VSU Interim President pens letter to governor opposing ‘campus carry’

| March 25, 2016
Valdosta State University Technology Magazine
VALDOSTA – Cecil P. Staton, Interim President of Valdosta State University, has sent a letter asking Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to veto House Bill 859 which would allow students to carry firearms on college campuses
Dear Governor Deal,

As the General Assembly’s session winds down for this year, I wanted to take the opportunity to convey to you the sentiments of the Valdosta State University campus community with respect to the “campus carry” provisions contained in HB 859. First, let me echo the message from the Board of Regents and Chancellor Huckaby when I say Valdosta State supports current law. This is the message the campus has heard from me during meetings where “campus carry” have been discussed. Based on feedback I am receiving, from our faculty and the University Police Department, there are serious concerns about the bill.

Our Faculty Senate passed a resolution in January opposing any bill which included “campus carry” provisions saying, in part, “that universities are unique environments”…”with a clearly stated purpose to promote and facilitate the discovery, application and dissemination of knowledge” [where] “allowing concealed carry permit holders to bring firearms on university grounds or into classrooms threatens the progress of education and the expression of ideas by imposing lethal weaponry within a place that harbors vigorous and often heated academic discussion…”

Our police officers are concerned with maintaining the security of the campus and with so many unpredictable consequences possible from accidental or negligent discharges or the addition of well-intentioned but untrained bystanders to any potentially volatile situation on the campus, “campus carry” complicates their mission exponentially.

Finally, please consider that “the Move on When Ready” program can be a powerful tool Valdosta State University can use to help “Create a More Educated Georgia.” The possible presence of concealed weapons on our campus will give parents of bright high school students pause as they consider options for their child.

Governor, it is for these reasons, rooted in safety and protection of our educational mission, that I ask you to consider your options carefully, and to veto HB 859 and any other bill with similar language permitting weapons on campus.

I want to thank every member of the university community for the role that you play in protecting and nurturing Valdosta State University’s tradition of academic, creative, athletic, and service excellence on campus, in the community, and around the world. Go, Blazers!

Cecil P. Staton, D.Phil.
Interim President
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3 Comments on "VSU Interim President pens letter to governor opposing ‘campus carry’"

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  1. Robert says:

    This Interim President has no clue as to what he is talking about. He states that “The possible presence of concealed weapons on our campus will give parents of bright high school students pause as they consider options for their child.” What would give parents “pause” would be the multiple and long history of VSU students being robbed by either knife or gunpoint by those that don’t care about the laws, and nothing ever being done about it. All those victims out there from the late night robberies and no police anywhere around. The VSU police are too busy setting up in places to catch people speeding through the campus, but at night, you don’t see them anywhere. As a parent of a child that is in college, I am ok knowing that others would be carrying concealed. My daughter may be one of those unfortunate to be robbed by someone and the concealed carry person may just be the one that saves her. Concealed carry does not give me “pause”, but the crime statistics of VSU and lack of action on this does give me “pause.”

    Let’s not mention that this letter to the Governor is weak at best. No facts or anything to support why he should Veto this bill. also, Gov. Deal is pretty much pro gun, so the chances of this being passed, in my opinion, is pretty good.

  2. whitesave says:

    Thank you

  3. Eric "Da Blacksheep" TrixNDix says:

    Coming from the guy who runs a school that’s bordered by ghetto on 3 sides and has numerous issues of violence/robbery against it’s students.