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maroon asdfsd Students gain access to confidential records BRIAN KENSEL Editor—ln—Chief A controversial law went into effect two days ago that gives Loyola students the right to examine all of the records the school keeps on them. The law denies that right to the students' parents without written permission from the student himself. Students at the college level nationwide now have the right to examine all of their files, including medical, counseling, academic and disciplinary matter. Parents of students below the university level have this same right, rather than the students themselves. Many college administrators nationwide feel the law, sponsored by New York Senator James L. Buckley, has a number of unclear passages. "There are a lot of ambiguities," said Vincent P. Knipfing, Loyola's Vice President for Student Affairs. Buckley's purpose was to prevent abuses of secret files. For example, Knipfing said, the law gives students the right to examine their parents income tax returns that are used by the financial aid office in evaluating students' needs. "And there are a lot of parents, who don't discuss such things as assets and liabilities with their children," he said. For that reason, the university is considering sending back the returns as soon as a decision on financial aid is reached. Nonetheless, the returns will be in the files for at least several weeks. A spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service in New Orleans said there is no legal problem with students having access to these returns. "If anyone wants to give a copy of their return to someone else, that's fine," he said. "We just won't give that information out here." CONFIDENTIAL MATERIALS Another very uncertain area is the handling of material that was given to the university as confidential, such as letters of recommendation and student transfer forms. "I can't release that information because of professional ethics," Knipfing said. "I told a counselor at another school that the information would be confidential." That information which cannot be released because of ethics is being pulled from the students' files, according to Lynne Neitzschman, Associate Dean of Student Affairs. "Some of it is being destroyed, and the rest is put into private notes," she said. "I think some things are better committed to memory or put into private notes." She said, for example, that family background information that might help her in making evaluations might not belong in official files. "If we had a student whose father committed suicide and whose mother is an alcoholic, I'd put that into a notebook," she said. According to Dr. Meg Dachowski, director . ■ the counseling center, said she, too, is setting up a private note system. "I don't really know if it's legal or not," said Knipfing. "I've got to call the attorneys. I'm hesitant to destroy some of this.. .that's the weakness of the law." But University Registrar, Earl Retif, who has been working on the interpretation of the new law with Loyola's attorneys said he thinks this separation of files would not be legal because it is not in the spirit of the law. "If I take something out and put it in a separate file, you have the right to see that, too. I don't believe the existence of a separate file will do any good," Retif said. What happens if the university does not comply with the law? A total cut off from federal funds, which includes student aid, work study and grants could result. This year alone Loyola has received about $750,000 in federal money. "The removal of federal money could cripple and fold any institution," Knipfing said. The law may create problems for students, as well, said Dachowski. For example, if an employer wants to see anything in a student's record now, he can pressure the student into getting that information for him. This would, in effect, open the records to employers, she said. The counseling center also handles psychiatric data on students. These psychiatric evaluations are another major worry to the center, because Dachowski said, students do not have the background to interpret the data correctly. However, the student can go see those tests. But Dachowski recommends that he "makes an appointment to sit down with a counselor and go over psychiatric tests." In the Registrar's office the problem is not particularly acute. Registrar Earl Retif said, "The student already has access to everything in his file here. Anything I've got in here you should already know." Retif keeps only academic material on students. Loyola students will now have a coats to the filet the University keeps on them becau of a recently enacted law that has met with much controversy in schools nationwide, Student fees may go up SEAN WELCH Staff Reporter The Board of Directors this month will consider a proposal to increase the Student Center Fee from $10 per semester to $17.50. The purpose is to provide more varied programming and eliminate the deficit in the Center. "The current programming activities are inadequate for a school the size of Loyola" said Vincent P. Knipfing, Vice President for Student Affairs. If the budget is increased, said Knipfing, the programming would include such things as short seminars, arts and crafts, leadership training travel plans, and other varied social events. "The deficit exists because of our fixed income and inflated expenses. The center fee hasn't been raised since 1963; a fee increase is necessary to correct this," said Knipfing. The deficit last year was about $75,000; the projection this year is about $70,000, and in five years is about $458,000. The current budget for the Center is $10,000. Why hasn't the fee been raised in the past? According to Knipfing, "the university has attempted to hold down fees so they could keep things marketable for students; we now have a new philosophy about self—sustaining operations." Another of the problems is a lack of new money raising methods for the Center under its present system. But Henry Asher, present director of Danna Center, said, "I feel our student union has done a tremendous job with our limited resources, but more students will benefit from varied programming. I don't feel we should be beer and pretzel oriented." The proposal calls for a professional staff to be hired. The director of Danna Center will supervise all activities in the Center and oversee budget operations. A program director will be responsible for working with the student union in developing programs for Loyola students, and be available for assistance to student organizations. A secretary will provide assistance for both of these people. Students will have a say in policy matters. "The student union will be involved in administering policy and implementing programs; they won't have the final say in policy matters but will recommend modifications," said Knipfing. "If the proposal is the same as the one last year, I would approve it," said Denise Fischer, President of the Student Union. "As a student who pays her own tuition, I'm not too crazy about it but if it improves the Danna Center I'd go along," said Patti Davidson, a member of the Student Union. "An increase would be a good idea, a professional staff would mean more co-ordination and better programming for the Student Union," said Maureen Concannon, another member, Knipfing cited a Carnegie Commission report which said declining enrollments and increasing costs challenge college unions to assert their educational function or lose identity as an educational force on campus. According to Knipfing, "The educational justification of a union is to make leisure time more productive since 75 per cent of the time is spent outside the classroom; we are trying to provide students with a chance for developing themselves through educational and recreational programming." Currently, six student organizations occupy space in the Center. Future plans involve moving the Journalism Department elsewhere on campus with the Communications Department staying in the Center's basement. The proposal calls for the construction of music rooms, a T.V. room and a reading room in the Audubon Room and an Arts and Crafts workshop in the vacated Press Shop.
|Masthead||The Maroon Vol. 51 No. 11|
|Publisher||Loyola University (New Orleans, La.)|
|Coverage||United States; Louisiana; New Orleans;|
|Source||Loyola University New Orleans Special Collections & Archives (http://library.loyno.edu/research/speccoll/) New Orleans, LA|
|Subject||Loyola University (New Orleans, La.)|
|Rights||Digital rights are held by Loyola University New Orleans. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright law.|
|Creator||Loyola University (New Orleans, La.)|
|Relation-Is Part Of||http://www.louisianadigitallibrary.org/cdm/search/collection/LOYOLA_UMN|
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