Do universities have the right to deny admission to students based on their criminal or moral history? This was the dilemma in the case of a certain David Cash, a student at UC Berkeley who witnessed his best-friend rape and murder a seven year old girl and did not report the crime to authorities. A great example that provides input to this dilemma can be found through Dawn MacKeen’s essay, “Creeps on Campus”, which tells about Cash’s struggle to attend school and MacKeen’s own personal standpoint on the rights universities should have. It can be argued by some of Cash’s critics that although he broke no law, Cash’s mere lack of moral responsibility during the tragedy that occurred was enough to prevent him from attending UC Berkeley. As many of his critics claim that a person of such moral standing should be barred from receiving the perceived “luxury” of attending an institution of higher education, it is however, not up to these critics to determine the eligibility of students based on prior events in their lives. Colleges should not disqualify students based on their criminal or moral history because of the following reasons, they would be denying the rights of students who meet qualifications to pursue a higher education, it would be unfair as the criteria of someone’s morality is tough criteria to determine a student’s competence to attend a university and the potential devastating consequences shifting disciplinary responsibility from the courthouse to the schools could have on the students.
One reason colleges should not be allowed to disqualify students based on prior actions is because it is such difficult criteria to establish as a requirement for admission to college. This is demonstrated in...
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... detrimental once that responsibility to discipline is placed on the academic institution. This is so detrimental to the student because it unfairly places them at a disadvantage to compete for an education as they are forced to potentially cope with both academic and legal restrictions.
In conclusion, colleges should not be allowed to disqualify students based on their moral or criminal backgrounds for a multitude of reasons. These reasons include the fact that it is legally unconstitutional to deny the right of a student to pursue an education if they otherwise meet requirements, the morality of a student is tough criteria to determine whether they are competent enough to attend a university, and the fact that carrying over academic punishment in addition to legal punishment could have devastating effects on the student acting as the recipient of this punishment.
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