Rewriting Student Rights

Matthew Park

 With student safety becoming a regular area of concern on this campus, it has become clear to Whittier College students that their rights are now more important than ever.  

For the past several weeks, sophomore Social Justice Chair Eryn Wells and the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) have been collaborating with Associate Dean of Students Josh Hartman and ASWC president Amer Rashid to create a Student Bill of Rights for Whittier College. If passed, this will be the first time in school history that a Student Bill of Rights has existed at Whittier College.

A Student Bill of Rights is a document that will clearly outline the rights of every student which are written in the Code of Conduct in a more clear and concise manner.  

The objective of this bill is to ensure that everyone on campusclearly understands their rights as a Whittier College student.  “[This bill will be] a legally binding document that students can refer to when they feel that their rights are being jeopardized,” Rashid said. 

At the moment, examples of rights to be included in the bill are student privacy, the right to assemble peacefully, freedom of speech, and the right to a safe learning environment.  Many of the rights to be included in the bill address concerns that students have expressed over the last four years.  

Initially thought to be a two-to-three week process, the drafting of this bill has taken longer than originally anticipated.  Currently at a length of 16 pages, the bill is expected to grow after Wells and the SJC have received feedback from administration, who they will continue to work with during Jan Term.

  The bill’s final draft is expected to be completed by the start of Spring semester, where ASWC will host a “Bill of Rights Convention” to present the final draft and will allow the entire student body to formally join the discussion. 

 For now, students are urged to voice their opinions and give suggestions for the bill by emailing the SJC at