Voice Concerns About Susquehanna University's Gun Policies

Voice Concerns About Susquehanna University's Gun Policies

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Ashleigh Tomcics started this petition to Everyone

To Whom It May Concern:


I, as a single voice representing what I believe to be a large portion of Susquehanna University’s student body, cannot remain silent. While recognizing that the decision to allow Public Safety officers to carry guns on campus was not made in vain, it was made with disregard to student concern and opinion.


This decision was sprung on the student body via email as a concrete decision with no opportunity for student awareness, input, or collaboration.


Furthermore, it has been said that the number of officers allowed to carry said guns will not be released. While it was presented that not all officers will be armed, and that those who are will be “highly trained.” However, no specifics were given as to what qualifies as “highly trained,” or how this change will shape campus safety procedures going forth. There also seems to be no intention to hold any sort of open forum to answer student questions or address student concerns. Furthermore, no information was presented about circumstances where an armed officer will be sent to address calls.


I myself was not present at the only meeting hosted to present this to the student body, which was a Student Government Association Meeting, but accounts from those present tell me that the following were given as reasons to allow this:

·      The large presence of guns in Snyder County

·      An effort to increase response time to incidents occurring on campus

·      Input from Selinsgrove Police Department


Other safety measures discussed to be taken were:

·      An increase of mass casualty kits on campus

·      Increased usage of the emergency text alert system


Nothing was stated about how the university administration plans to address safety concerns of people of color on campus, especially considering the high rate of gun violence towards POCs from officers, or similarly high rates of violence towards those in the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, no accountability measures or reporting procedures were mentioned or discussed.


The Student Government Association was also given the information of how many and which officers will be given firearms, while this information is being kept from the student body at large. Only fifteen minutes were given for questions addressing this issue at the SGA meeting.


This is a decision that affects the everyday lives of the entire student body, and yet we remain uninformed and disregarded during this decision process and implementation. It was poorly planned and explained at best, and ignorant of student desires, opinions, and needs at worst. No plans or efforts have been made to provide the same information to the student body at large that was provided to SGA. This type of information also disregards the fact that we, as students, pay tuition to go here, live here, and feel safe. The decisions made on our behalf do not take into consideration our own thoughts on our own safety, which is a violation of our rights to live and learn here with peace of mind.

This by no means hits every point of concern, so please voice issues I have missed, and let your voice be heard. I do applaud university efforts to make change and other safety measures taken.

Please consider signing this petition to voice your concerns as a student, faculty or staff member, community member, or concerned citizen.

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