Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The UNH Student Bill of Rights

Here at UNH, we have the infamous student rulebook known as the "Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities" handbook.

Other than the "Academic Honesty" portion of every professor's syllabus, which usually quotes or references the portion on plagiarism (section 09, pages 22 and 23), you have probably never actually read the handbook. It discusses all the rules governing UNH students – what we can and cannot do, including rules on alcohol, dorms, academic policies and other subjects.

I've skimmed through the handbook a few times to brush up on various rules to keep my columns accurate, and one thing bothered me. Probably because I am an American history nerd, I was depressed to see that there wasn't a section labeled the "UNH Student Bill of Rights" that took the original Bill of Rights and adjusted it to life at UNH. So, because I have nothing better to do, I did that on my own.

The First Amendment protects the student's right to drink any beer or alcohol you please without persecution, even Keystone Light. This also provides us with the right to make drunken statements without consequences, including but not limited to drunken texts, Facebook messages and tweets. This amendment also prohibits UNH from establishing any law prohibiting students of age not to drink as they please.

Finally, the First Amendment allows for students to assemble a party as they please or to congregate in the downtown area provided that the students remain peaceful.

The Second Amendment provides students with the right to always have a room full of alcohol, and states that the right to bear a flask at all times shall not be infringed. This amendment also allows students to have a separate fridge for bearing excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages.

The Third Amendment gives students the protection of quartering a roommate's girlfriend or boyfriend for an extended period of time. No girlfriend or boyfriend may stay over without consent of one's roommate(s).

The Fourth Amendment provides students with the right to say "no" and deny any police's request to look into one's backpack. Police must have permission, and many students do not realize that "no" is an option.

The Fifth Amendment is famous for the double jeopardy clause. Here at UNH it is simple, and more of a rule than a right – don't go home with the same girl you meet on Libby's dance floor twice. It also gives students the right to not give details of the previous night's activities, especially if beer goggles were involved.

The Sixth Amendment provides students with the right to take a class that will result in a speedy or easy "A." Making Babies and Germs are perfectly acceptable classes for filling out one's schedule.

The Seventh Amendment provides students with the right to intervene with another friend's beer goggles experience. It also provides students with the right to intervene with a drunken roommate in general, for his or her own protection or the protection of someone else.

The Eighth Amendment rules that if a class is 120 minutes or longer and the professor does not allow for a minimum of a five minute break, it shall be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

Purposely making loud noises to annoy a hung over roommate shall also be considered cruel and unusual, but still humorous nonetheless.

The Ninth Amendment provides students with the right to not be fined, suspended, arrested or expelled for something not in the "Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities" handbook. This amendment also prohibits certain employees from making rules outside of their jurisdiction. For example, let's say a Housing employee cannot threaten students with an arrest or suspension for going downtown.

The Tenth Amendment states that all powers not delegated by the "Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities" handbook, nor prohibited by the university or the Town of Durham, are reserved to the students.

There you have it, UNH's first (not really) official Student Bill of Rights. Feel free to cut or print this out and keep it on you at all times. It won't actually protect you from anything, but at the very least it could be used to start a fire if you think any of your rights are infringed upon. Am I right, UMass?

Stay classy, not UMassy

1 comment:

  1. If you can get to Union Leader Feb. 10 front page, good article about 10th amendment for free assembly. You might like it. Especially since telling students they can't go downtown was Nazi.