Lawmakers introduce campus crime bills

Both state and federal legislators have introduced bills in the last fewmonths to increase the availability of information about certain crimesand criminals on college campuses.

Legislatures in both California and Tennessee are considering billsthat would require convicted sex offenders enrolled at colleges or universitiesto register with campus officials.

The California bill (AB 4) would require all sex offenders to registerwith campus police within five working days of enrollment, whether theylive on campus or not. The Tennessee bill (HB 561) would require registrationwith campus or local police at any higher education institution the offenderis “enrolled in or employed by.” As the Report went to press, committeesin both state legislatures were studying the bills.

In hopes of increasing public awareness of fires on college campuses,Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representativesin February to require colleges and universities to disclose fire safetyinformation to the public.

HR 471 would require institutions to distribute an annual report toall current students and employees detailing fire safety systems in placeat each student housing facility, the number of fires on campus each yearand any injuries resulting from campus fires.

Nevada Sen. John Ensign introduced a bill (S 338) in the U.S. Senatein February to require colleges and universities to disclose illegal gamblingstatistics in their annual campus crime statistic reports.

A bill (HR 641) introduced by James Gibbons, R-Nev., would require thatinstitutions only report the statistics to the secretary of education.

As the Report went to press, both of those bills were being consideredby committees.