Updated:
Original:

The U of M will stop asking applicants about prior felonies

It's the latest in the "ban the box" movement.

The University of Minnesota will no longer ask applicants about prior felony convictions.

This comes at the recommendation of the Student Senate, which in 2015 said the university should remove the criminal history disclosure question from the application because it can disproportionately affect certain groups of people and deter people from applying, without any concrete evidence that it makes the campus safer.

So, starting with the 2018 class, the U of M will no longer ask prospective students if they have prior felonies, the Pioneer Press reports. The university made this announcement in a letter sent out last month. According to the Minnesota Daily, it said:

“Our goal in the admissions process is to ensure access for all qualified students, while ensuring the safety and academic integrity of our student body. We do, however, recognize the racial biases of our criminal justice system. We will continue to look at these application questions and analyze the data from the response as we move forward.”

Bob McMaster, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, told the Minnesota Daily the decision to do so was made because "those individuals did not represent a threat to our campus."

The U of M will still ask if students have been convicted of sexual offenses or have been punished for academic dishonesty, with McMaster telling the paper they feel that's something they need to know.

Those applying for student housing will still be asked about their criminal history, the Pioneer Press notes. And the criminal history question will still be on the Common App, which allows prospective students to apply to roughly 700 colleges (including the University of Minnesota) using one application.

'Ban the box'

The move by the University of Minnesota is part of a larger movement to "ban the box" on college and job applications.

The campaign – which has been supported by President Barack Obama and the U.S. Department of Education – aims to protect applicants from being asked about their criminal histories on applications.

Supporters of the movement say those who are asked the question feel like they aren't going to get into the school or get the job because they have a felony, the Atlantic reported. While The Marshall Project noted the box doesn't give applicants a chance to explain what their criminal history is.

survey published in 2014 found 35 percent of postsecondary institutions that were surveyed had denied admission or enrollment to at least one person due to their criminal history.

Some institutions are required to ask the question because of state law, the Atlantic noted.

Next Up

Flickr - Xcel Energy truck - Tony Webster

Xcel Energy wants to raise MN customers' electricity rates

If approved, rates go up by an average of $18.50 a month for customers.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 1.11.05 PM

MPD chief 'confident' officers will still show up after Question 2 vote

Arradondo held a press conference Wednesday in which he urged for a 'No' vote.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Charges: Driver in fatal hit-and-run said he thought he hit dog or sign

The crash killed a 56-year-old Blaine woman who had been out walking her dog.

vaccine, covid

Here is Minnesota's plan to vaccinate kids 5-11 against COVID-19

The plan includes hosting vaccination clinics at schools across the state.

Mounds View PD missing 12yo Riddley

12-year-old Twin Cities boy has been missing for 4 days

Police are asking for the public's help locating the child,

moorhead police

Police searching for man charged with kidnapping woman at gunpoint

The man approached the victim's car and pointed a gun at her, the charges state.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

Teachers union calls for 'bold' plan to get kids vaccinated against COVID

"All options should be on the table," Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, said.

madden's

Madden's has banner summer with surge of visitors to Gull Lake

The resort was named the No. 1 resort in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

Related

U of M has a new plan to educate students, staff to prevent sexual assaults

President Kaler says there's "much more we can do and need to do" to prevent sexual assaults.

'Unusual' 6 percent drop in international undergraduate applications at the U of M

International student applications have fallen at 40 percent of U.S. colleges, with some suggesting the government's harsher immigration stance could be behind it.

Arrest made in one of seven recent anti-Semitic incidents at U of M

There have been several anti-Semitic incidents on campus lately.

U of M calls uptick in anti-Semitism 'abhorrent and alarming'

There have been at least eight anti-Semitic incidents on campus since December.

University of minnesota sign

NBC story about cheap U of M classes for seniors sparks outrage

A decades-old program allowing seniors to take classes for $10 or less was featured on NBC Nightly News.

President Donald Trump

Minneapolis student asks President Trump a question during virtual town hall

"How will I feel safe going back to school if a second wave hits?”