University officials, in response to recent sexual assault charges filed against three former TCU athletes, indicate they are exploring ways to more closely scrutinize applicants in the admissions process for possible criminal histories – and they should.The Skiff recently published a story that revealed two athletes had pleaded guilty to felony charges prior to enrolling at TCU. The Skiff’s findings reveal that the admissions application needs to be fine-tuned to require all applicants – not just athletes – to disclose not only felony convictions but all instances of pleading guilty to or being charged with felony crimes.
The board of trustees and alumni pour millions of dollars into TCU with one goal in mind – to build the reputation of TCU. Therefore, alumni and trustees should be aware of the criminal pasts or adverse activities of the students they are supporting.
Every applicant, freshman or transfer, should be subject to a background check. University officials continue to raise tuition, and students and parents continue to pay upward of $25,000 a year to TCU – a campus students and their families consider to be a safe environment for college-age individuals. It is in everyone’s interest to resolve these issues prior to the commitment of resources by the university, alumni, students and families.
In order to fulfill these expectations, TCU should require applicants to submit and satisfactorily complete a background check review as a condition to admission into TCU. An offer of admission should not be final until the completion of the background check with results deemed favorable. The means to perform background checks are fairly inexpensive.
University officials have no way of protecting students from every security threat society presents, but they can and should eliminate loopholes that can be fixed quickly and inexpensively.
Editor in Chief Amy Hallford for the editorial board.