Dec 172009
 
Authors: Kristen Silveira

CSU students won’t be packing heat for much longer.

The CSU System Board of Governors determined unanimously, during Friday’s meeting in Denver, that it is in the best interest of the CSU system for each campus — Fort Collins and Pueblo — to implement individual policies to control the possession of permitted concealed weapons.

The BOG gave CSU President Tony Frank and Pueblo President Joe Garcia orders to draft overt gun policies specifically tailored to each campus to be presented to the board in February, said CSU spokesperson Brad Bohlander. While Frank and Garcia will have authority over on-campus guns that are not concealed, the board will no longer allow any concealed firearms on either campus, Frank said.

Frank said Friday in a phone interview that he has a copy of the Public Safety Team’s most recent policy recommendation, which bans concealed weapons on campus with a few exceptions, and will use this as a starting point for his final draft.

The ban rides the coattails of CSU Faculty Council’s request of a policy review last semester. Frank assigned the task of researching concealed carry to the Public Safety Team, which recommended a ban be placed on concealed weapons earlier this semester.

CSU Faculty Rep. and non-voting BOG member Dan Turk said he was not aware of a single faculty member opposed to banning concealed weapons on campus.

The issue had not yet come up in CSU-Pueblo Faculty Council meetings, said Scott Eriksen, faculty representative for the council and a non-voting BOG member.

“This (ban) could put a bad taste into certain peoples’ mouths,” said the Associated Students of CSU President Dan Gearhart, who presented the BOG with the proposal recommending maintenance of the current policy passed by ASCSU’s Senate Wednesday.

Ed Haselden, BOG vice-chair, said the job of the BOG is to anticipate the proposed risks of allowing concealed carry on the system campuses.

“Did anybody try to hypothesize the what if?” Haselden asked.

During debate, Gearhart was fired questions concerning the amount of time spent developing and debating the legislation — recommending the allowance of concealed carry — and the information-gathering process carried out by Sen. David Ambrose and his fellow authors. Gearhart delegated these questions to Ambrose, who also attended the meeting.

Ambrose said he had received more than 100 e-mails and a series of written letters expressing student and alumni desire to keep concealed carry on campus. No letters were received in support of a ban.

“I was waiting for that student, he or she never came,” Ambrose said.

CSU-Pueblo student body President Steve Titus, expressed distaste for concealed carry on campus but said his students have yet to establish an official stance on the issue.

CSU-Pueblo students are waiting to see the specifics of the possible policy, “they want more of the meat and potatoes of the issue,” Titus said.

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