Wyden, Merkley Urge Pac-12 to Address Student Transfer Policies to Promote Campus Safety

Washington, D.C. – In response to recent steps taken by colleges and athletic conferences to promote safety on campus, Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged the leaders of the Pac-12 Conference to consider adopting a conference-wide student conduct policy for transfer students seeking to enroll at a Pac-12 university.

In a letter to Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, the senators urged Pac-12 leaders to use an upcoming conference meeting as an opportunity to discuss the implications of college transfer policies as they relate to campus safety, access to higher education and fairness in how they are applied to different student populations.  

The senators noted recent steps Oregon State University has taken in an effort to address student safety by requiring transfer students to disclose whether they have been barred from re-enrolling at another university for violating student conduct codes within the past seven years. 

Additionally, last June, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) voted to implement a policy banning transfer students who were dismissed from other schools for “serious misconduct,” which the SEC defines as, “sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence.”

“These new transfer policies are worthy of broader consideration as a mechanism to alleviate the rate of sexual violence on campuses and improve safety for students attending institutions of higher education,” the senators wrote in the letter.  

“We believe transfer student athlete policies should be carefully considered and balanced to ensure due process for all implicated students and contain appropriate safeguards and assurances that they do not deter access for students that pose no safety threats.”

Pac-12 members are scheduled to meet in March, according to news reports.

Read the full letter here