BY TINA HENNESSEY
SC Staff Writer
Recently, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) drafted a policy that will allow the possession of deadly or offensive weapons on the campuses of the 14 state universities.
The policy defines deadly or offensive weapons as “any device designed to produce death or serious bodily injury.”
Knives that have a blade longer than three inches and other commercial items that are greater than three fluid ounces are also included.
This policy would prohibit the carrying of weapons in sensitive areas. These sensitive areas include all PASSHE buildings, sporting events, field trips, outdoor commencements, and more.
A task force was established by PASSHE to study and create a policy for this issue after Kutztown University changed their policy on weapons.
Kutztown University’s Student Handbook, The Key, states, “Possession, carrying or use of firearms, explosives, other weapons, dangerous chemicals in university buildings, facilities and/or at university events is prohibited.”
Kutztown isn’t the only PASSHE state university with a separate policy. However, East Stroudsburg University is not one of them. The other state universities with individual gun control policies include California, Edinboro, Lock Haven, Millersville, and Slippery Rock.
In East Stroudsburg University’s current student handbook it states, “Possession or use of firearms, explosives, and chemicals on campus is prohibited, even if a student has a legal permit.”
The drafted PASSHE policy is similar to Kutztown University’s current weapons policy.The main push for PASSHE to create a gun policy was so the state universities would not be subjected to any lawsuits.
The Board of Governors were originally supposed to vote on the policy on January 23, but on January 9 it was announced that the policy decision would be delayed.
PASSHE Chancellor Frank Brogan said, “We have a responsibility to continue to look at the unfolding legality that surrounds this issue.”
It is still unknown when this policy will be presented to the Board of Governors, but PASSHE officials said they want the policy set for the 2014-2015 academic year.
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