Texas Legislators Say New Bill Will Make University Housing Safer

Legislators say a new Texas Senate Bill will make living on a college campus safer for students. 

But it won't be for another semester until Midwestern State uses the new legislation.

Students applying to live on-campus at Texas universities will now undergo a criminal background check.  

Texas senators say some colleges have discovered students in on-campus housing occasionally have criminal records including, sexual assaults, aggravated assaults or assaulting a police officer.

And while universities can begin those background checks starting this fall, officials at Midwestern
State says they won't make those checks until the 2014 spring semester.

"That will give us more of a chance to notify our students that we are going to be doing that, but also gives us the opportunity to work out some logistics," said Michael Mills, the MSU Director of Housing.

Universities will have access to the Texas Department of Public Safety records, but Mills say they still need to figure out how they'll look up records for their out state students, which is about 16% of their student population. 

The new legislation is not mandated for universities to use, but up to each school's discretion to implement.

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