Lawmaker proposes background checks for on-campus students - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Lawmaker proposes background checks for on-campus students

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Thousands of students each year apply to live on-campus at the University of Houston. That process could become more selective if a new senate bill is approved in Austin.

Republican State Senator Tommy Williams, from The Woodlands, authored SB-146.

It would allow university Police Chiefs and Housing Directors access to the Texas DPS database to check on any pending charges a student has on their record.

"Currently they only have access to the public site which only lists convictions," said Williams. He says he presented the bill after hearing about crimes committed by students who live on-campus across universities in Texas.

"There's a real heightened sense of we need to make sure we are doing all we can to keep students at our public schools and universities safe," he said.

At the University of Houston some students who live on campus think the bill is a good idea.

"I would love to know that I'm safe and the person living next to me or on top or below me is not, you know, a criminal," said Melissa Hoang, a first year student at U of H.

But not everyone thinks the bill is 100% fair to incoming students who may have made a mistake in the past.

"As far as like someone who is trying to improve their lives and make it better for their lives, that's not totally fair for them at all," said U of H Senior Silver Enyinnia.

The bill, Williams says, would not affect the student's ability to enroll for classes, only whether they can live on-campus. For Hoang it's a move she says her parents would also appreciate.

"Especially when I'm a girl, I'm 10 hours away from home so they would feel more safe about it," she said.

The bill still has to pass the Texas House before it goes to Governor Perry to sing into law.

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