September 15, 2016
ALBANY, NY – State Senator Cathy Young, (R, Olean) is opposed to a new policy that was announced today by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Here’s part of the governor’s announcement:
“I commend the SUNY Board of Trustees for acting today to remove questions about a prospective student’s criminal history from admissions applications. I directed SUNY leadership to carefully examine this issue, because re-entry reform is a priority for my administration. We must help individuals who have served their time to move past their mistakes.
“Research shows that a majority of candidates who are asked to disclose prior felony convictions on SUNY admissions applications do not complete the process. This has a particularly negative impact on applicants of color as a result of racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
“I also commend the Board of Trustees for recognizing that questions about a student’s prior felony offenses can be relevant to some aspects of the college experience. Under the reasoned proposal adopted by the Trustees, schools will be permitted to inquire about prior convictions on applications for campus housing, or participation in study-abroad or other specialized programs, and each will go through a careful, individualized assessment.
Senator Young’s response was posted on Facebook:
Allowing rapists and other violent felons to live in college dorms and be on campus? This policy change is outrageous and dangerous. SUNY should not allow sex offenders and other criminals convicted of violent felonies on campus. Students and parents should have a basic expectation that colleges they will have policies in place to keep them safe. This harebrained new policy violates that trust. I am introducing legislation to REQUIRE screening of college applicants for violent felony convictions, and writing a strong letter to the SUNY Board of Trustees.
Sen. Young says she’s working on fighting this. “This harebrained new policy violates that trust. I am introducing legislation to REQUIRE screening of college applicants for violent felony convictions, and writing a strong letter to the SUNY Board of Trustees”