Resident Advisor Background Check Policy


The purpose of this policy is to outline and define the process for applicants who wish to serve as Resident Advisors in on campus College housing to complete a background check before a final decision is made.


This policy applies to all student applying to be a Resident Advisor in on campus student housing at Columbia College.


A Resident Advisor (“RA”) is a position of great responsibility.  For this reason the RA application process includes authorization for Columbia College to conduct a background check (provided by a qualified third-party vendor in accordance with applicable laws and regulations).  Not all convictions will be deemed automatically disqualifying, however, any false statements during the application process, including failure to disclose any convictions, may disqualify a candidate.

If at any time during the application process any answer given on the application pertaining to criminal activity needs to be amended, it is the responsibility of the applicant to promptly notify Columbia College of the changes.  Arrests or detentions that have yet to be adjudicated (those considered “pending”) should be included in the disclosure, however past arrests that were not prosecuted or where applicant was found “Not Guilty” or was pardoned should not be included.

In cases of previous criminal history the weight of the behavior on the decision process is up to the sole discretion of Columbia College.  In making a determination Columbia College will consider the context, nature, gravity, and temporal distance of the behavior in question. 

Background check reports and other submitted information are confidential and may only be reviewed by College officials in accordance with the Family Educational Records and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Background check reports and other submitted information of students will be maintained in the Student Affairs Office. Background check reports and other submitted information of applicants denied an RA position will be maintained in accordance with the College’s record retention policy.

A student who is disqualified because of past criminal convictions may appeal this decision to the Dean for Student Affairs. To initiate an appeal, the student must file an appeal request in writing with the Dean for Student Affairs within three (3) business days of receiving the disqualification notice. The Dean for Student Affairs will review the request and determine if there are sufficient grounds for appeal and if evidence submitted warrants reconsideration of the decision. If a decision is made to reconsider, the Dean for Student Affairs will adjudicate the matter. Decisions made by the Dean of Student Affairs are final. 

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