Many students were horrified to learn that a group of Senators in our Student Government had introduced resolutions that would misleadingly claim that students wanted to be able to carry guns on campus. Both resolutions have come as an unwelcome surprise to students and they showcase the lack of transparency and communication that has been shown by SGA.
Fortunately, two students on campus, Doug Marshall and Devin Majors, were able to collect well past the needed 250 students signatures to host a referendum. This will allow students to have a voice on this matter. It will be held on Dec. 5, 2017 and we encourage all students to vote NO to concealed carry on campus.
The principal argument that has been given by these Senators is that students feel unsafe. However, UTM is ranked as one of the safest universities in the nation, and we would like to keep it this way. Giving students weapons will complicate the jobs of local law enforcement and it will make students, faculty, and staff feel uncomfortable.
If students fell unsafe, the university should hire more trained police officers or implement other steps to provide adequate security. We believe that the best course of action is to put our trust in the campus police instead of student gun owners.
Given the current unhealthy political climate in this country, we feel that it is too dangerous to allow college students to carry guns as it may cause conflicts to arise.
The Black Student Association stands firmly against S.R. 1704 & 1708. We believe that allowing students to carry concealed firearms on campus is not only unnecessary but will make our campus a far more dangerous place.
We encourage the University of Tennessee at Martin, UTM Faculty Senate, the UT Board of Trustees, Tennessee State Legislature, and Governor Haslam to continue to prohibit college students from carrying guns on campus.
Black Student Association of the University of Tennessee at Martin
(Logo Credit/The Black Student Association)