Federal drug law evokes

By Claudia Curry

A new federal drug law which allows restriction of federal student financial aid to persons convicted of using or selling illegal drugs has raised the question of how it could be enforced by financial aid offices.

Jerry Augsburger, NIU financial aid office director, said President Reagan’s new law which allows judges to bar people who are convicted of using or selling illegal drugs from receiving federal student aid is a “laudable” attempt at keeping federal aid recipients drug-free.

However, the student-aid provisions will be difficult to enforce because there is no established system which collects and distributes the names of people convicted of a drug-related offense, Augsburger said.

“I don’t think anyone has thought about the enforcement of the law,” he said. “There’s no way a financial aid office can play private detective and check on the private environments of all federal aid recipients.”

One way which Augsburger thought the government might be able to enforce the new law would be to develop a master data bank of the names and social security numbers of all offenders in drug-related crimes.

It then would be the responsibility of the financial aid office to superimpose that data with their existing information, he said.

“Could you imagine the work that would have to go into the development of a program like that?” Augsburger asked.

Another enforcement idea would be to have federal aid recipients sign an official affidavit stating they do not use or sell illegal drugs, he said.

Augsburger said congressmen in Washington can lecture and establish these guidelines, but the guidelines still are totally unenforceable.