SECTION 6: Student Responsibilities
6.1 Students’ Code of Responsibilities
6.1.1 A Community of Scholars
The Faculty of Arts at the University of Manitoba defines itself as a community of scholars, all citizens of which must commit themselves to the advancement of learning, the dissemination of knowledge, and the well-being of all its members. Essential to these goals is each individual’s commitment to the following values:
The affirmation of the dignity, worth, and equality of all citizens in the community;
The importance of reasoned debate and inquiry in all academic pursuits;
The practise of ethical conduct and personal integrity in all aspects of academic life.
Students who enrol in the Faculty of Arts voluntarily choose to join this community of scholars, and in doing so they accept the responsibilities as well as the benefits of living within it.
The Faculty of Arts offers its students remarkable opportunities for the acquisition of knowledge, the development of skills, and the free exchange of ideas that will shape their future lives. The scholarly community also provides a forum for extra-curricular activities, personal growth and social relationships that are equally important to one’s sense of fulfilment. This should be an exciting process of discovering new goals, new points of view, and, indeed, a new and better sense of one’s ideals and potential. But it is also a process of coming to recognize the value and special nature of the academic community itself.
The dynamic freedom of student life in the Faculty of Arts carries a special obligation that each individual act in such a way as to promote the well-being of other members — to accept willingly the categorical imperative of behaving in such a way that, if everyone else did the same, the good of all would prevail. This is a matter of accepting the differences of others, respecting the rights of others, and not abusing the resources that the faculty and the university put at your disposal. It is also a matter of acting honourably in all personal and academic relationships, and not tolerating through diffidence or neglect any violations of such obligations on the part of others. Our common commitment as citizens of the scholarly community will then work to enhance every individual member’s experience and likelihood of success. Only with such a commitment from everyone can the Faculty of Arts fulfil its mission at the core of a public institution charged with educating the leaders of tomorrow’s society. And only with such a commitment can we make wise use of the public funds for which we are accountable.
6.1.2 Rights and Responsibilities
As a student in the Faculty of Arts you are entitled to the use of all appropriate resources (human and other) for the successful completion of your studies. But you are also responsible for the use of those resources in a manner that is honest, fair and equitable. For example, when you enrol in a course you implicitly accept the terms of a contract whereby the professor is committed to teaching to the best of his/her ability, while you and the other students are committed to learning to the best of yours. Repeated absences, or the neglect of reading or writing assignments, are not just matters of individual concern; because they undermine the effectiveness of discussion for others as well, they are a failure to honour the academic and social contract that is implicitly a part of your membership in this community. Similarly, borrowing a book from the library is a direct commitment to honour the rules and regulations governing the circulation of such material. To damage a library book by writing in it, highlighting, or worse, is not just an act of individual vandalism; it is the wilful partial destruction of a resource that other students (and even other generations of students) have the right and the need to consult. It is to forget, in other words, that public property is not no one’s property; it is everyone’s property.
Similar obligations to ethical conduct are an inherent part of all the academic work you do as requirements of your program. Participation in the free exchange of ideas, upon which the scholarly community depends, obligates all members of that community to complete honesty and to adequate documentation of their intellectual debts. Plagiarism, the representing of someone else’s words or ideas as your own, or any other form of academic dishonesty such as cheating, is a betrayal not just of individual honour, but of the whole basis of civilized discourse upon which all other members of the community depend.
The Manitoba Code of Human Rights guarantees everyone the right to be free of discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, age, ancestry, religion, family status, physical or mental handicap, and political beliefs. The rights and responsibilities of students thus go well beyond the classroom, library, or computer facility. Every student in the Faculty of Arts is at all times entitled to pursue his/her activities and program of study free of any social discrimination, harassment, exploitation or abuse of power on the part of others, staff or students. Consequently, every student also has a reciprocal obligation to act in a similarly ethical fashion toward all other members of the community. In order that we all be fully empowered to take advantage of the pursuit of knowledge, the development of skills and the special opportunities for personal growth offered by the faculty, there must be on everyone’s part a commitment to avoid irresponsible behaviour that damages the academic potential or self-esteem of others.
6.1.3 Rules and Regulations
It is the intention of the Faculty of Arts to discourage any conduct that is detrimental to the welfare of the scholarly community and its individual members. In this Undergraduate Calendar there are many regulations governing the expectations and standards of academic work in the faculty, and there are mechanisms of appeal at the department and faculty level for those who feel that the application of these regulations has been unfair or unjust. There are also rules and regulations governing the use of university resources and facilities, and others governing the social conduct of members of the community — for example, a policy on sexual harassment and a policy banning weapons from campus. Any violations of these rules and regulations should be reported to the appropriate administrative agency or authority (e.g., the director of Libraries, the sexual harassment investigation officer or the Security Services). It must be remembered, too, that all federal, provincial and municipal laws (regarding, for example, violence, alcohol, and drugs) are enforced on campus.
There are, however, some kinds of behaviour that fall between these academic and legal concerns, which are nevertheless inappropriate in the context of an academic community. Any disruptive action or physically or verbally aggressive behaviour that serves to threaten or intimidate another member of the community (staff or student) should be immediately reported to the relevant head of department or dean. Persons who are found to have violated the rights of other individuals, or to have subverted the welfare of the academic community, will face disciplinary action, which may include expulsion from the faculty. It is important to recognize, though, that such discipline is always less effective than a common commitment to respect the rights of others.
The foregoing statement of responsibilities applies to all student members of the Faculty of Arts. Faculty members and support staff are governed by a number of university, Senate and faculty policies that set out similar standards of ethical and professional conduct. This code is meant to give the students in the Faculty of Arts a sense of the relation that exists between their rights and their responsibilities and how these rights and responsibilities in turn sustain the welfare of the whole academic community.
6.2 General Responsibilities
Every effort is made to ensure that students in the Faculty of Arts have access to sound information and individual advice and guidance. Within this context and within the framework of faculty and department requirements indicated above, students are personally responsible for course selection and conforming to regulations regarding continuation in, and graduating from, the three undergraduate programs.
Students should take special care to ensure:
That each time they register that the courses they choose meet all requirements for graduation;
• That the courses they choose meet prerequisite conditions;
• That the courses they choose are not exclusions of, or the equivalent of, other courses already taken;
• The accuracy of their registration records, including all changes; and
• That they have noted and are following all deadlines and procedures published in the Calendar and elsewhere.
A copy of the Policy on Disclosure and Security of Student Academic Records is available for students to read in the Faculty of Arts General Office.