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A message from President Julie E. Wollman regarding the university weapons policy

05/15/2013

Dear Edinboro University Campus Community,

The safety of Edinboro University students and other members of the campus community is our top priority, and I share the concerns about weapons on campus that some of you have expressed following recent news stories. Those reports about Edinboro University’s policy regarding weapons on campus have been somewhat misleading in that they do not reflect the actual language of our policy.

First, let me clarify that the Edinboro University policy does not permit carrying concealed weapons. Rather, it prohibits guns in all buildings and at all events. Although it would be our choice to prohibit weapons on campus entirely, we have been advised by attorneys for the State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) that state law does not allow us to restrict the carrying of guns in open spaces on campus, which are public property. Edinboro’s policy was written to comply with state law in December 2012 based on language provided by PASSHE legal counsel. Of course, anyone with a weapon in the open spaces on our campus is bound by our other policies related to conduct, harassment and endangerment of others, so the use of any weapon in a way that violates other policies is prohibited.

 The policy states, in part: The possession or carrying of any weapon by any person is prohibited in University academic buildings, administrative buildings, student residence buildings, athletic buildings, dining facilities or while attending sporting, entertainment, recreational or educational events on the University’s property at all Edinboro University sites (Edinboro, Erie, Meadville).

The presidents of the 13 other state universities and I already had plans to address the issue before it became a news story recently, because none of us wants to allow guns anywhere on our campuses except in the hands of our trained law enforcement officers. It is our hope that a way can be found to make explicit prohibition of weapons everywhere on campus possible. I am pleased to be representing the PASSHE Presidents on the new PASSHE Public Safety and Security Task Force, through which I hope to be able to advance our concern regarding weapons on campus. Please be assured that we do not sanction carrying weapons on campus, and students continue to be prohibited from possessing any weapon anywhere on our campuses by our Student Code of Conduct.

I have no greater concern and commitment than the safety of our campus and our students’ well-being. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Julie E. Wollman, President