Resolution asks that student addresses become optional

Lindsey Reed

Students may have more options on how much personal information they want to give out.

The Student Government Association passed a resolution on Tuesday asking the university to make access to student addresses on the printed and online directories optional.

The legislation states that students’ permission should be received before putting their personal information in a directory that will be distributed.

Radcliff sophomore Katie Dawson, co-chair of the SGA student affairs committee, was one of the authors of the legislation.

Dawson said privacy issues were addressed after hearing recommendations from Richard Kirchmeyer, vice president of Information Technology, at a Sept. 16 congress meeting.

“Personal information just should not be available to everyone,” she said.

The directory would still include a phone number and e-mail address, she said.

SGA President John Bradley said students can already request that their information be removed from directories, but it is a lengthy process.

Dawson said she would prefer students be allowed to decide if they wanted their addresses shown by the click of a button on Topnet, or through some type of form.

Whether or not the information would be taken off by default is not specified in the legislation.

The exact way it could be implemented will be discussed with administrators, she said.

“As long as we’re presented a choice, it would be fine,” Dawson said.

The legislation was not written to prevent students from keeping their current information in the directory, because some students see no problem with it, she said.

Bowling Green sophomore Robert Watkins, co-author of the legislation, said the time of implementation isn’t certain.

“We’d prefer it off immediately,” he said.

Adairville senior John Law, an SGA member, expressed concern over the legislation during the meeting.

“I think it would hurt usefulness with the directory,” he said.

Law said finding phone numbers of students with the same names as another student would be difficult without the address.

“Nobody knows people’s middle initial,” he said.

Law said he would prefer if the directory was placed on Topnet with the current information.

Topnet would get personal information behind a log-in, preventing non-students from looking at the personal information, he said.

“Problems would occur from people living off campus,” he said.

Dawson said putting the directory on Topnet still poses privacy issues.

“We have about 18,000 students, and that means 17,999 more than you have access to your information,” she said.

The University Senate voted on Oct. 16 to make it default that faculty and staff home addresses and phone numbers are removed unless they request that it stay on.

In other business

SGA passed a resolution recommending that Facilities Management re-gravel the SKyPAC lot.

SGA campus improvements chair Shawn Peavie said the resolution was created after students voiced concerns.

The parking lot currently has holes, and some of the gravel has been washed away by rain, he said.

Doug Ault, director of Facilities Management, said there were already plans to regrade, or scrape off the top layer, of the lot but not to re-gravel it.

The campus improvements committee also sponsored legislation that was passed for an “Adopt-A-Tree” program.

The program would be an effort between SGA and other campus organizations to plant about 20 maple and oak trees to improve the appearance of campus.

Reach Lindsey Reed at [email protected]