Each year, Lawrence publishes a student directory, which includes student names, telephone numbers, and addresses. This year, some have questioned the delay in publishing the directory. Ann Newman of the Registrar’s Office, however, pointed out that the directories are published after the add/drop deadline every year. In the past, there have been temporary directories prior to the official publication, but there was not one this year. No reason was given for the lack of a temporary directory.The last day to withdraw from a course is Nov. 17. The directories will be published shortly after this date. According to Newman, the purpose of the delay is to ensure that students have an opportunity to fill out a non-disclosure form, available from the registrar’s office, if they so choose. By filling out this form, students can have certain personal information removed from the directory.
All students received registration packets by mail that included a letter describing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. FERPA guarantees college students rights with respect to their educational records. These rights include a non-disclosure clause that generally require the individual student’s consent before the school can release information to a third party.
Newman explained, however, that directories are treated differently. She said, “Under FERPA, information designated by Lawrence University as directory information may be released without written consent, unless the student requests non-disclosure.” This means that a student will be included in the Lawrence directory unless the form is filled out and turned in prior to Nov. 17.
Some examples of content that Lawrence classifies as directory information, which can be released without prior consent, include: name, address, telephone number, class, previous institutions attended, major, previous sports, activities, e-mail addresses, and photographs. Students may, however, request that Lawrence withhold disclosure of any of these categories.
Newman reiterated that Lawrence wants to give students an ample opportunity to have information withheld if they desire, and that she feels the deadline allows them plenty of time to do so.