Part of effort to ‘promote a safe learning and work environment’
The Georgetown University faculty senate recently passed a proposal that calls for banning faculty, staff, students and visitors from bringing any firearms on campus, a move that is allegedly meant to make the university a safer place to work and learn.
The new policy would apply “to anyone present on campus, including students, faculty, employees and visitors and prohibits all firearms, explosives and weapons on Georgetown grounds or property, at events and in any vehicle controlled by the university,” the student newspaper The Hoya reports.
The university currently prohibits weapons on its campus by way of the human resources department and student code of conduct, but the school “has not previously instituted a universitywide policy,” the paper states.
Law enforcement officials will be exempt from the ban, as will chemical weapons like pepper spray and “armed objects on display for artistic or cultural value.”
The faculty senate worked in conjunction with [the Georgetown University Police Department] and the Office of General Counsel to draft the policy, which will be sent out to all faculty for objections or suggestions. The senate will review the policy Jan. 17.
Co-Chair Margaret Gleason (COL ’22) of Georgetown’s chapter of March For Our Lives, a national movement in favor of stronger gun violence prevention measures, said the policy may help students feel safer on campus.
“March For Our Lives Georgetown is strongly in favor of the proposed policy regarding firearms, weapons and explosives on Georgetown’s campus,” Gleason wrote in an email to The Hoya. “We hope that the implementation of this policy will help all Georgetown students feel safer in our community and ensure that we never have to experience the tragedies that too many communities across our country have endured.”
The policy states that the proposal is “part of the university’s efforts to promote a safe learning and work environment for the Georgetown community.”
Gun bans have not necessarily led to safer campuses in the past. The worst college shooting in United States history, at Virginia Tech in 2007, took place on a campus that banned firearms.