By Esra Hashem
Fresno State’s Associated Students, Inc. senate rejected a resolution Wednesday that aimed to promote the disclosure of the identities of registered sex offenders on campus.
“I just do not see the necessity of this resolution as it pertains to the college campus,” said Daniel Ward, senator-at-large for academic affairs. “We do not have the authority to change a law. The intention is in the right place. But the fact of the matter is, we’re not going to be able to do any legal processing of this. It is not our place for it.”
Since the passage of California’s Megan’s Law in 2004, the public has been able to view information on sex offenders required to register with local law enforcement. The law allows a person to use information from the website only to protect a “person at risk.”
Under the law, only law enforcement officers can make information available to an entire community.
While the resolution does not have the power to change the law, it lobbies for everyone from Fresno State’s Academic Senate to President Barack Obama to rewrite or adopt legislation that “in the very least, affirms that the issue of registered sex offenders being present on college campus communities must be dealt with [by] open disclosure.”
Neil O’Brien (Facebook), senator for the College of Health and Human Services, said he wrote the six-page resolution in an attempt to protect students at Fresno State.
“If a criminal is required to register as a sex offender, they’re required to register because there’s a need-to-know basis,” he said. “There’s a need for closer monitoring of these kinds of people, especially considering the rate of re-offense.”
- This man is clearly ignorant of the facts that ex-sex offenders have the lowest recidivism of all other criminals, except murderers, and is clearly biased by the following comment he made on his Facebook profile, and our comment on the article, here (if they post it).
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Kaitlyn Sims, senator of the Craig School of Business, voted against the proposal because she said it might infringe on the constitutional rights of registered sex offenders, who she said are a protected class under the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Protected class, really? If that is true then most of the laws are unconstitutional, but I don't think that is exactly true.
“How does this [resolution] avoid discriminating against what is now, in the federal government’s eyes, a protected class?” she said. “If we’re ruling this, we are discriminating against a class that we’re presuming will be re-offending. In essence, we’re basically saying that they’re guilty until proven innocent.”
Additionally, Sims and other ASI senators feared that identifying sex offenders on campus might trigger violent backlash against them.
“My concern is the possibility of negative action against anyone whose information is posted,” Sims said.
- And vigilantism is rising across the United States.
O’Brien said that violent reactions are not the goal of the resolution.
- So what about all the other ex-felons walking among students all across the USA?
O’Brien also added the resolution does not infringe on the constitutional rights of sex offenders because it simply makes information about them that is already available more accessible.
“The current process is long and arduous,” he said. “It makes you jump through too many hoops to get information that you have a right to know.”
- In the old days, you still had access to it, you just had to get off your butt and go down to the court house to request the information. The online hit-list needs to be taken offline and used by police only, it's doesn't prevent crime nor protect anybody from someone who is determined to commit a crime.