Student Senate Discusses the Possible Arming of DPS Officers
By Gauri Mangala, News Editor
Coming off of a rather uneventful first meeting, Student Senate reconvened on Monday, Jan. 28 with a presentation and discussion led by Dean of Students Julie Ramsey and Executive Director of Public Safety William Lafferty regarding a proposal for partial or situational arming of DPS officers.
Ramsey and Lafferty presented the proposal to the Senate, reminding that while the student body, faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees have and will be consulted, the final decision lies with the college president.
Since Virginia Tech in 2007, Ramsey and Lafferty have been asked to analyze the security of the college and make a recommendation on whether or not to arm officers. This is the first time in over a decade that they are considering it.
According the Lafferty, if this proposal were to go into effect, firearms would only be taken out of safes with the possibility of being utilized in “very specific circumstances.”
Students questioned why this was only being considered now, and what makes this time different than every other year. Lafferty stated that he could think of four instances in the past few years that could have used the possibility of arming officers, including an incident on October 3, 2017 where a shelter in place was advised.
For the full senate meeting, watch The Gettysburgian’s Facebook livestream:
Treasurer Haley Gluhanich ’19 noted that $53,743.89 remains in the senate budget for the semester. Shots in the Dark Improv Comedy and the Owl & Nightingale Players were announced to be on fiscal probation, pending the submission of certain forms.
Vice President Patrick Custer ’19 announced that the quorum was still in need of a senator for the Class of 2021, even after the recent appointment of Ryan Sipple ’21.
Jon Allen, Director of the Organization of Student Activities and Greek Life (OSAGL) acknowledged the current difficulties with the updated website and assured that work is being done to correct issues with functionality.
Affinity groups elected the Spring 2019 semester’s affinity group leaders:
- Academic: Ryan Schimmel
- Political: Sara Tomson
- Religious: Laura Fodale
- Service: Sydney Kaplan
- Social: Marz Smeltzer
- Arts & Music: Hannah Labovitz
- Cultural: Melanie Pangol
EMS Club and Skeptical Chemists were allotted $1,387 and $1,036, respectively.
Student Senate will reconvene Monday, February 4.