Letter to the Editor: Criminal history policy is discriminatory

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Matthew VanBemmel, Fisheries and Wildlife major

I want to bring to your attention the newest mandatory survey that Oregon State University has sent out to students. This survey requires students to fill out a survey identifying themselves as a felon or not. OSU threatens students by stating that a hold will place on their accounts if the survey is not completed. I think this is a violation of not only student right but also the rights of being a citizen of Oregon. OSU has NO business knowing whether a student is a felon or not, and I do not believe that their claim, that they will take action to help assist felons, is true. Oregon has a law that was implemented in Jan. 1, 2016 ORS 659A-360 about criminal convictions and employers. I feel that this should apply to OSU as well because the same legislation in Oregon that created this law also supports and funds public institutions such as OSU. This law should apply to OSU as well if that’s the case. I also feel that this survey is highly discriminatory towards those students who are felons and would rather forget their crimes and move on with their lives and education. The state already takes care of special felons. Any other crime that is not already taken care of by the judicial system does not matter to further your education and move on with your lives. What is stopping OSU from asking other very personal questions and requiring student to answer them as well?

Matthew VanBemmel

Studying Fisheries and Wildlife

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