University of Akron Housing Approval Now More Stringent

AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron (UA) will now be including in its housing application an item requesting that the student disclose any history of criminal activity, excluding minor traffic violations.

The new policy comes after student and parent complaints, as well as a petition signed by more than 500 students, about convicted felons being allowed to live with university students. In recent months it was discovered that four students, some as young as 18, were assigned by the UA housing staff to live with convicted felons, two of whom were 45 and 41 years old.

A 23-year-old law student was awarded $8,000 after he filed a grievance against the university for assigning him to live in 2004 with a 36-year-old drug informant with a criminal history. The university, however, admitted no wrongdoing.

According to the new policy, if a student admits to a criminal history on his or her housing application, the university will perform a thorough background on the student, and may withhold an offer of housing if the student has committed a drug, sex, theft or violence related crimes. Residence hall staff will now also be required to check with potential roommates if the disparity in ages between them is more than five years.

It is not known how many students living in UA’s housing have criminal histories.

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