“I support banning the box on all college applications, including that of New York University.

Advanced education is obviously and empirically “good” for formerly incarcerated students, but as important, our universities benefit enormously from the rich participation of a wide range of students, including those with criminal justice histories.  College during and after prison has positive effects on students, the university, the children of those who have been incarcerated, and the classmates of those who have been spared (so far) the criminal justice system.

Exclusion of students with criminal records does NOT enhance the safety of campus life but does limit dramatically the economic and intellectual trajectories of those who have already served their sentences. It is time for universities to review the empirical record and check their ethical standards.  Exclusion is political cowardice with no benefits. Remove the box, open your doors and others will follow.  NYU will flourish in terms of the university’s intellectual life, the rich diversity of your student body and the ethical standards to which your institution aspires.”


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