Lariat Letter: To Student Activities on student and organizational rights

By Brooke S. Robinson | Student Body Attorney General

Dear Baylor University Student Activities,

As a distinguished institution of higher education, it is imperative that we uphold the recognition and preservation of the rights of our students. However, I recently learned that the due process rights of our student organizations have been overlooked for an extended period.

The existing procedures for issuing cease-and-desist orders and investigations into student organizations grossly encroach upon the due process rights to which all citizens are guaranteed, as enshrined in the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Presently, organizations are ordered to act under cease-and-desist directives without notification of any charges or accusations underlying such actions. Additionally, there has been documentation that investigations into these accusations persist for extended periods, often spanning months without resolution, thereby impending the progress and contribution these organizations bring to our Baylor community.

Per the Sixth Amendment, every individual is guaranteed the right to a prompt trial and investigation, along with full disclosure of the charges and evidence that has been brought against them. While the operations of Student Activities may not mirror those of our nation’s judicial system, it is imperative that our university’s entities act in accordance with the same level of respect and dignity.

I am writing this letter to you, in my capacity as the student government attorney general, requesting that your policies and procedures be updated to ensure that our students and organizations can fully recognize their rights here on campus. As the representative of our student constitution, I am acutely aware of the necessary changes that must be made to safeguard our students. As my term ends, I anticipate the implementation of these reformed policies. Furthermore, I have advised our incoming leaders to undertake a review of our student bill of rights so that it may align with the intentions of this letter and fully protect our student body. I hope to see that with this change in guidelines, Student Activities will unequivocally recognize and honor the protected rights of our students.