Michigan State University Board of Trustees approved a new gun policy on Sept. 8 which only allows certified law enforcement officers and those with an approved educational or research purpose to possess a firearm on university grounds.
Individuals with license to openly or conceal carry a firearm will no longer be able to have firearms on university grounds. The one exception is that those with licenses to carry a concealed firearm may drive through campus but not exit their vehicle with the firearm.
The previous university policy banned carrying concealed firearms in buildings owned or governed by the university, with the exception of law enforcement.
With the immediate change, senior Maddie Ricci feels safer but thinks the university could do much more.
“It has made me feel a lot safer. I know just like seeing everything on social media the last couple weeks even just with (University of North Carolina), I appreciate it,” said Ricci. “I think they can probably do more to make the campus even more safe. MSU should have implemented safety precautions when shootings started on college campuses,”
MSU senior Nicole Kaminski agrees.
“I think the new regulations were needed. I thought it should have always been in place,” said Kaminski. “I think I feel more safe from the incident seven months ago. I don’t know what all has been in place besides the new regulation, but I feel safer.”
MSU Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff said the new gun safety regulation will protect the students, staff, and the university.
“The board’s action furthers our ongoing effort of creating a safer environment for Spartans to learn, live and work,” she said.
Sophomore Morghan Bolden said the incident seven months ago should not have been a catalyst for safety precautions.
“MSU should have already had things in place for events like this,” said Bolden. “I am glad about the new regulations, but I don’t feel fully safe because it was not a big enough priority for the university earlier on.”
Woodruff said even if the new regulations were enforced earlier, gun violence is still present and the university recognizes the issue.
“Gun violence is a pervasive issue in our society and one that has impacted many among our university community,” said Woodruff. “But adding more guns to the equation has not been proven to decrease the pervasiveness of the issue. Students and employees have shared they would feel safer with more consistency in our firearm ordinance. This action delivers on that while also recognizing guns have no place in the classroom or a place of learning.”
Additionally, MSU has implemented more safety precautions to ensure student safety.
“Following the tragic events of Feb. 13 and numerous listening sessions from students, faculty, staff, community members and other stakeholders, MSU and the Department of Police and Public Safety implemented a number of different campus safety and security upgrades,” said Woodruff. “These included revised building hours for the majority of MSU’s academic buildings, the installation of hundreds of door locks on campus classroom doors, the installation of additional security cameras on campus and making it mandatory for all students, faculty and staff to participate in active violence intruder training starting this fall.”