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TJC considers background checks

To ensure the health and safety of dorm residents, Tyler Junior College is considering implementing background checks on housing applicants for the fall semester.

TJC’s Residential Director Angela Nunez said the college is in the process of investigating the pros and cons of background checks for dorm residents.

Background checks would let the school know exactly who and what they are dealing with by giving the school access to a student’s criminal history.

There have been no specific incidents that have happened to have the administration think about starting this process, but the new dorms have been subject to rampant vandalism.

“We are trying to increase the safety of the students, and we also see that is becoming a trend in other schools,” said Director of Marketing and Public Information Fred Peters.

Blinn College requires a background checks for their students. “We do have background checks for every student’s safety,” said Kalisa Pomy of Blinn College.

Some colleges do not do a full background check, but ask about specific felony offenses.

“We do not do a full background check on our dorm application, but we do ask if the student is a sex offender,” said the D’nese Haddox, associate director of Stephen F. Austin Residential Department.

Some feel that implementing a background check might limit some of the students who have been committed crimes and possibly make the on-campus living experience safer.”We want to make sure our residence halls are safe; there’s a great expectation for health and safety for parents and students,” said Peters.

If TJC chooses to implement the process, the form would be a part of the residential application and it would only be an authorization form asking permission from the student to perform the actual background check. The background check process would take about 48 hours to complete, so it would not affect the dorm application process. The check would also not cost the student anything more that what it has in previous semesters. The money would be taken out of the application fee of $100, according to Peters.

“One of the reasons I moved out of the dorms, besides wanting my privacy, was because of some of the fights and crime that kept happening in my dorms,” said former Bateman Hall resident Chicoya Jackson, 19.

For more information about living on campus, contact Residential Life and Housing at (903) 510-2345.

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