SEATTLE — This fall, undergraduate applicants at the University of Washington will be asked to divulge their criminal history. They’ll be asked whether they’ve been convicted of a violent felony or are registered as a sex offender.
An online petition to eliminate those questions garnered thousands of signatures, but apparently will not stop the policy from taking effect. The need for the question arose after the university learned that two Level 3 sex offenders were enrolled during winter quarter 2012.
Questioning college applicants about their criminal past is not unprecedented. The UW’s law and medical schools ask applicants whether they have a criminal history. Western Washington University and Eastern Washington University also ask a criminal-background question.