Texas Colleges and Universities Authorized to Perform Background Checks on Future Dorm Dwellers
- By Ginger Hill
- Aug 05, 2013
As the battle over campus security continues, Governor Rick Perry has authorized Texas colleges and universities to dig deep into student’s backgrounds, so deep in fact, that institutions of higher education can now access the Department of Public Safety’s website for official information before allowing students to live on campus.
Although these student background checks are optional, allowing each institution to make their own choice, Grayson College, among a list of other Texas colleges and universities, is requiring students for the fall 2013 semester to go through a background check, if applying to live in Viking Residence Hall.
Police Chief Andrew Macpherson commented, regarding the college’s students, “They live here. They’re here 24/7 just like us. So, our primary goal is to make sure they have a safe environment to live in no matter how we do it.”
The state website will show pending charges and convictions on each student, if they occurred in the state of Texas. Yet, crimes committed in other states will not be disclosed nor will the records of out-of-state students and international students.
“Hopefully this will open the door to allow that [the checking of student’s backgrounds from all states and internationally]. And, I’m hoping we can get that done soon,” Macpherson stated.
Each campus’ police chief and/or housing officer are the only ones approved to access student criminal records, and the criminal history of each person cannot be released or disclosed to anyone, except by court order or with individual consent. And, according to legislation, each criminal history record is required to be destroyed after the academic semester begins.
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.