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Official Seal of Fort Lewis College

Policy identification number: To come...

File: Enrollment Management Policies > Admission

Applicants with Criminal History

Policy Summary

This policy outlines how criminal history information on admission applications is reviewed for admission decisions.

Policy Owner

Vice President for Student Affairs

Approval Date

April 12, 2017

Effective Date

April 12, 2017

Search Terms

vpsa, a, c, applicants, criminal

Scheduled for Review

Spring 2021

I. Policy Statement

  1. Fort Lewis College (FLC) strives to provide a safe environment for its students, employees, and guests.
  2. FLC adopts policies and procedures that are reasonable and necessary for the health and safety of the campus.
  3. The FLC application for admission contains a question asking whether the applicant has been convicted of or has any pending felony criminal offense or misdemeanor assault or sexual offense.
  4. FLC does not automatically deny the admission of individuals with a criminal history.  However, the College reserves the right to deny or place conditions of admission, continued enrollment, or re-enrollment of former students on those whose disciplinary and/or criminal history indicates that their presence at FLC may compromise the health, safety, welfare, or property of members of the campus community or may interfere with the orderly and effective performance of the College's functions and programs.
  5. The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee (hereinafter, the VPSA) is charged with reviewing applications for admission from applicants with a criminal history and making admission decisions regarding the following:
    1. Whether applicants for admission who provide affirmative responses to the application for admission’s criminal history question should be recommended for admission, and whether such admission should or should not include conditions.
    2. Whether students who are charged with a serious crime, after enrollment or confirmation to enroll, but prior to matriculation, should be eligible to continue to enroll or should admission be revoked.
  6. The VPSA may consult with FLC Police, Counseling Center, Student Housing, and others for final recommendation of admission decisions.
  7. The VPSA will address all matters pertaining to applicants with a criminal history and shall have access to all relevant records and have the right to communicate with any persons, including experts, who may supply information relevant to the issues.  The VPSA may request a personal interview with the applicant.
  8. All records, reports, and procedures under this Policy shall be held in strict confidence.  All proceedings and decisions will be made in compliance with all federal and state non-discrimination laws while considering the College's obligation to promote the safety and welfare of the FLC community and protect its property.
  9. If the College becomes aware, on or before the census date of the first term, that an enrolled student failed to answer the crime question truthfully, the Admission Director will decide whether the student’s admission needs to be revoked after receiving additional information from the student.
  10. If the College becomes aware, after the census date of the first term, that an enrolled student failed to answer the crime question truthfully during the admission process, the VPSA will contact the student for more information and decide whether the student’s continued enrollment should be denied.

Students who were not truthful with the criminal background information will be responsible for any costs incurred for their attempts to be admitted or enroll and will not be eligible to file appeals for financial adjustments, such as tuition, fees, campus housing, and meal costs.  

II. Reason for Policy 

This policy is to maintain a safe environment for the College community and provide applicants with a criminal history the opportunity for admission to the College.

III. Responsibilities 

For following the policy: Office of Admission Director and Staff, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Staff

For enforcement of the policy: Office of Admission, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

For oversight of the policy: Vice President for Student Affairs

For notification of policy: Policy Librarian

For procedures implementing the policy: Vice President for Student Affairs

IV. Procedures

  1. All academically eligible applicants for admission who have responded affirmatively to the Conduct Statement on the application for admission will be referred to the Office of Vice President for Student Affairs or designee (hereinafter, the VPSA) for review.
  2. The VPSA may: (1) request additional information from the applicant (including documentation from the court that verifies the charges and the outcome of the case; documentation from the court or probation officer that indicates the terms of probation and verifies completion of probation requirements, if applicable; and a personal statement, to include an explanation of how and why the incident(s) occurred and any personal adjustments the applicant has made as a result of the incident(s); (2) request a meeting with the applicant; and (3) make a recommendation to approve or deny admission, provided all other admission requirements are met, with or without certain restrictions and/or conditions as deemed necessary given the nature of the crime.  Such restrictions and/or conditions may include, but are not limited to, post-enrollment meetings with the VPSA and/or FLC Police, denial of the right to participate in certain College programs or activities, and restriction from on-campus facilities, including Student Housing.
  3. If admission is recommended without any restrictions and/or conditions, the VPSA will notify the Office of Admission of the decision, and the Office of Admission will notify the applicant of the admission decision.
  4. The VPSA will notify the applicant and the Office of Admission if the admission is recommended with restrictions and/or conditions.  Additionally, the VPSA will notify the FLC Police, Student Housing, or any other offices of the restrictions and/or conditions of admission, as needed.  The Office of Admission will notify the applicant of the admission decision.

V. Cross Referenced Policies

Student Conduct