Lawmaker attempting to make college campuses safer

Reported by: Caitlin Napoleoni
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Updated: 3/22/2013 8:16 pm
A bill filed in the senate would help keep student housing doors closed for ineligible students by allowing background checks by colleges. Sean Dugan, Managing Director of University Student Housing said this would allow for them to have more information when reviewing applicants.

"The new bill just gives housing organizations access to information that's out there," he said.

The information would only be available to the campus chief of police and the housing office. Texas Tech already as a strict rule against convicted felons living on campus.

"As part of our housing application, students have to designate if they have been convicted. And if they are, then they're not allowed to live on campus," said Dugan. The University already has a system in place, so background checks would simply provide an added measure of safety.

Some students don't think it's necessary.

Student, Morgan McKinney said ""I feel like it would make it safer, but I never felt unsafe when I lived in the dorms."

Others don't think it would hurt.

Student, Stephen Chamiok said "a background check i guess could give some insight on you know, people's history."

"I think it'd be a good thing, you know. You don't want to live by somebody who might have a kind of sketchy past you know. And you not know it," said Mark Smith, also a student at Tech.

"There are a lot problems here with like, drug usage and alcohol in the dorms. If people were required to pass a background check that might be less because it will be less people with histories of using drugs and alcohol," said Megan Miglioretto who lives in the dorms at Tech.

Dugan said Tech's stringent application process has kept housing issues like this to a minimum.

"And housing on campus is serving mostly traditionally aged students from 18 to 21.  And so a lot of times those students don't have backgrounds to be investigating," he added.

Dugan also said schools that have a larger non traditional student population might benefit from this legislation more.
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