Requiring Colleges & Universities to Keep a File of Fraternity and Sorority Member Investigations

UPDATE: The bill has been amended to limit the report to actual instances of violations of the institution’s student code of conduct. The report would include both organizational violations and student violations, but without reporting the names of the student. While the bill still presents concerns related to state micromanagement of university policy and disciplinary matters, this amendment resolves the privacy concerns.

H.4521 requires all institutions of higher learning to keep a report of investigations of misconduct, both institution-based and public, for each member of a fraternity or sorority. The report must include information on all citations, complaints, investigations, hearings, and resolutions. The report cannot include personal identifying information of parties to the investigations. The reports must be updated weekly and must be made available to the public upon request and post on the institution’s website. The Commission on Higher Education would be responsible for enforcing this law.

Simply put, this bill is a violation of both privacy rights and the proper role of government. A file available to the public of every incident, including simple accusations, holds great potential for damage to the student. For the state to mandate it is both micromanaging school policy and violating the privacy of the students. How to deal with student misconduct should be at the discretion of the university or college, unless it is a public offence, in which case the criminal justice system is fully capable of handling it.

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