Privacy law bars student directory

By Khalil Johnson - Staff Reporter

Highline staff and faculty members have a directory online where anyone can access their contact information at any time. Meanwhile, students don't have anything provided.

"Student contact information is defined as non-directory information," said Tim Wrye, executive director information technology services. "It's a policy not to do that, that's why there's no directory."

Lorraine Odom, who is the associate dean of Highline and head of enrollment services said it's simply because of the privacy policy that they have for students.

"Students attending Highline College are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA was enacted in 1947, to protect the privacy of student educational records and personally identifiable information," she said.

This means that any information such as student email addresses, phone numbers, and/ or class schedules would be in violation of FERPA.

Staff and faculty of Highline aren't protected under FERPA. However, the information provided online is their work email, phone number, office location, etc. Staff and faculty members have a choice whether or not they want to give their personal information out for people to see.

"Running Start, as well as other programs on campus, can have a directory to use for contacting students, but the individual student information is not shared with other students," said Odom.

Some students said they wouldn't mind a campuswide directory.

They said that having a student directory would benefit the instructors / professors if they needed to contact a student regarding their grades, homework, or anything related. This gives the instructors and professors the opportunity to effortlessly find their contacts without having to do extra work.

"I believe that students should have a directory because it allows the students to be able easily communicate with one another," said student Nathan Tanigami. "If a student needed to contact his peer for an assignment they would be able to find their information easily, this in turn might possibly boost student interaction."

Another student agreed. 

"A student directory would be helpful to create discussion and make the students studying experience at home much more interactive," student Sim Randhawa said. "I think students should have a student directory option because it makes it easier for students to communicate with one another when they have questions."

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