Problems of Implementing Access Law Mount; Grades, Files Process Come Under Question

Sending Files Home

The new student files law that gives students access to confidential files will also require formal student consent before the University may send grades to students' parents, Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, said yesterday.

"There isn't any room for doubt that we would be in violation of the law if we didn't ask for students' consent," Steiner said. "It's one of the weaknesses of the bill."

Dean Whitlock said yesterday he is "considering sending a letter to students asking them for written consent to send the grades to the parents."

Grades in Files

Grade sheets are first put into students' files, so they come under the jurisdiction of the files law, he said.

In the past the University automatically sent grades to parents unless students checked a box on a form in their registration packages, which told the University not to send their grades home.

The law says that only the student, school officials, or certain federal officials including the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare may have access to the files without written consent. The law does not provide for parents' access to the material.

Steiner said he had brought up the parental consent problem with the administrators earlier, but that it was not a high priority because grades are not about to go out yet. He said the immediate problem is "trying to do our best to implement the law by November 19."