The University of Colorado is one of the latest colleges in the United States to add background checks for student employees. According to a report from The Scribe, the student newspaper at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the policy has been in effect since last spring. The new rule has mostly started impacting students with the start of fall term.
University of Colorado officials say that the new background check policy is in place to ensure “a safe and productive educational, research and employment environment.” The policy requires background checks for all employment groups on campus. Some of those groups, such as faculty and staff, were already required to pass background checks before last spring. Student employees have not been vetted in this fashion until now.
The new background check policy applies to both new student employees and returning student employees, coverage explains. The level of thoroughness for each check will depend on the position at hand. Each student employee background check will include criminal history checks, sex offender registry searches, and social security number checks. When relevant, the university may also require financial history checks, driving record checks, and educational verifications. For instance, a student employee with access to money or financial information would be expected to submit to a financial history check.
Administrators explain that the red flags that the university is looking for with these checks will vary from job to job. Some violent criminal activity—such as homicide or sexual assault—will be considered grounds for disqualification regardless of the job. Other convictions—like a DUI—will likely only impact jobs only when the charge is relevant to the associated work responsibilities.
For students applying for jobs on campus, the background check process doesn’t add much strain, campus coverage claims. Applicants need to fill out two additional forms with the traditional job application. These forms are an information form—to provide details like SSN and driver’s license number—and a background check authorization form. The background checks average out to $40 per student employee, but the university covers the cost. A student interviewed by The Scribe said her background check only took about a day to process.
The student background check requirement went into effect on May 19th of this year. So far this term, all new hires to student employee positions have passed the checks. The requirement applies to all three main University of Colorado campuses—including Colorado Springs, Denver, and Boulder—and the medical school at the Anschutz Medical Campus.