OSU announces policy requiring students to self-report felony co - KPTV - FOX 12

OSU announces policy requiring students to self-report felony convictions, sex offender status

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Oregon State University (FOX 12 file image) Oregon State University (FOX 12 file image)

Oregon State University has announced a new policy requiring students to self-report past felony convictions and registered sex offender status before enrolling in fall 2018 classes.

The policy applies to new and continuing OSU students.

“The purpose of this self-disclosure policy is not to prevent students with these histories from enrolling, but rather to support the safety of the OSU community, and to support these students’ success as they progress through their education onto graduation,” said OSU President Ed Ray.

The decision comes after a report last year revealed OSU baseball pitcher Luke Heimlich was a registered sex offender after pleading guilty to molesting a 6-year-old girl when he was a teenager.

Heimlich had been named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, but decided not to accompany the Beavers to the College World Series following the release of the report, citing distractions to teammates, turmoil for his family and “even more unwanted attention to an innocent young girl.”

The university sent out a note to students, faculty and staff addressing the issue last June, but did not reference the case in announcing the new policy Thursday.

The new policy was recommended by a task force that Ray charged last year to review OSU’s admission and attendance policies for prospective students with prior criminal histories. The task force was made up of representatives from faculty, students and university administrative offices.

“This policy is not about this university’s public image,” Ray said. “It is about serving OSU’s educational mission, supporting student success and prioritizing community safety. This policy and all of my decisions always will be in alignment with Oregon State’s mission, values and commitments."

The university already requires students to self-disclose certain felonies to live in a residence hall. As well, full criminal history checks with law enforcement agencies are required for employment or volunteering in sensitive university programs, such as working with minors.

Steve Clark, OSU vice president for university relations and marketing, said the university receives reports from Oregon State Police regarding registered sex offenders attending OSU and precludes those students from living in the residence halls or working with minors.

Some university programs do not accept students with certain felony histories, such as counseling programs in the College of Education and programs in the College of Pharmacy.

Going forward, a university committee will conduct a confidential case-by-case review of each of the self-disclosing students’ situations.

Clark said OSU’s dean of student life then will determine any extracurricular engagement and participation limitations or requirements needed for safety involving a self-disclosed student. The dean also will provide support to self-disclosed students in their engagement activities.

Clark also said OSU’s director of public safety periodically will meet individually with each self-disclosed student.

“Where there is not a safety risk posed by the student participating in an activity, OSU will support the student’s participation in programs and activities, and their success,” Clark said. 

For more information, go to leadership.oregonstate.edu

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