Counsel drafts minor policies

The new policies came after the Penn State sex abuse scandal.

Nearly four months after the university’s task force reviewing Judge Louis Freeh’s report on Penn State’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal released its report, Temple has instituted two new policies addressing visitors and minors on campus.

The policies created were crafted not only through recommendations by the Task Force on Institutional Integrity, but by policies used at other institutions as well.

“We used the task force. We also looked at other policies that other universities had and kind of compiled all the best practices and put ours together,” said Fay Trachtenberg, associate university counsel.

The first policy, which addressed minor visitors on campus, states that university personnel participating in events including minors should provide the Department of Risk Management and Insurance details of the programs or activities at least 60 days prior to the event or programs start date. These details include names of adults participating with minors, whether the programs require overnight housing and administrative requirements for the programs.

The policy also requires authorized adults to be subject to a criminal background report prior to participation in programs with minors and an annual training session on the policy.

“We want any minors that come to campus to be safe,” Trachtenberg said. “We want to know that the people that are going to be working with them know what is expected of them and so that’s why we’re kind of getting this out to make sure that everybody understands what the purpose and scope of the policy is.”

University Counsel had been working on this policy for more than a year, but put it on hold as the Penn State sex abuse scandal played out. Trachtenberg said the university had a policy for visitors and volunteers pertaining to minors in laboratories previously, and the minors on campus policy was grounded in that.

“The genesis of the minors on campus policy grew out of that and we’d been working on that for at least a year,” Trachtenberg said. “When we found out what was going on at Penn State, we actually put it on hold to see what the provisions were going to be, what the courts were going to say and how this was all going to play out.”

Minor student athlete recruits are also addressed in the policy, which states that the team should provide a copy of the Student Code of Conduct and consent forms to the recruit and the recruits’ parents.

The policy also spells out rules for unaffiliated minors who spend the night in residence halls. However, Associate Vice President and Director of University Housing and Residential Life Michael Scales said that the policies have yet to be enacted, as his office seeks to implement them.

At the start of last semester, a moratorium was put on minors staying overnight at residence halls and Scales said the policy is still in place for the general population, but exceptions have been made for athletic and academic recruits. No timetable has been set for a revised guest policy, Scales said.

“We want to get things right,” he said.

The other policy addresses visitor and volunteer procedures on campus. Trachtenberg said this policy had been in place, but now requires people to register visitors and volunteers that are coming to campus.

University Counsel drew up the policies, but worked with Residential Life and the Department of Risk Management and Insurance while creating the policies, Trachtenberg said.

Sean Carlin can be reached at or on Twitter @SeanCarlin84.

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