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Legislators looking at a bill regarding due process for college students

 Testimony in Frankfort on College Student Due Process Legislation
Stu Johnson
Testimony in Frankfort on College Student Due Process Legislation

Multi-faceted legislation involving student discipline and codes of conduct at Kentucky’s public universities is moving through the General Assembly. Companion bills are found in the House and Senate.

27 Kentucky representatives have signed on to HB 290. It emerged from a House committee last week. A significant portion of the measure deals with due process for college students facing disciplinary actions. Michael Frazier is the director of the Kentucky Student Rights Coalition.

“Probably number one is issues in residence halls and currently in the residence halls students can be searched without a warrant, without notice, without even having to be present in the room,” said Frazier.

University of Kentucky Spokesman Jay Blanton said previous court rulings have clarified standards for sexual harassment and sexual violence hearings.

Colleen Chaney is the chief communications officer at Eastern Kentucky University. She noted the aim is to have a common process.

“Currently, each university has their own process and protocol of student conduct that they have, but there’s not a commonality to those processes. So, I think the goal is to create that playbook in this piece of legislation,” said Chaney.

Frazier said relatively few expulsions occur. He cited five at UK the last few years. Frazier said about 25 hundred cases per year are heard at UK and around 4000 at Northern Kentucky University.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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