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Colleges And Universities Could Start Doing DPS Background Checks For Student Housing

dorm room- flickr user justin harter.jpg
Flickr user Justin Harter

Lawmakers at the state capitol are hoping to give colleges and universities the ability to conduct DPS background checks for students living on campus.

Currently many colleges conduct public background checks on students seeking on-campus housing, but some college administrators don't believe they go far enough. Edward Williams, who works in residential life at Kilgore College in East Texas, testified in favor in the bill.

"The passage of SB 146 will allow us to move further into the picture of that student and allow us to see the cases against a student and those that are pending," Williams said.

Currently a school or organization requires permission from the legislature in order to conduct DPS criminal background checks beyond what the general public can see.

Williams said he understand how banning a student because of a pending case could be alarming.

"I know there is a concern that folks are innocent until proven guilty and I certainly believe in that, but when there is a pattern of behavior in position like I have, that person could cause problems, will cause problem. My suggestion to them is go to your attorney," Williams said.

Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, authored the bill, with a companion bill in House being carried by Rep. Lois Kolkorst, R-Brenham.  Both bills were left pending in committee.