As awareness of campus sexual assault increases, some schools are considering adding a notation on a student’s transcript for having been punished or dismissed for sexual misconduct.
Those in support of the measure argue that academic institutions cannot take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of other students.
Some, like the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, a trade association of higher education professionals, supports the option for colleges to add a notation, but says it’s complicated knowing just how much information to include in the notation. that as an option for colleges and universities to consider.
The organization says that about 15 percent of schools engage in the practice now, and expects more to do so in the future. Some remain skeptical, citing unreliability as major concern. Laws mandating transcript notation have passed in Virginia and New York, but failed in Maryland and California. The District of Columbia is currently considering such a measure.
Should transcripts be reserved for academic notations or should universities start adding other notations for the safety of others? How beneficial could the mark actually be? How permanent should the notation be and how much information should be included? Should high school transcripts reveal information about sexual misconduct, too?
Mark Hathaway, private defense attorney in Los Angeles who has represented students and others accused of sexual misconduct
Michele Landis Dauber, helped revise Stanford’s policy on sexual assault and is a nationally-respected advocate for improving college and university policies on sexual assault. She is also a professor of Law and Sociology at Stanford University.