4.28.2010

Sights Set On Higher Education

A few days ago I received an odd e-mail that was sent to the UAA community at large:

You may have heard that at the recent Board of Regents' meeting, an individual spoke against the University's policy regulating firearms. The individual suggested people will protest the policy by carrying firearms on campus in the near future. The intent of this e-mail is to share information with you about what to do should you see someone on University property with a firearm.

The University of Alaska has regulated the possession of firearms on University property since 1995. Except for students living in University housing or individuals storing firearms in a locked vehicle, University Regulations (Chapter 02.09) prohibit individuals from carrying a firearm on University property, or in offices, classrooms, or meeting space controlled by the university. Students living on campus may store firearms in University-owned secured storage maintained by University Police. Incidents of unauthorized firearms possession on property have been rare.

Really? Someone has a problem with the no guns on campus policy? Are things really that dangerous? Is the dining hall food that bad that people need to be able to hunt for lunch on campus?

Today we received notice that the protest is imminent:

Please be advised that UAA students as well as individuals not affiliated with UAA plan to gather in the Cuddy Quad this morning to peacefully protest the University of Alaska Board of Regents’ policy and University Regulation prohibiting the carrying of firearms on University of Alaska campuses. Individuals may decide to carry a firearm in violation of our policies and regulations. The University Police Department (UPD) and Campus Response Team are monitoring the situation and will respond appropriately to ensure that the demonstration is minimally disruptive.
If you see an individual—or a group of individuals—with firearms, or any other weapon on campus, please alert UPD immediately by calling 786-1120. If you feel unsafe, please contact UPD.
So, thanks, Second Amendment Task Force, for taking the time to tackle serious issues like whether students should be able to bring assault rifles to class and distracting the campus from silly little things like final examinations and concern for grades.

Update:  (1) Apologies to the Second Amendment Task Force, who don't seem to be involved with this protest. Rather, it was a concerned student (who gets activist points from me, however misguided his activism is). (2) The rally was attended by four protesters and twenty journalists and echoed the tone of all of the recent Tea Party action: other than the Second Amendment rhetoric, there was a lot of discussion about  "constitutional rights being taken away," but no concrete examples of the specific rights at issue or how said rights are being infringed.

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