If your daughter attends Kansas State University and you wonder about her safety, you can get on the school’s website. Among the things you might check is a list of registered sex offenders enrolled or employed on campus, with their convictions and their mugshots.
But if your daughter goes to Wichita State University, you won’t be able to see the campus offender list and mugshots online. Instead, the Wichita State website says, the list is “available on demand” from university police.
So it takes extra steps to get information about registered sex offenders at WSU.
WSU’s police chief, Sara Morris, said Tuesday that she has heard no complaints about how the university handles the list. Wichita State is following the law in how it makes the list available, Morris said.
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Posting pictures of the offenders online would be unfairly “singling them out” on a relatively small campus, she said.
Although the list isn’t online, if someone called and asked for information on the list, her staff would provide it, she said.
WSU spokesman Joe Kleinsasser said the handling of the list has to be a balancing act – between the rights of the offenders and the rights of anyone on campus to be safe and feel safe.
Of the state’s six state universities, only K-State and the University of Kansas make the information readily accessible online, according to their websites. Only K-State includes the mugshots with the list, so your daughter might be able to tell right away whether the classmate she’s contemplated studying with has been convicted of a sex crime.
At Wichita State, Emporia State, Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State universities, the schools’ websites direct people to the campus police stations to get the list. To see a mugshot of the offender, a person would have to go to the state’s online public offender registry kept by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
K-State appears to offer the fastest access to the offender lists. The Campus Crimes Prevention Act requires the lists, according to the universities’ websites.
K-State’s police chief, Ronnie Grice, said Tuesday that he views the list this way: “This is public information. Let’s just put it out there. … Let’s make it accessible.”
It helps students, faculty and everyone on campus be more aware, Grice said.
An Eagle reporter on Monday went to the WSU police station on the east side of campus and got a copy of the latest offender list. It lists eight men with convictions including attempted rape, aggravated indecent solicitation of a child, aggravated indecent liberties and attempted criminal sodomy. Most of the victims were girls between 13 and 15. The men’s convictions occurred between 2003 and 2011. They range in age from 27 to 64. Most of the men will have to remain on the offender registry for the rest of their lives.
The latest WSU list has more offenders than K-State, which had six, and KU, which had two.