ohio state university

Ohio State University is not only out of step with other public universities in the state regarding its policies on gun possession – it also violates state law, according to a lawsuit filed against OSU last week.

The university can’t prohibit storing guns in a locked car on campus or carrying at off-campus university events, Students for Concealed Carry and Ohioans for Concealed Carry said in the suit.

Four university policies forbid the lawful possession of a firearm, the suit said: the student code of conduct, human resources policy, the recreation department’s standards of conduct and the handbook for residence halls.

Only the Legislature has the authority to regulate gun use, Zach Zalneraitis, public relations director for Students for Concealed Carry, told The College Fix. Ohio law bans concealed handguns in places “owned or leased” by colleges “unless the handgun is in a locked motor vehicle or the licensee is in the immediate process of placing the handgun in a locked motor vehicle.”

Zalneraitis said his group is confident it will prevail in court OSU’s rules are in clear violation of state law.

concealed-carry-complaint

The student group said in a press release that OSU’s campus gun ban “disarms students to and from campus, leaving them vulnerable to violent crime on their commute in what is historically a high crime area, the University District.”

Owing to “certain provisions in the Student Code of Conduct,” even a student lawfully storing a gun in a vehicle “could face administrative sanctions from the university including expulsion,” the release said.

The student code prohibits not only the carrying of guns but the storage of guns on campus, which the suit says violates state law allowing people to keep guns in a locked car.

The code also gives the university jurisdiction over students even at off-campus events, meaning that the prohibition on concealed carry extends beyond the university, the suit claims.

Students breaking the rules can face suspension or expulsion, a sanction the plaintiffs find too harsh.

In response to the lawsuit, OSU spokesman Gary Lewis told The College Fix that the university is committed to a safe environment and that its policies comply with the law. Additionally, he said the university’s policies are similar to other universities in the state.

Gun policy on campus varies slightly at Ohio public universities, but some schools allow guns to be kept in locked cars and others are ambiguous in their off-campus carrying policy.

At Kent State University, guns are allowed to be kept in a locked car, but they are not allowed to be carried at off-campus university events “unless permitted under Ohio Revised Code,” according to an emailed statement from a university spokesperson.

The University of Toledo permits gun owners to keep their guns locked in a vehicle on campus. Cleveland State University follows the same policy.

A spokesperson for Ohio University told The College Fix that the university police enforce state law, which bans guns on campus except in a locked car.

The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence supports the university’s efforts to keep guns off campus, specifically keeping guns out of cars on campus, founder Toby Hoover told The College Fix.

College Fix contributor Matt Lamb is a student at Loyola University-Chicago.

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IMAGES: Scott Beale/Laughing Squid, Internet screenshot

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COLUMBUS – When Ohio State University graduating senior Mark Green checked online recently to see who’d been tapped as the guest speaker at his upcoming commencement ceremony, he said he was disappointed to learn it was the notoriously liberal pundit Chris Matthews.

“I saw it was him and I was like, ‘Why are they doing this?’” Green, a 26-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran who is earning his psychology degree, said in an interview with The College Fix. “I wouldn’t mind if it was a sitting politician, even if it was a liberal. But I don’t want to sit through a political commentator’s speech that I don’t agree with.”

Green is not alone. A lot of students have voiced disappointment over the selection of the MSNBC Hardball anchor as this May’s commencement speaker, a man who frequently bashes Republicans, has made comments suggesting people who oppose the Affordable Care Act are bigots and that those who scrutinize President Obama are racists, and who was brought to hysterics when Obama lost a presidential debate to Romney in 2012. matthewsinside.adamfagan

There was so much discontent, in fact, that it came to light there was no student input in the selection process this year – a situation blamed on a current leadership change underway the university. As an olive branch of sorts, administrators promised to ensure there’s student representatives on the commencement speaker committee from now on.

But the damage has been done, at least for the May 4 ceremony, at which an estimated 10,000 students are expected to graduate.

“I personally wish they had gone with someone politically neutral,” Ohio State junior Miranda Onnen said in an email to The College Fix. “Two years ago we had Speaker Boehner, and last year we had President Obama. Though both highly partisan, they are politicians of eminence, and a good choice by the university.”

“Matthews once had a job in politics, but now is a partisan pundit for a living,” adds Onnen, vice-chair of the campus College Republicans. “I’ve heard from many people, and not just conservatives, about their disappointment in this selection. I’m not a graduating senior, but I will be graduating next year. I can only hope that the selection will be less polarizing.”

Indeed, it appears plenty of students of all stripes are not thrilled with the pick.

When the campus newspaper The Lantern broke the news about the selection in mid-March, the article prompted 55 comments, many of which expressed angry sentiments about the choice, such as “a good reason to have diploma mailed” and “what a mistake OSU – tell me it isn’t true!”

Graduating senior Jake Bradley then wrote a letter to the editor stating “I am deeply disappointed in OSU for selecting Chris Matthews as the commencement speaker for my graduation. It is not because he is a hard line liberal, but rather because he is directly against open dialogue.”

In an interview with The College Fix, 21-year-old Cody Rizzuto, a University of Cincinnati student who represents conservative students across the state as vice-chair of the Ohio College Republican Federation, said the Matthews selection is a disservice to all students.

“To have someone who is that partisan … who has made a career out of pitting one part of the country against the other, is not who you want as a graduation speaker,” he said. “He is a talking head who makes points for the left.”

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGES: Main-Steve Bott (Flickr); Inside-Adam Fagan (Flickr)

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Nearly 30 students have fallen ill with the mumps at Ohio State University.

The Columbus Dispatch reports:

City health officials say the number of mumps cases associated with the outbreak among Ohio State University students has increased to 28.

Of those, 23 are students, one is a staff member, one is related to an OSU student and three are outside the university but have strong ties to it. On  Monday, the day classes resumed after spring break, the total was 23. Three people had been hospitalized for one day.

Students and faculty and staff members are  receiving emails updating them on the outbreak and answering anticipated questions about mumps and how to contain it.

Read the full article.

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Ohio State University has budgeted a whopping $100,000 to install no-smoking signs and banners on campus, The Lantern student newspaper reports.

So far, campus officials have used nearly half that money, $43,000, for the signs and banners that have already popped up on campus since Jan. 1, when the campuswide ban on smoking took effect, according to the Lantern.

The Lantern proceeded to interview several students who called it a waste of money, and also criticized the policy as unenforceable and an invasion of personal liberties.

Read more.

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OPINION

A student transfers from Ohio State to The King’s College, and reports back the difference between the two institutions could not be more stark.

MANHATTAN – It is a place nestled away deep in New York’s Financial District, just steps from Wall Street’s iconic landmarks.

A place where an individual’s worth is determined by an adherence to excellence and not an adherence to a particular political belief.

A place where students are encouraged to examine their own views, without being handed an acceptable view for them to follow.

A place where students are encouraged to follow their passions in humble servitude to their fellow man, and God if they so choose.

I am speaking of The King’s College, New York, a place aside from Ohio State University, where I was enrolled from fall 2011 until last May.

I transferred to The King’s College after two years at Ohio State upon the realization that my education could go no further as a student in Columbus.

I have come to discover in just two short months there could not possibly be a starker contrast between an adherence to worth being determined by act and worth being determined by adherence to liberalism’s hyperbolic absurdities.

At King’s, we open class with prayer (which no student is forced to participate in), whether it is within a Foundations of Politics class or an Introduction to the Old Testament. We hold the American flag to be an ideal upon which our country was founded, not a political statement which moral relativists believe may be burned by those so inclined. We believe in the notion of servitude to all. And we do all of this with the goal of preparation for the business world we will soon enter into.

The results speak for themselves.

As a student at Ohio State University, I was perpetually exposed to the belief that the Left is right, and the Right should be left behind, as though our professors were espousing from the pulpit within the church of American Liberalism at the expense of all students’ collective education.

At Ohio State, each student’s abilities were determined by whether they could regurgitate liberal myths (such as the Glass-Steagall Act having been repealed by President Bush and not President Clinton).

Each day, Ohio State rises again to pre-class discussions, which are synonymous with mocking the conservative values America was founded upon and any belief in the Constitution. The simple notion of what is right and just, which we here at The King’s College examine each day (not just for each individual but for each man, woman and child), Ohio State students rarely find outside of their own student groups.

Having taken part in the founding of one such club (OSU’s Free Enterprise Society), I can attest to the fact that these right-of-center organizations are formed in reaction to that which they are exposed to within classes, as a means of Free Speech and the necessity of furthering their collegiate education, all of this due to the liberal bias they are expected to regurgitate for midterms and finals.

At The King’s College, we begin each day with the notion that each of our passions is a purpose given to each of us (by God if we so believe, as many of us do), which when combined with an education and our individual talents is preparation, which allows us to be the manner of citizen Ohio State’s motto proclaims – and at one time must have been the standard – “Education for Citizenship.”

Each day, we are asked only one thing at King’s, we are asked to believe in American Exceptionalism, in the humblest sense possible, to have care for our fellow man and the disadvantaged, and never to lose sight of the fact that what we do can never bring fulfillment if it is done out of greed or ill will.

This simple adherence to notions of honor and dignity is not a one-way street. Each faculty member is expected to adhere to the same honor code that each student signs at the beginning of their first year on campus; a notion which is beyond the reach of all but the few shining stars of tenured professors at Ohio State.

At King’s, students are not asked to submit to the assertion that our current president is more intelligent than all but the select few of us, nor that we are more intelligent than our previous president, with the conservative Christians being the exception.

The difference is, simply stated, a tale of two universities, one consumed by the worst of our time, the other by the best of our time.

It is the difference between an education where faith is not persecuted and the free market of ideas is cherished and one where it is not.

There could not possibly be a starker contrast within our modern higher education system than between what an education is meant to be and what an education consumed by propaganda becomes. 

Fix contributor Patrick Seaworth is a student at The King’s College, New York.

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IMAGE: Mark Brannan/Flickr

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While some universities, in attempts to keep a lookout for lone-wolf shooters, have spent millions of dollars on a vast array of campus security cameras, other campuses have considerably beefed up their police force tools with urban-warfare tanks—in effect creating little armies.

Ohio State University and Columbia, Mo., home of the University of Missouri, are two such examples.

MRAP_rg33LThe Daily Caller reported that the Ohio State University campus police recently obtained what appears to be a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle to add to their security detail. Critics of campus security ask why such a tank-like vehicle, built primarily for urban warfare, would ever be needed in a small college town, let alone on a campus.

The massive vehicle is capable of holding 10 passengers within its bulky frame. It is also armed with a turret, gun ports and a battering ram for those hard-to-get-into dorm rooms. Needless to say, that is a lot of artillery for a small town police department tasked with the unenviable job of corralling young college students.

Not to be outdone, Columbia, Mo.—a small town compared to most other expansive cities with large SWAT forces–picked up its own $200,000, ground-pounding behemoth this past April. The vehicle is called a “Bearcat” which is an acronym for “Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck.”

To that point, universities and college towns are, under the guise of safety, taking security several steps further, opting to step up the full militarization of their police forces; it remains to be seen whether or not the increasing militarization of the police is an effective tool to use to combat episodic shooting tragedies.

The Daily Caller contacted OSU media director Gary Lewis who bragged that “OSU’s campus cops are the first agency in the state to acquire such a vehicle.”

The vehicle may be used for officer rescues, hostage scenarios, bomb evaluations or campus shootings, according to campus officials.

After Lewis’ comments, and Reason Magazine’s investigations on the story, OSU and its PR department shut out all media inquiries, admitting to reporters only that the university has borrowed other law enforcement vehicles in the past. The admission appears to contradict Lewis’ claim that the OSU campus police were the first in the state to own an urban assault vehicle.

In the same vein, Lt. Geoff Jones of Columbia, Mo., SWAT told The Fix that the Bearcat was meant to replace the police department’s older armored response vehicle that had become aged and worn-out. “The vehicle needed to be replaced,” Jones said. He refused to justify why the police department needed an armored vehicle at all, only saying that it can be used in hostage situations and to break up riots.

As if the “Bearcat” was not enough to keep the crime in check, the Columbia city council in early September filled out a purchase order for more than 40 M4 Semi-Automatic rifles and a set of 25 night vision goggles, according to City Council documents. Again, the purchasing of the rifles and an armored vehicle prompted some to question the city council’s decision to arm to the teeth the city’s police department.

After the 2007 Texas Tech shootings, many universities have acted quickly, and, some say, too hastily to protect their students from episodic acts of violence—forgetting that schools are schools, not warzones.

One of the most outspoken critics of the militarization of all police forces, not just campus police departments, is former Reason Magazine editor Radley Balko.

Balko told The Fix that “schools and police officials will cite Virginia Tech or Columbine as reason for needing SWAT teams or armored vehicles, but the average campus can expect to see a homicide once every several thousand years.” Moreover, Balko said, once these Columbine/VT incidents do not transpire, which they rarely ever do, they then can use these militaristic vehicles for more mundane purposes.

In short, police departments appear to use the public’s fear of lone shooters as a way to acquire armored toys.

Fix contributor Christopher White is a University of Missouri graduate student, an editorial assistant for The College Fix, and Missouri state chairman of Young Americans for Liberty. He may be reached at [email protected]

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