getting in trouble for it,” Wilson said. “You also get to wear what you want.”
Students who live in the residence halls plead for less strict check-in times and possible possession of pets.
“We get to leave whenever we want, but we shouldn’t have to check in after a certain time,” Wilson said. “Some of the students neglect to clean their rooms as it is, so I’m okay with not having pets because I know some students wouldn’t take care of them the way they need to be.”