Safety of campus debatable

Two weeks ago, three University Police officers were assaulted when responding to a call at Waterbury Hall involving a suspicious person.

Elsewhere, horrifying and tragic occurrences have brought into question the safety of other university campuses. In Cleveland, Mississippi, a man named Shannon Lamb shot and killed a former colleague, Ethan Schmidt, at Delta State University before taking the life of a woman he lived with, Amy Prentiss, and finally his own.

Events such as these have raised questions about how university administrators and police can better protect students from incidents such as harassment, assault, suspicious behavior and even the presence of an active shooter, which, unfortunately, is growing into a greater threat.

In the case of campus shootings, there are many who feel allowing people to carry guns on college campuses would be beneficial. For example, Florida lawmakers are pushing ahead with a bill that would allow this. Is that really the best course of action, though? Do we really want to be fighting fire with fire?

The ability to be armed with a weapon would not make college campuses safer, but instill more fear and paranoia. There is a lot of debate over whether the ability to carry a gun is a right or not. Without getting into that debate, whatever the case, it is first and foremost a privilege.

A college campus, where the majority of people are not qualified to carry a gun, is not the place to exercise some misguided fit of paranoia and stubbornness. It is, however, a place where qualified individuals, such as University Police, are the only ones who should be allowed to carry a gun.

With this in mind, if administrators and lawmakers want to make college campuses safer, putting a gun in everyone’s hand is not the correct course of action.

Other safety concerns, such as reckless behavior and underage drinking are being addressed by Oswego State administrators. May’s first annual OzFest is a good example of a campus safety response that works. Oswego State administration went to great lengths to make the annual Bridge Street Run a more low key and safe event. Many underage students were deterred from drinking and reckless behavior because of the festival.

Overall, campus safety is about administrators taking the necessary, but reasonable steps to ensure every student is safe. Here at Oswego State, University Police will continue to respond swiftly to urgent matters of any kind, and administration will, hopefully, continue to make the right decisions that have a positive impact on campus life.