Regents OK selling student information to solicitors

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

RENO -- Campuses may continue to sell student information to credit card companies, regents decided Wednesday.

They agreed to make it easier for students to take their names off those lists, but refused to make students actively agree before their information can be sold.

The policy requires that students fill out a form to remove their names from the list.

Those forms have been available but, until now, buried in the campus catalog where few students found them. The new policy requires the form and the campus policy be in the first five pages of all catalogs and schedules published by the campus.

Each campus must annually disclose what information can be revealed about students and any student who removes his or her name stays off for the duration of their college career, unless they ask to be put back on the lists.

Campus officials led by University of Nevada Las Vegas officials -- who made more than $100,000 last year selling student information -- argued that students who "opt out" will also be left out of potential scholarship lists, offers for cheap student health insurance and even their graduation lists.

That prompted a suggestion by regents Doug Seastrand and Doug Hill to offer two options: check one box and be removed from all potential lists or check another and be removed only from commercial lists.

But UNLV officials again protested, saying that would require someone to decide what is commercial and what isn't.

The board also rejected the recommendation of the American Civil Liberties Union, which said students should not have to "opt out." ACLU spokesman Kendall Stagg told the board it should be the other way around: any student wishing his name and address released should have to fill out a form and "opt in."

His argument was backed by regents Steve Sisolak, Mark Alden and Linda Howard. But they were overruled by other members of the board.

The idea of two check-boxes was also rejected on a close vote before the board approved the original plan to let students remove their name by filling out a form at registration.

Sisolak said afterward "all we did was move the form up closer to the front of the catalog."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment