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University Senate at KU opposes campus carry in ‘strongest possible terms’; Regents expected to approve policies Wednesday

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Elected representatives of faculty, staff and students at the University of Kansas are now formally on the record opposing campus carry. KU’s full University Senate this month approved a resolution, first crafted by the University Senate executive committee, stating that the body opposes “in the strongest possible terms” allowing concealed weapons on the KU campus.

State university campuses currently prohibit guns, but Kansas law requires them to allow lawful concealed carry beginning July 1, 2017. KU and the other universities have been prepping for that date by crafting policies for implementing the new concealed carry law. The Kansas Board of Regents is expected to approve draft policies from KU and the other schools on Wednesday.

Understanding that at this point the Board of Regents and individual universities are not in charge of the law but rather drafting policies to comply with a law that others made, the University Senate’s statement directly addresses the state Legislature. It says:

The University Senate of the University of Kansas is composed of the elected representatives of staff, students and faculty at the University and is charged with acting in behalf of the staff, students, and faculty.

Eighty-two percent of the KU staff, students, and faculty who participated in the January 2016 Docking Institute survey expressed opposition to allowing concealed weapons on campus.

Moreover, current research indicates that the net effect of campus carry on the safety of college students, faculty, and staff is likely to be more death, more nonfatal gunshot wounds, and more threats with a firearm that are traumatizing to victims.

Therefore, the University Senate wishes to express its opposition, in the strongest possible terms, to allowing concealed weapons on the University of Kansas campus.

On behalf of our constituencies, we urge the Kansas State Legislature (1.) to respect local control by continuing the exemption to the Personal and Family Protection Act and (2.) to allow our campus communities to choose whether or not weapons are allowed on our KU campuses.

In true academic fashion, faculty members from the six state universities are already discussing possibilities for studying effects of the law — whether they want it to become reality or not.

The Regents Council of Faculty Senate Presidents is working on a survey to measure university faculty, staff and students’ anxiety about campus carry, according to a report at last month’s Board of Regents meeting. The idea is to establish a baseline by surveying people before implementation and then again after implementation. The group is also checking with other U.S. campuses with similar laws to see what data they collected before and after implementation.

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass.

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass. by Sara Shepherd


I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Comments

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 8 months, 1 week ago

The time to be complaining about this should have been before the law was passed. Perhaps that was done and these concerns were over ridden by the legislature. Constitutional carry is now the law in KS. It is a good law. I have heard of very few adverse incidents because of the new law. I have come upon only one person openly carrying a firearm, which I feel should be reserved for law enforcement officers displaying a badge, but I had no input in making the law. As for carrying firearms on campus, the Board of Regents rules have made using a firearm much more difficult. Carrying a revolver with an empty chamber under the firing pin may only tend to slow firing the gun some. With a semi-auto it will be much more difficult, as the chamber must be empty and the safety on. A user must take the safety off and chamber a round. These rules, as they are intended to do, make firing a weapon very difficult and could cost someone their life in a self defense situation, which usually takes place in seconds. So what are you people whining about?

Calvin Anders 8 months, 1 week ago

I think the student Senate should condemn this law and I'm disappointed that the Regents and the Chancellor have not been more vocal in their opposition. It may not change the law, but I think it's still important to try to cultivate a sentiment within the campus community that is actively unwelcoming to the practice of carrying firearms on campus. Those who choose to carry should feel a palpable disapproval of their actions. That may seem like a small and ineffectual step, but culture on campus has some influence on behavior. And the idiots in Topeka have not really left much else in the way of options.

Spencer Bird 8 months, 1 week ago

Randolf my friend, I'm sorry to see you are so opposed to CC on campus. As I understand it, KU 'claims' to be welcoming to all students, not just the ones who agree with thier views. I am sad but not shocked reading your proposal. I know that things didn't go your way but there is no use in pouting about it and being rude and unwelcoming to CC students, which you will be unable to identify anyway. This will only create descension and damage campus culture. Although This kind of intolerance is very hypocritical, it was by no means unexpected. Most conservatives that attend KU are not blind to the fact that thier views are not tolerated by much of the faculty and other students. Every day we conservative students deal with this and rarely if ever complain, knowing we decided to attend a very left wing university. You (I assume you are a student) also chose this university being in a more conservative state that stands up for and proudly defends the second amendment. In light of this you should not be surprised. There are other good schools that you could attend in California and Massachusetts where unconstitutional gun laws prohibit CC in campus effectively making all law abiding students vulnerable to any attacks like the Virginia Tech shooting. I don't believe that I have ever been more proud to be a Kansan. I want KU to know that the silly rules that they are attempting to impose on its CC students will not be adhered to. I know many students who will carry thier firearm as they see fit regardless of the nonsensical rules imposed by the ignorant policy makers. A competent expert on CC was obviously not consulted in the drafting of these this policy. It's like taking a broken down car to an accountant for repairs. Will not end up well for the driver when the try to drive that car. There are many ways to carry a firearm safely and effectively, and under the rules, the effectiveness of carrying is very limited. It is a bad idea to carry a firearm in condition 3 (empty chamber) it is likely to get the carrier killed in the event of using the firearm in self defense. There is plenty of evidence documenting this in videos recordings of self defense shootings. KU, please just accepted defeat and allow carrying students to carry the way that is best for them. Let the CC student make the responsible decisions that affect thier life and stop trying to control how they chose to live. If KU really wants to make thier campus safer for everyone, they would provide carrying students with proper training by an experienced and competent firearms instructor. I know this is highly unlikely because this would mean the university would have to accept reality, and it would never want, in any inadvertent way, to seem as if it promoted self defense and saftey on its campus.

Spencer Bird 8 months, 1 week ago

Also very convenient that the article states "current research indicates that the net effect of campus carry on the safety of college students, faculty, and staff is likely to be more death, more nonfatal gunshot wounds, and more threats with a firearm that are traumatizing to victims." And then provides no 'research'. This is crap. Provide the research you are referring to if it even exists! And if it does, I am very skeptical as to the validity of said research.

Calvin Anders 8 months, 1 week ago

Spencer, Spencer, Spencer, I'm not suggesting the community be unwelcoming to anyone, just their deadly weapons. Hate the sin and not the sinner. Gun nuts are welcome to attend KU. They should just leave their guns at home. I don't think anyone has been shot on a college campus in Kansas lately and I don't think guns are necessary. I think this is a solution for a problem that just does not exist.

Spencer Bird 8 months, 1 week ago

Randolf, I understand what you meant now. You are right that no one has been shot on a college campus in Kansas. But that is the kind of thinking everyone has until it happens to them. No one ever expects thier house to catch fire or be broken into. But people still use smoke detectors, security systems, and lock thier doors when they leave. Just because it isn't likely doesn't mean it's impossible. You can not control a crazy person who might want to shoot up the campus. What we want is the ability to protect ourselves. This kind of policy could have saved many lives and prevented many injuries in the horrific Virginia Tech shooting. Closing our eyes to the potential danger is not the way to deal with a potential problem. Although this policy will make campus safer, that is not the purpose. The purpose of this was to prohibit public universities from stripping away the constitutional rights of its students. As far as I understand private colleges are not affected by this. It was in essence saying that since you receive the states money, you have to follow the states rules. In reality this policy will not change the campus in any noticeable way. Most of the students that attend KU are not even old enough to carry. KU doesn't attract very many conservative students and therefore a majority of the students who are legally able to carry are not interested in doing so. And in addition to that most conceal carry guns are on the expensive side, around $400 to start with. Many students who are able to carry and are interested in doing so don't have the funds. So in reality a very small minority of the students will actually be carrying. Some students already carry reguardless because they are not willing to allow a university to strip them of their constitutional rights and are not willing to subject themselves to danger to meet silly university rules or make other people feel safer. The bottom line is that Kansas is doing the right thing and upholding our constitutional rights. Campus life will not be any different than it is now and students will have the right to protect themselves wherever they go.

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