February 10, 2016
Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are urging the leaders of the Pac-12 Conference to consider adopting a conference-wide student conduct policy for transfer students seeking to enroll at a Pac-12 university.
In a letter to Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott the senators asked Pac-12 leaders to use an upcoming conference as an opportunity to discuss the implications of college transfer policies as they relate to campus safety, access to higher education, and fairness in how they are applied to different student populations.
The senators noted recent steps that Oregon State University has taken in an effort to address student safety by requiring transfer students to disclose whether they have been barred from re-enrolling at another university for violating student conduct codes within the past seven years. The senators pointed out that last summer the Southeastern Conference voted to implement a policy banning transfer students who were dismissed from other schools for “serious misconduct” like sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence.
The letter to Commissioner Scott from the senators said those new policies are “worthy of broader consideration as a mechanism to alleviate the rate of sexual violence on campuses and improve safety for students attending institutions of higher education”.
Pac-12 members are scheduled to meet in March according to news reports.