September 20, 2016
ALBANY –Last week we reported that SUNY was no longer checking students criminal backgrounds on college applications, and State Senator Catharine Young (R, Olean) condemned the university system’s decision to change its longstanding policy. “In response to the SUNY Board of Trustees’ actions taken on Wednesday, September 14, to no longer include a box on the student application to indicate felony convictions, Senator Young has introduced legislation requiring the state’s higher education system to return to screening applicants for such violations. She also has drafted a letter to the SUNY Board of Trustees condemning the policy change and urging them to reconsider. Students should have a basic expectation that their college environment is safe, and parents should not have to worry when they send their kids off to school. The state Legislature has passed several initiatives in recent years aimed at reducing instances of sexual assault and violence on campus. This policy change flies in the face of our efforts, and has the potential to allow rapists and other violent felons to be present on campuses, unbeknownst to those around them, or those in charge,” said Senator Young.
“SUNY should be focused on providing the best educational setting possible. This new policy violates the trust that is placed in SUNY system. My legislation reinstates this long-standing requirement and ensures that university officials know an applicant’s full personal history when making a decision regarding admittance,” said Senator Young.