College hosts Campus Safety Town Hall

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The college hosted a campus safety town hall on October 19, 2016. Members of the KOPS Advisory Committee spoke to students, faculty members and others concerned with the new law regarding concealed carry on campus. Photo by Andrew Hartnett, The Campus Ledger.

Kim Harms

Staff reporter

kharms3@jccc.edu

The Campus Safety Town Hall meeting took place Wednesday afternoon to discuss future plans for the updated Concealed Carry law that will go into effect next year.

The KOPS Advisory Committee explained the updated law to college students and how the law will affect them. Janelle Vogler, Executive Director for Audit and Advisory Services, summarized the meeting.

“[This meeting was] a chance to give students an update on what the college is doing in regards to the Concealed Carry law,” Vogler said.

The Concealed Carry law allows anyone to carry a gun in public places as long as they have a Concealed Carry license. Higher education institutions in Kansas are exempted from this law, however, this exemption will expire on July 1, 2017.

This year Fort Hays University prepared a survey for the college about the law. Out of 2,178 responses, 52 percent wanting the law to be amended so that guns are never allowed on campus, 13 percent wanted the exemption deadline to be extended and 35 percent wanted the law to be amended so that guns will be always be allowed on campus.

Out of 1,866 responses from the same survey, 69.56 percent said they felt very safe on campus during daylight hours, 6.81 percent were neutral and 1.39 percent said they felt very unsafe. This brought up the topic of how students would feel about their safety on campus after this law goes into effect.

Alisa Pacer, Emergency Preparedness Manager, explained how the college will abide by the law as well as continue to maintain a safe environment on campus.

“[The college’s] policy will include the restrictions within the law. Concealed Carry is only for those who are 21 years old,” Pacer said. “You can go on our webpage and read about [the law]. I feel really good about the different ways we have for reporting [crimes].”

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