North Carolina Newspapers

    Volume XXV, Issue 2
Educating Women to Excel
September 12,2007
Campus News
p. 2
Campus Activities
p. 4
TODAY: P.M. Showers.
Low 64, High 87.
Thursday: Isolated T-
Storms. Low 66, High
Friday: Few Showers.
Low 66, High 79.
Saturday: Few Showers.
Low 58, High 80.
Sunday: Partly Cloudy.
Low 60, High 76.
Monday: Partly Cloudy.
Low 58, High 82.
Ttiesday: Partly Cloudy.
Low 64, High 84.
Information retrieved
'nies. Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.
Background Checks a Must at Meredith
By: Erin Etheridge
Staff Writer
As of February
22, 2007, perspective
Meredith faculty and
staff members, as well as
some student workers,
must submit themselves
to background checks
before being hired, states
the college's new back
ground check policy.
According to the
Meredith Office of
Human Resources' web
site, only those faculty,
staff, and students who
have had a "satisfactory
background check" will
be employed or remain
employed by the institu-
By: Chelsea McGlaughlin
Staff Writer
Backgroimd checks
are now becoming
part of the routine for
Meredith College faculty
and staff. Now in its sec
ond year of implementa
tion, the policy has a seri
ous purpose: "Meredith's
aim to due diligence for
the safety and security of
our students," says Jean
Jackson, Vice President of
College Programs.
"All College employ
ees ... who have access
to the residence halls,
who travel with students,
or who work witti chil
dren (for example in the
infant-toddler program
or autism lab) have had
or are having back
ground checks done....
President Hartford and
members of die Senior
Management Team had
backgroimd checks done,
as well as many, but not
all, other employees of
tion. The college's official
definition of a "satisfac
tory background check"
is an "absence of a crimi
nal history record which
bears a significant rela
tionship to the applicant's
or employee's suitability
to perform the required
duties and responsibili
ties of the position."
Individuals who are
affected by the new
backgroimd check policy
include faculty and staff
members who are ben-
efits-eligible and begin
their employment at
Meredith on or any time
after February 22, 2007,
employees who have
taken a leave of absence
the College," Dr. Jackson
The required checks
affect not only long-time
faculty members but also
new ones as well. In
addition, new employees
cannot be hired unless
they first undergo back
ground checks.
What started the new
policy? Not one occur
rence in particular, says
Dr. Jackson: "... no spe
cific problem led to the
policy of background
checks; rather, we are
seeking to insure the
safety and security of
Meredith students."
Though Dr. Jackson
is confident about
safety on campus, some
crimes have occurred at
Meredith in recent years.
An article from the
November 26, 2003 issue
of The News & Observer
reports former Meredith
College seaetary Alyce
Parker Townsend's
being charged with two
for more than twelve
months, employees who
wish to change their sta
tus from part-time to full
time employment and
current and future col
lege employees in secu-
rity-sensitive positions.
positions are defined by
the background check
policy as those jobs
involving direct responsi
bility of faculty and staff
for students while they
are off campus, work
with children and / or
have access to items and
buildings including bank
records, currency, securi
ties, and residence halls.
The "Procedure"
It All On New
counts of embezzlement.
Records show Townsend
as embezzling over
$150,000 from the school
throughout her years of
employment. In a News
& Observer article from
August 2, 2005, staff
writer Cindy George
recounts the double mur
der trial which involved
witness Rachel French,
a Meredith senior at the
Although new stan
dards are being imple
mented on campus,
Meredith has a long
standing record of being
secure. "Each year.
Campus Police prepares
a report as Meredi^'s
response to the Clery
Act (named for Jeanne
Ann Qery, a freshman
at Lehigh University,
who was raped and mur
dered in a residence hall
in 1986) and prints the
information in a brochure
distributed on campus."
section of the Meredith
background check policy
states that a potential
college employee is
offered a job "contingent
upon successful comple
tion of a background
check." After the back
ground check results are
released, the perspective
employee will either
be formally offered or
declined the position.
As indicated by
the Meredith Office of
Human Resources web
site, "Generally only
criminal convictions,
guilty pleas, pleas of no
Checks cont. on pg. 4
The following website
provides more informa
tion regarding the Clery
Act: http://www.securi-
The Campus Police
annual security report
is also available at
Meredith's website:
The report includes infor
mation gathered from
past years (2003-2004
through 2005-2006) and
proves that Meredith is
indeed a highly safe cam
pus. The only "arrests
or referrals for campus
disciplinary action" came
from liquor law viola
tions and drug violations
in the Residence Halls.
There were no criminal
incidents reported on
campus or in the resi
dence halls between 2003
Explains cont. on pg. 4
Dr. Jackson Explains

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