email your legislators
Below is a sample email that you can simply copy/paste to your legislators. This is one of the best ways to help out our cause!
Good Afternoon (Rep/Sen) _________,
My name is __________ and I would like to call attention to an important campaign called Explain the Asterisk. Myself and over 50,000 others signed a petition on change.org in support of legislation regarding the transcripts of college students who are dismissed from their institution on the grounds of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, stalking, etc. As of now, there is nothing but a small asterisk at the bottom of their transcript, only representing that they were dismissed, not why. This makes bad grades and sexual misconduct look equally as bad. Some colleges do not use an asterisk at all, or only include academic reasons for dismissal. This means that colleges are reliant on the self-reporting system of the Common Application, which asks students if they have (1) ever been dismissed from a college/university (yes/no) and (2) if they have ever been convicted of a crime (yes/no). This makes it extremely easy for students who have been found responsible of dangerous behaviors, through the school OR the criminal courts, to transfer college to college with a clean slate every time.
Please consider legislation to require institutions to explicitly indicate dismissals on students’ transcripts. There has been legislation passed around this issue in both New York and Virginia, and will be legislation introduced this session in Massachusetts and Vermont. You can learn more about this campaign at explaintheasterisk.org or by contacting Syd Ovitt, the survivor who started this campaign, at email@example.com.
Thank you for your time and consideration,