Jennings, Lincoln students express concerns over gun violence

President Robert Jennings during a January convocation (Courtesy of the Office of Communications and Public Relations)

President Robert Jennings during a January convocation (Courtesy of the Office of Communications and Public Relations)

Some Lincoln University students have raised concerns about the campus gun policy in view of the talks surrounding the gun control policy of the United States of America and recent mass shootings across the country.

President Barack Obama recently presented his proposals for gun control in the face of criticisms from Republican enthusiasts and dubious Democrats. These include background checks on all gun buyers, severe measures to restrict gun trafficking, the prohibition of military-style assault weapons and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 bullets.

The president’s proposal came as a quick response to last December’s Sandy Hook shooting in Conn.  In the most recent shooting incident, at the Texas State University’s campus on January 22, 2013, three people were left wounded after two men had an altercation.

This has placed the nation’s public debate on gun control policy as the forefront issue on the minds of the Lincoln University community, and has led to subsequent questions on Lincoln’s policy on guns on campus and if campus safety should be questioned.

Lincoln University President, Dr. Robert R. Jennings, said, “I would personally add that it is a tragedy of what is happening in this country as it relates to guns and it is even more sad that members of the National Rifle Association and others do not understand that we must do everything possible to try and ensure that those purchasing guns must be thoroughly screened before they are allowed to purchase such.  The tragedy that occurred in Conn. cannot be allowed to go unnoticed or taken lightly.”

When these questions were posed to public safety officials on campus, Chief Barry Woods, director/chief of the Department of Public Safety, said that they would act according to Lincoln’s policy, as well as the police’s usual response to an “active shooter.”

Lincoln University’s policy on guns states:

“Because of the vulnerability of its students, employees and others at the University campuses and workplace, the University also strictly regulates weapons on University property and in the workplace. With certain very narrow exceptions described below in this Policy, including with respect to certified Law Enforcement Personnel acting in the course of their duties; the University prohibits the possession, carrying, or use of any weapons on University property or in the workplace with the exception of Law Enforcement Personnel.”

Though some minds of the community have been stirred about gun policy, some Lincoln University students are not aware of the country’s current uproar about gun policy.

When it comes to the Lincoln community, many students have mixed feelings about their own safety.

Graduating senior Naya Farrel says, “I feel a lot safer now than I did when I first got here. Lincoln has definitely tightened up, and thank God for that.”

Another graduating senior, Bianca Constant, agreed that Lincoln has come a long way but says they still have a long way to go to make their students feel completely safe.

When freshman Collin Burke was asked if he felt safe on Lincoln’s campus his answer differed from other students. “No I feel far from safe. Anyone can come on this campus. Public Safety needs to check cars more, check IDs,” Burke said.

Some may say students would feel safer if they actually knew the gun policy. When 10 Lincoln University students were asked if they were aware of the gun policy and procedures used if it was discovered someone had a gun on campus, only two students were educated on the procedures.

Though many are aware of the recent mass shootings that have occurred they are unaware of the many proposals and debates on the country’s gun policy.

“I do not know exactly what is going on with the gun policy but, I do believe that it is extremely too easy for people to get guns,” said Lincoln University junior Hawa Sesay. ”There are a lot of crazy people out there. It shouldn’t be so easy for them to purchase guns.”

(This piece was composed by students of Com 412, the senior seminar for Mass Communications students.  This year’s seminar is focusing on gun violence in America.  To read more, visit

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