Love it or hate it, the right to self defense is protected under the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution. The 2nd Amendment has been a topic of discussion around the nation and can be considered relatively polarizing.
The Libertarian Party affirms the individuals right to keep and bear arms. However, does an individual’s constitutional rights halt once they step onto a public university? There are many opinions surrounding the heavily debated legislation, House Bill 2519 – The Campus Self Defense Act – at West Virginia University.
As discussed in my previous blog post, Campus Carry: Do Student Opinions Matter? , there are various opinions/reactions to the legislation from WVU students, faculty, and administration.
The bill’s progression through the legislature has catalyzed reactions on campus.
1. The Discussion
On Thursday, Feb. 21, WVU administration invited students, faculty, and staff to the Mountaineer Gluck Theater at 10 a.m. to discuss Campus Carry.
The event was led by Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Rob Alsop; Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Joyce McConnell; and University Police Chief W.P. Chedester. Students, faculty, and staff were encouraged to contribute to the conversation, no matter their view point on HB 2519.
2. The Walkout
On the very same day, WVU faculty announced their intentions to hold a walkout in protest of HB 2519.
The walkout was held from noon to 2 p.m. at Woodburn Circle. A few instructors that participated in the walkout exempted students from class and postponed class work.
However, the walkout turned into a protest against Campus Carry.
Naturally, that erupted a counter-protest.
3. The Compromise
The worries of the university regarding Campus Carry did not fall on hard ears. Law makers have listened to the concerns of the university and added exemptions to the bill.
The campus carry exemptions include: on-campus residence halls (not including common areas), stadiums or arenas that can hold up to 1,000 spectators, daycare at the university, animal and hazardous laboratories, etc.