FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Karen Ali and The Daily Campus,

 

Complainants

 

against Docket #FIC 87-331

 

Police Department of the University of Connecticut at Storrs,

 

Respondent April 13, 1988

 

The above-captioned complaint was heard as a contested case on December 21, 1987, at which time the complainants and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found:

 

1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. By letter dated November 5, 1987 the complainants made a request of the respondent for a list of University of Connecticut students employed by the respondent from September 1, 1987 through November 5, 1987.

 

3. Following receipt of the complainants' request the executive director of the respondent contacted each of the 55 student-employees in question and asked for permission to release his or her name. Of those contacted, 42 objected to the release, 4 indicated no preference and 9 did not respond.

 

4. By letter dated November 12, 1987 the executive director of the respondent informed the complainants of his contact with the student-employees in question and offered the complainants the opportunity to review the 13 names of those who did not respond or who did not have a preference regarding release.

 

5. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on November 16, 1987 the complainants appealed the respondent's failure to provide the requested list of names.

 

6. The respondent claims that the names in question are exempted from disclosure by 1-19(b)(11), G.S.

 

Docket #FIC 87-331 Page Two

 

7. It is found that during the period in question the 55 persons referred to at paragraph 4, above, received hourly wages from the respondent in exchange for duties which included giving parking tickets, escorting other students across campus, operating security and information booths and supplementing dormitory security.

 

8. The 55 persons in question did not receive academic credit for their employment, nor did the respondent contribute to their academic studies in other than a financial way.

 

9. It is concluded that with respect to their employment with the respondent, the 55 persons referred to at paragraph 4, above, are employees of a public agency, not "students" within the meaning of 1-19(b)(11), G.S.

 

10. It is further concluded that the list of names in question is not exempted from disclosure by 1-19(b)(11), G.S.

 

11. The respondent also claims that the list of names is exempted from disclosure by the terms of 20 U.S.C. 1232g (known as the Buckley Amendment), which limits federal funding to state and local educational agencies which permit the release of education records or personally identifiable information concerning students, unless prior consent is obtained.

 

12. More specifically, the respondent claims that pursuant to 36 C.F.R. 99.3(b)(3)(ii), records which relate to an individual who is employed by an educational agency or institution as a result of his or her status as a student are "education records" within the meaning of the Buckley Amendment.

 

13. It is found that the Buckley Amendment's prohibition against disclosure is not mandatory, rather, it is a condition precedent to the granting of funds.

 

14. It is further found that the Buckley Amendment's non-mandatory limitation on disclosure is not sufficient to prevent disclosure pursuant to 1-19(a), G.S.

 

15. It is concluded that the list of names in question is a public record within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S., subject to disclosure pursuant to 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.

 

Docket #FIC 87-331 Page Three

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.

 

1. The respondent forthwith shall provide the complainants with the list of names of University of Connecticut students employed by the respondent from September 1, 1987 through November 5, 1987, referred to at paragraph 2, above.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 13, 1988.

 

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission