If students at Maryland universities drop out because of a sexual offense conviction, it would be included on their official transcript under a proposed bill.
Lawmakers and universities across the country are grappling with how to deal with sexual assault on college campuses. Meanwhile, members of Maryland's General Assembly are considering legislation that would make sexual misconduct part of a student's academic record.
If students are suspended or expelled, or if they drop out because of a conviction of a sexual offense, it would be included on their official transcript under a bill being pushed by Montgomery County Del. Maricé Morales.
The measure covers cases that are investigated by campus authorities, and colleges and universities aren't too thrilled with it. But Morales argues her bill would encourage student victims of sex offenses to report them, because there would be real consequences for the accused if they're found guilty.
"Higher education institutions are charged with providing a safe environment for people to go to school. And if the argument is we're going to be truncating the accused's future, well we are not in the business of taking care of rapists," Morales says. "And if they are perpetual offenders, society is better off without them going to another school."
All schools that report to the Maryland Higher Education Commission would be under the mandate if the bill is approved. That not only includes all public universities in the Maryland state system, but most community colleges and several private schools like Johns Hopkins, too.