LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan State University trustees voted on changes to the on-campus gun policy Friday morning.
The ordinance passed 5-2. Vice Chair Dan Kelly and Chair Rema Vassar were the only trustees to vote against the changes.
In a change to the university’s ordinance “to provide clarity to the university’s prohibition of the possession and use of firearms on property governed by the Board of Trustees,” the trustees updated the ordinance’s language to apply to any person present at the university property, according to the executive action summary.
A release from MSU says:
Under the university’s current ordinance, established in 1964, no person, with the exception of law enforcement, may carry a concealed firearm in buildings owned or governed by the university. MSU also does not allow the open carry of a firearm. Additionally, under existing student and employee policies, students, faculty and staff may not possess a firearm on campus even with a valid permit.
The board’s amendment fortifies existing gun-safety measures by allowing only certified law enforcement officers and those with an approved educational or research purpose to possess a firearm on university grounds. The ordinance revisions add an exception for individuals fully qualified to carry a concealed weapon, under Michigan law, while they are operating a motor vehicle on a road owned by the university, so long as they remain in their vehicle.”Dan Olsen, MSU deputy spokesperson
“The School Board needs to make more progress and they need to listen to us as students because we know what’s best for us. We are adults, despite them seeing us as students,” Hailey Kenward of Spartans Against Gun Violence told 6 News Thursday.
Kenward shares her frustration with the pace of university security policy changes in the aftermath of February’s campus shooting.
On top of classes, the public relations major is helping support the group Spartans Against Gun Violence, which she co-founded.
While progress has been made at the state Capitol, she says more can be done at the university.
Those changes could be when the MSU Board of Trustees meets for the first time in the new academic year.
On the table is tightening up the on-campus weapons policy, which currently differs from Michigan gun laws.
The amendment to the ordinance would clarify that firearms are prohibited on campus, with some exceptions allowed by MSU officials, like police and people with valid state certification who drive through campus.
Not seeing more changes to the policy right now is disappointing to Kenward and fellow activist Joseph Kesto.
Kesto says demanding policy change should not fall on students, and says recent upgrades to campus security like expanding classroom door locks should have come sooner.
“It’s been years since things have happened. I think there were shootings before Columbine, changes should have been made way back then, not right now,” Kesto said.
6 News did reach out to trustee members for their thoughts on the amendment but did not hear back yet.