PASSHE policy aims to protect minors

Published by adviser, Author: Haley Barnes - News Editor, Date: January 29, 2015
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A state law that requires clearances of newly hired employees of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) went into effect on Dec. 31, 2014.

 Rita Abent, executive director for public relations of Slippery Rock University, said that the law is to protect minors on PASSHE college campuses.

 “All SRU employees, including student workers and all new and current volunteers, must obtain a ‘Criminal History Record Check’ from the Pennsylvania State Police, a ‘Child Abuse Clearance’ from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and undergo a Federal Criminal History Record Check, including fingerprinting by the FBI,” Abent said.

 She explained that the cost of the three legally required clearances will be covered by the university at this time, but the amount of time it takes for the clearances to process is out of the university’s control. 

 “Once an individual has filed for clearances, they may be authorized to begin working up to 90 days while their paperwork is being processed by the external agencies,” she said. “No new employee, including students, can work until they receive the authorization to begin this 90-day period.”

 If suspicious activity is found on someone’s background, it will be handled on an individual basis by the Human Resources Office’s personnel policies and procedures.  

As of now, currently employed university employees will need to have their clearances by Dec. 31, 2015. Clearances are good for 36 months and will need renewed each time they expire.

Students, staff, and faculty who have had their own clearances done in the past 36 months prior to the law going into effect can turn their clearances in to the appropriate location. Students’ clearances will be handled by the Payroll Office, located in Old Main, while all other clearances will be handled by Human Resources.  

 According to a press release from SRU, efforts are being made to install a finger print reading machine on campus to make obtaining clearances easier. 

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