VI.D. Student and Welfare Rights
VI.D.1. Student Organizations
VI.D.1.01 - Registered Student Organizations
LSCS will provide equal opportunities for all students to participate in courses, activities, and programs without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, gender, age, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or disability. Recognition of student groups shall not be denied based on the views expressed by the group. Recognition of student groups may be denied if they violate reasonable System or College rules, disrupt classes, interfere with the opportunity of other students to obtain an education, or if the Chief Student Affairs Officer and/or Chief Student Services Officer reasonably believes that the group poses a threat to the safety of others or a threat of damage or destruction to the System or College. Recognition may be withdrawn if the organization fails to comply with any System or College rules.
LSCS shall ensure that the membership policies and practices of student organizations do not permit discrimination.
VI.D.1.02 - Eligibility
A group shall be eligible for registration as a student organization at a LSCS campus, if:
- it does not deny membership to anyone on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, gender, age, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or disability;
- it has a sponsor/advisor who is a full-time employee of LSCS;
- it is not under disciplinary penalty prohibiting registration; and
- its membership is limited to currently enrolled students and LSCS faculty and staff. Alumni and LSCS faculty and staff can serve as advisers by invitation.
VI.D.1.03 - Compliance with LSCS Policies
Registered student organizations must comply with LSCS policies and procedures. The student organization's activities and programs require sponsor approval. A registered student organization is not a legal representative of LSCS or a LSCS college, unless specifically so designated, in writing, by the Location Executive Officer or his/her designee.
A registered student organization is not permitted to use LSCS’s tax exemption number for its purchases or to bind LSCS through its contracts, without written approval.
VI.D.1.04 - Violation of LSCS Policies
A registered student organization may be charged with violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The organization, along with its officers, may be held collectively and/or individually responsible for violations which occur during events sponsored by the organization. The organization, along with its officers, may be held collectively and/or individually responsible for violations committed by a person representing the organization or associated with the organization.
Sanctions for student organization misconduct may include denial or revocation of recognition as a registered student organization and any other sanction listed in the Student Code of Conduct that applies to individuals.
Investigations of student code violations will be conducted in accordance with Board Policy section VI.F.3.01.
VI.D.1.05 - Violation Appeal
A student organization held responsible for a group or individual violation may appeal the sanction in accordance with Board Policy section VI.F.6.01.
VI.D.1.06 - Sale of Taxable Items
A taxable item sold by a registered student organization, and for which the sales price is $5,000 or less, is exempted from the taxes imposed by Subchapter C of the Tax Code.
A taxable item manufactured by or donated to a registered student organization is exempt from the taxes imposed by Subchapter C of the Tax Code regardless of sales price unless sold to the donor, if the organization:
- sells the items at a sale that may last for one day only, and the primary purpose of which is to raise funds for the organization; and
- holds not more than one sale, as described above, each month for which the exemption is claimed for an item sold.
A registered student organization qualifies for the aforementioned exemptions if the organization:
- is affiliated with LSCS;
- has as its primary purpose a purpose other than engaging in business or performing an activity designed to make a profit; and
- files a certification with the State Comptroller.
A registered student organization shall file with the State Comptroller a certification issued by LSCS showing that the organization is affiliated with LSCS.
The storage, use, or consumption of a taxable item acquired tax-free under this section is exempted from the use tax imposed by Subchapter D of the Tax Code until the item is resold or subsequently transferred.
VI.D.1.07 - Raffles
LSCS shall allow the sale of tickets to a raffle by a registered student organization at LSCS facilities, subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions.
VI.D.1.08 – Student Travel
This policy will apply to travel by students to reach an activity or event that is located 25 miles or more away from the LSCS College of departure and when any of the following circumstances apply:
- The activity/event is funded by the System; or
- The travel is by vehicle owned or leased/rented by the System; or
- The activity or event is required by a registered student organization; or
- The travel is undertaken under the direction of a college, department, class (credit or non-credit), college office, study abroad program, a college-scheduled sports event or competition, or a recognized student organization or their representatives.
Travel is considered to be "funded by the System" whenever a college-maintained budget item or fund is created and used to pay part or all of the expenses associated with the activity or event. Travel is considered to be funded by the System even if the trip is arranged by an outside tour company for a college-sponsored trip and individual travelers must pay their own travel-related expenses to the travel company.
Travel is considered to be "required by a registered student organization" when the travel is a part of the organization’s official activities, including attendance and participation at conventions, workshops, athletic events, and non-athletic competitions.
This policy does not apply to purely social or optional events organized by a registered student organization or an optional course activity recommended by a faculty member.
Within five (5) business days of the activity and/or event, individuals or groups intending to travel under this policy will complete and submit the following documents to the appropriate Dean or to his/her designee, as appropriate:
- Student Travel Request Form, which must be approved by the LEO or designee; and
- Trip Plan; and
- Trip Roster; and
- The applicable Participant Release Form; and
- Authorization for Medical Treatment
Approved modes of transportation used for student travel shall include, but not limited to, commercial airlines, college-owned or leased cars or vans, and commercially owned and operated buses or vans.
A driver who is transporting students in college–owned or leased vehicles must:
- Be an employee of LSCS or be approved to transport students by the LEO or designee;
- Possess a valid driver’s license appropriate for the vehicle to be driven (a driver of a commercial motor vehicle must have a commercial driver’s license); and
- have a satisfactory driving record that was reviewed by the College within six months of the scheduled transportation of the students.
The driver shall ensure that the number of passengers does not exceed the designated capacity of the vehicle and that each passenger is secured by a seat belt. A driver shall not drive for more than three (3) consecutive hours without taking a fifteen-minute break or relief from driving.
Should private student vehicles be used for student travel, the following shall apply:
- LSCS students are not covered by LSCS vehicle insurance and cannot be LSCS approved drivers. If adult students (18 years or older) choose to drive their own private vehicle or if adult students (18 years or older) choose to ride with another adult student (18 years or older), those are personal choices.
- An LSCS employee must not arrange for students to drive other students.
- All adult student driver(s) (18 years or older) must sign a waiver explaining that when they drive their own private vehicles(s), they are responsible and that LSCS has no liability if damages occur.
- Private student vehicle accident(s) will be covered by the student's liability/comprehension insurance policy.
- In all cases where an adult student driver (18 years or older) chooses to drive/ride in private transportation, that circumstance must be described in the Travel Waiver form.
- All private adult student drivers (18 years or older) must be provided with directions to the intended destination.
The Chancellor may establish procedures to further implement this section.
LSCS Policy Manual Section IV.D.1.08 adopted by the Board of Trustees on September 6, 2012
VI.D.2. Student Welfare
VI.D.2.01 - Attendance
Student attendance in class is important for the educational experience, and students are expected to attend all classes in which they are enrolled. Each faculty member shall communicate the attendance policy to his or her classes.
VI.D.2.02 - Religious Holy Days
LSCS shall include in its catalog and official bulletins a statement regarding its attendance policies and procedures for religious holy days.
A “religious holy day” means a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20 of the Tax Code.
A student needing to be absent from class to observe a religious holy day must submit a written notice to each instructor whose class falls on that day. Written notice must be provided to the instructor no later than the second class meeting. The student may deliver the written notice personally to the instructor by receipted delivery, or in the alternative, the student may forward the written notice to the instructor by receipted courier delivery or by United States certified mail, return receipt requested, sent in enough time so as to be delivered no later than the fifteenth day after the first day of the semester.
Upon receipt of a timely written notice, the student’s attendance record will properly reflect an excused absence.
A student who is absent from classes for the observance of a religious holy day shall be allowed to complete an assignment or take an examination scheduled for that day within a reasonable time after the absence. A student who is excused under this section may not be penalized for the absence; however, the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete any missed assignment and/or examination.
If a student and an instructor disagree about the nature of the absence for the observance of a religious holy day as defined [above], or if there are similar disagreements about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the Chief Student Services Officer or his or her designee. The student and instructor shall abide by such ruling.
VI.D.2.03 - Crime/Security Reports
LSCS shall collect information with respect to campus crime statistics and campus security policies and prepare, publish and distribute an annual security report, as required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statiscas Act (Clery Act), codiied as 20 U.S.C. §1092(f), through appropriate publications, electronic media, or mailings to all current students and employees and to any applicant for enrollment or employment upon request. This report shall include the following:
- A statement of current policies concerning security of and access to campus facilities, and security considerations used in the maintenance of campus facilities.
- A statement of current policies concerning campus law enforcement, including:
- the enforcement authority of security personnel, including their working relationship with state and local police agencies, and whether those security personnel have the authority to arrest individuals; and
- the policies that encourage accurate and prompt reporting of all crimes to the campus police and the appropriate police agencies.
- A description of procedures, if any, that encourage professional counselors, when they deem it appropriate, to inform the persons they are counseling of any procedures to report crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis for inclusion in the annual disclosure of crime statistics.
- A description of the type and frequency of programs designed to inform students and employees about campus security procedures and practices and to encourage students and employees to be responsible for their own security and the security of others.
- A description of programs designed to inform students and employees about the prevention of crimes.
- Campus and community crime statistics.
VI.D.2.04 - Student Support Services
The Chancellor shall ensure that the Colleges make available to all students effective programs of student support services, including academic advising services, counseling services, skills assessment and placement services, career services, financial aid services, student enrollment services, and support services for students with disabilities.
VI.D.2.05 - Student Health Notices and Immunizations
AIDS/HIV Policy: LSCS’s policy on HIV infection and AIDS shall be included in the student handbook and be available for viewing by all new and returning students on LSCS’s website.
LSCS’s student service offices shall keep on hand for distribution to students on request the Texas Department of State Health Services’ educational pamphlet on HIV infection and shall include in the student handbook a statement that the pamphlet is available.
Bacterial Meningitis: Information on Bacterial Meningitis, including symptoms, modes of transmission, availability and efficacy of vaccination and treatment, shall be made available to all new and returning students on LSCS’s website.
Immunizations: Students in programs that require immunizations must submit proof of such immunizations.
The Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Student Success is required to report, on the day of recognition, all suspected or known cases of vaccine-preventable diseases, which occurred among staff or students, to the local health authority, the city or the county health department/district, the city or county health officer, the public health regional office, or the Texas Department of Health in Austin, thus alerting health officials to possible outbreaks of these diseases.
VI.D.2.06 - Drug and Alcohol Testing
Students and faculty in the health occupation and emergency services or child care programs may be required to undergo drug testing if there is reasonable cause to believe they may be impaired by chemical or alcohol or as required by affiliated clinical facilities.
VI.D.2.07 - Criminal Background Checks
Prior to registering in an LSCS health professions and emerging services and child development program, a student shall be required to satisfactorily complete a criminal background check to be performed by an external consumer agency selected by LSCS. The student shall sign an authorization form and pay the cost of the background check directly to the agency. Results of the background check, which shall be maintained as confidential, shall be sent directly to the program director and also to the student.
VI.D.2.08 - Legal Notice Regarding Steroids
The following notice regarding legal restrictions on steroids shall be posted in each gymnasium in LSCS:
"Anabolic steroids and growth hormones are for medical use only. State law prohibits the possession, dispensing, delivery or administering of an anabolic steroid or growth hormone in any manner not allowed by state law. State law provides that bodybuilding, muscle enhancement, or increasing muscle bulk or strength through the use of an anabolic steroid by a person who is in good health is not a valid medical purpose. Only a medical doctor may prescribe an anabolic steroid or human growth hormone for a person. A violation of state law concerning anabolic steroids or human growth hormones is a criminal offense punishable by confinement in jail or imprisonment in the Texas Department of Corrections."
VI.D.2.09 - Graduation Rates
LSCS shall produce and make readily available through appropriate publications, electronic media, or mailings to all current students, and to any prospective student upon request, the completion or graduation rates of certificate or degree-seeking, full-time students entering LSCS. The information shall be updated not less than biennially.
VI.D.3. Student Rights
VI.D.3.01 - Policy
Students retain their individual rights but assume specific responsibilities once admitted to LSCS.
VI.D.3.02 - Student Affairs Administrators
Each LSCS College shall designate an administrator to be directly responsible for student services at the college and to serve as Chief Student Services Officer.
VI.D.3.03 - Student Defined
A "student" shall mean anyone registered in or in attendance at one of LSCS’s Colleges. These policies and regulations shall also apply to any prospective or former student who has been accepted for admission or re-admission, while he or she is on the campus, or a student who intends to attend LSCS during any regular session after a period of scheduled vacation. The term student also includes individuals enrolled in non-credit classes, including but not limited to, continuing education, GED, or English as a second language (ESL).
VI.D.3.04 - Campus Defined
The "campus" of LSCS is defined as all real property over which LSCS has possession and control.
VI.D.3.05 - First Amendment Rights Retained
At all college sponsored events and at all System locations, students retain their First Amendment rights on campus, and at off-campus registered student organization events, in light of the unique character of the academic environment. Student expression that is protected by the First Amendment may not be prohibited unless, in the view of the administration, the expression will materially and substantially interfere with the operation of the college or the rights of others.
VI.D.3.06 - First Amendment – Freedom of Expression and Religion
LSCS shall take no action respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; abridging freedom of speech, or the press; the right to peaceably assemble; and to petition the Board for redress of grievances.
Activities such as distributing literature, displaying signs, petitioning for change, and disseminating information concerning issues of public concern are protected by the First Amendment.
VI.D.3.07 - Limitations on Expression
LSCS may subject student expression to prior screening under clear and reasonable regulations. LSCS may refuse to disseminate or sponsor student speech that:
- would substantially interfere with the work or mission of the System;
- impinges on the rights of other students;
- is considered obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, or indecent under applicable law;
- might reasonably be perceived as advocating drug or alcohol use, irresponsible sex, or conduct otherwise inconsistent with the shared values of the System;
- is inappropriate for the level of maturity of the readers;
- is inconsistent with the standards of quality of the System, with respect to production and form of presentation of the System;
- associates the school with any position other than neutrality on matters of political controversy or business partnership; or
- violates the intellectual property rights of others.
LSCS may prohibit expression by students if:
- it materially and substantially interferes with System activities;
- it materially and substantially interferes with the rights of other students or teachers; or
- LSCS can demonstrate reasonable cause to believe that the expression would engender such material and substantial interference.
LSCS shall not prohibit student expression solely because other students, teachers, administrators, or parents may disagree with its content.
LSCS may limit student expression in manner, place, or time by means of reasonable and uniformly applied regulations.
VI.D.3.08 - Interrogations
LSCS respects the right of student's privacy. However, LSCS officials have the authority to interrogate students on a matter to protect the overall welfare of other students, staff or other persons, or when necessary to preserve the good order and discipline of the System.
VI.D.3.09 - Searches Without Warrants
If no search warrant is obtained, System officials nonetheless have limited authority to search a student’s person or property as follows:
- any prohibited item within "plain view" is subject to seizure;
- personal property may be searched, if probable cause exists, and only if exigent circumstances justify not obtaining a search warrant;
- areas such as lockers and desks, which are owned and controlled by LSCS, may be searched by LSCS officials when they have reasonable cause to believe that stolen items or items prohibited by law or by Board policy are contained in the area to be searched; and
- stolen items and items which are forbidden by Board policy or law may be impounded and used as evidence in internal school disciplinary proceedings against the student.
Different standards may apply in the event that law enforcement authorities are involved in a search. These matters should be referred to the General Counsel of LSCS.
VI.D.3.10 - Limitations
Searches conducted on LSCS premises, with assistance from law enforcement authorities, are governed by Fourth Amendment standards.
VI.D.3.11 - Prohibited Discrimination/Harassment Policy
LSCS provides equal treatment and educational opportunities to all persons without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, gender, age, veteran's status, sexual orientation, and disability. See Section IV.F.4.
Prior Section D.3.11 repealed by virtue of adoption of Section IV.F.4. by the
Board of Trustees on December 2, 2010
VI.D.3.12 – Students with Disabilities
VI.D.3.12a - System Disability Mission Statement
LSCS believes in equal access to educational opportunities for all individuals. Therefore, LSCS endeavors to create, promote, and maintain an environment where individuals with disabilities have access to educational opportunities with minimal adaptations. This is done by:
- promoting accessibility and utilizing principles of Universal Design;
- providing exemplary service;
- establishing accountability by maintaining cost-efficient and effective services;
- developing an institutional culture of acceptance and shared ownership; and
- changing and adapting as indicated by developments in the field of disability and higher education and/or LSCS policy
VI.D.3.12b - System Policy
No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or the opportunity to participate in activities of LSCS or otherwise be subjected to discrimination by LSCS.
LSCS shall not exclude or otherwise deny the benefits of System services, programs, or activities to an individual because of a relationship or association with a qualified indivudual with a disability.
VI.D.3.12c - Definition
A "qualified individual with a disability" is an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to policies, practices or procedures, the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by LSCS.
VI.D.3.12d - Reasonable Accommodations
LSCS shall make reasonable modifications to policies and practices or procedures when the modifications are necessary to allow a qualified individual with a disability to participate as fully as possible in a program or class or enjoy the rights and privileges offered by the System, provided that the modification would not fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity, or otherwise place an undue burden on the System as provided by law.
VI.D.3.12e - Communications
LSCS shall take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with those without disabilities.
VI.D.3.12f - Auxiliary Aids and Services
LSCS shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford a qualified individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or activity conducted by LSCS. In determining what type of auxiliary aid or service is necessary, LSCS shall give primary consideration to the requests of the individual with disabilities.
VI.D.3.12g - Definition
"Auxiliary aids and services" include:
- qualified interpreters, note takers, transcription services, written materials, assistive listening devices and systems, telephone handset amplifiers, telephones compatible with hearing aids, closed caption decoders, open and closed captioning, telecommunications devices for deaf persons (TDD’s), video text displayers, or other effective methods for making orally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments;
- qualified readers, taped texts, audio recordings, Braille materials, large print materials, or other effective methods for making visually delivered material available to individuals with visual impairments;
- acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and
- other similar services and actions.
VI.D.3.12h - Notice
LSCS shall make available to applicants, participants, beneficiaries and other interested persons information regarding the provisions of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, and its applicability to the services, programs or activities of LSCS. The information shall be made available in such manner as required by law to apprise such persons of the protections against discrimination assured them by the ADA.
VI.D.3.12i - Disability Services Provider
LSCS shall designate at least one employee per college to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title II of the ADA, as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, including prescribing and coordinating accommodations and services.
LSCS shall make available to all interested individuals the name, office address and telephone number of the employee(s) so designated and shall adopt and publish procedures for the prompt and equitable implementation of said accommodations/services, as indicated under the ADA, as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
VI.D.3.12j - Eligibility and Documentation
A student requesting accommodations for a disability is required to provide documentation of the disability to the college’s designated office for disability services. The documentation is required for the following three purposes:
- to establish the individual's eligibility under the ADA, as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.;
- to establish the need for accommodations in order to have equal access; and
- to determine appropriate reasonable accommodations
In order for a student with a disability to receive accommodations, that student is required to register for services through the college’s designated office for disability services. If possible, the student requesting services should make an initial contact with the College’s designated office the semester prior to enrollment—at least 4 weeks prior to the first class.
VI.D.3.12k - Student Rights and Responsibilities
A student with a disability has a right to an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from services, programs, or activities offered at LSCS. To ensure an efficient working relationship with the College’s designated office for disability services, students are urged to take an active role in applying for reasonable accommodations. To protect this right, a LSCS student with a disability:
- has a responsibility to identify himself/herself as needing an accommodation preferably prior to enrollment;
- has a responsibility to provide documentation of disability to the College’s designated office for disability services;
- has a responsibility to actively participate in the search for accommodations and auxiliary aids;
- has a responsibility to notify faculty of his/her accommodation needs;
- has the same obligation as any student to meet and maintain the System's academic and technical standards and code of conduct;
- has a right to be evaluated based on his/her ability, not disability;
- is entitled to an equal opportunity to learn;
- is entitled to an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the academic community, including access to services, extracurricular activities, and transportation at a comparable level as that provided to any other student; and
- has a right to appeal the System's decisions concerning accommodations, first internally, by pursing the College’s complaint process available to student with equal opportunity complaints, and then externally, by filing a complaint with the regional Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education or through the Civil Court system.
VI.D.3.12l - Confidentiality
Records related to disability are considered to be highly confidential, as indicated in federal guidelines. The purpose of such confidentiality is to protect the student from discrimination on the basis of disability as well as to ensure the non-release of his/her medical records except as needed to provide educational services.
The College’s designated office for disability services is responsible for collecting and maintaining these records in a secure, separate file and is considered part of the student' educatio record. Only office personnel have direct access to these files.
Disability-related information should be shared only when necessary, and then only limited information shall be shared. Information is to be shared on a need to know basis. In the interest of serving the needs of the student, the provision of services may involve the college's designated office for disability services disclosing disability information provided by the student to appropriate System personnel participating in the accommodation process. Information may be disclosed to approprate parties in a health or safety emergency if knowledge of the informatiaon is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.
VI.D.3.12m - Process for Reconsideration of Accommodations
Students with disabilities may request reconsideration of the reasonable accommodations that have been prescribed by the college’s designated office for disability services on an informal basis by scheduling an appointment with the office to review the prescribed accommodations. Typically, requests for consideration of revising accommodations should be made within the first two weeks of the accommodation being offered or denied. However, there are occasions where the need to revise the accommodations may not become apparent until later in the semester. If this should occur, the College’s designated office for disability services should review the student’s request, review the supporting disability documentation, and make revisions if appropriate. If additional information is required before a decision can be made regarding the appropriateness of the requested revision, the office may temporarily provide the requested accommodation for a specified period of time if deemed appropriate. The student may pursue a formal grievance process at any time under Board Policy Section IV.F.4.01.
There may be occasions where it is necessary for the College’s designated office for disability services to consult with the faculty member in order to determine which accommodations are reasonable for a specific class. Decisions about reasonable accommodations should be made on a case-by-case basis and should take into account the essential elements (as documented in Core Competencies, learning outcomes, etc.) of each class as well as the impact of the disability on the individual student.
Faculty members should consult with the College’s designated office for disability services, not the student, if there are questions about the designated accommodations.
VI.D.3.13 Access to Information and Technology for Individuals with Disabilities
In compliance with Texas Government Code §2054.451 et seq. LSCS shall, in developing, procuring, maintaining, or using electronic and information resources, ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to and the use of information and technology comparable to the access and use available to System employees without disabilities, unless it would impose a significant difficulty or expense to the System.
The home page of LSCS’s Web site and key public entry points shall include an “Accessibility” or “Site Policies” link to Web pages that contain LSCS’s accessibility policy, site validation (e.g., Section 508), contact information for LSCS’s designated accessibility coordinator, and a link to the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities website:
Also See Section IV - Human Resources, Subsection 8 - Intellectual Property D.8.02, D.8.03 and D.8.04
LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on December 1, 2011