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SPJ representative to testify at house open campus police logs hearing

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The Open Campus Police Logs Act, HR 2416 sponsored by Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., has been scheduled for a subcommittee hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 6, in Room 2175 at the Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

The act would make all campus police reports open records. The bill was introduced at the request of Security on Campus, a group organized in 1987 in response to security issues and victims rights. Media groups, including the Society of Professional Journalists, support this measure.

SPJ will be represented at the hearing Thursday by Carolyn S. Carlson, a 21-year veteran newspaper and wire service reporter and former SPJ national president. Carlson also founded the society's Campus Courts Task Force, an unprecedented coalition of the 14 major organizations representing professional and student journalists and journalism educators.

Carlson will testify that universities avoid compliance with the Student Right to Know Act by channeling criminal incidents into secret campus courts. She also will testify in support of the Open Campus Police Logs Act of 1995 and will urge the committee to remove the secrecy surrounding campus disciplinary records involving criminal behavior. SPJ is expected to be the only media group testifying on this bill.

The bill will be heard before the House Committee on Economic and Educational Opportunities Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education, Training and Life-Long Learning. The contact for the hearing is Cheryl Jacobus. She is communications director for the U.S. House Committee on Economic and Educational Opportunities.

The chairperson of the subcommittee is Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R Calif.

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