Report indicates rise in sexual misconducts on Truman’s campus

Students walking outside Ryle Hall. Ryle Hall Council is working on a 50-year time capsule. (Photo by Austin Hornbostel/TMN)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Disciplinary actions for students found in violation of Truman State’s code of conduct and non-discrimination policy include expulsion and or suspension.

The number of sexual misconduct reports at Truman has risen from three in the 2012-13 crime report to nine in the most recent 2014 crime report. In addition to taking action against offenders through possible expulsion and suspension, Truman also might include an informative mark on the offender’s transcript.

The most recent 2014 crime report showed an increase from 3 reports of sexual assault in 2012 to 9 in 2014.
The most recent 2014 crime report showed an increase from 3 reports of sexual assault in 2012 to 9 in 2014.

The transcript blemish does not state why the student was expelled or suspended, but it can cause complications for the student’s future education or career.

Jamie Ball, Truman’s Institutional Compliance Officer, oversees gender-based misconduct. Ball says the notation alerts potential employers or institutions to inquire further about the student’s conduct.

Ball says it is not unusual for other universities to see such a note and request a release of transcripts and the student’s conduct file. Student conduct files are separate from an academic file and have a more detailed explanation for the student’s dismissal or suspension.

“Those who have been critical of the policy of having expulsions or suspensions documented on students transcripts, they say that it becomes kind of a scarlet letter, so to speak,  so something that will follow you around for the rest of your days,” Ball says.

Regina Morin, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Truman, says universities have the right to refuse acceptance to any applicant who does not meet the institution’s standards. Many universities might not admit a student with a blemished transcript and conduct file. This could make it difficult for a student to finish a degree program or gain entrance into a graduate program.

Lynnea Wootten, graduate student and Truman band teacher, says if an employer in the education sector were to find out a student had been expelled or suspended from a university for sexual misconduct, it would be less likely they would get a job as a teacher.

“I feel like in the teaching profession that’s one of those unforgivable sins and that would be a huge, huge red flag for a school district for sure,” Wootten says.  “I think that would definitely limit the places you could get jobs.”   

Polly Matteson, the Assistant Director of the Career Center, says transcripts are very important when applying for jobs, but it largely depends on the job. Matteson says she knows of a few students who have had marked transcripts and have managed to enter the workforce without the mark hindering their success. Matteson says it is very important that students address the issue before the employer can have a chance to ask, which can be done in a cover letter.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery][/vc_column][/vc_row]