July 2, 2020

Students express concern over campus safety in SG meeting

Student Government met on Tuesday, Oct. 10, in their sixth assembly of the school year. The main topics of the meeting were Senate Bill One and Senate Bill Two.

The beginning of the assembly was open to all, and any student was welcome to voice his or her opinions regarding Student Government and its decisions.

Senior Austin Reid voiced his opinion not on whether Senate Bill One was right or wrong, but rather how the student body at Capital wasn’t being informed of the information surrounding the bill. He commented on the fact that off-campus news organizations knew the facts about it long before students did.

“… media outlets just don’t randomly hear about events at Capital University,” Reid said regarding an off-campus media source from Arizona picking up the story about Senate Bill One. “This coverage was part of a conscious and deliberate effort.”

Another student brought up the fact that public safety “… doesn’t even have tasers, and they do not have access to the type of alcohol or drugs that I know our student body has access to.”

Under Senate Bill Two, he is concerned about students that would be able to access tasers or other similar instruments while under the influence, whether it be of alcohol, drugs, or other illegal substances.

Another student said he and his family fear for his safety due to the fact that Capital is not a historically black college or university, and also because the first senate bill was introduced. He went on to say that although people deserve justice and the right to feel safe, the matter shouldn’t be left in the hands of people. Public safety should be providing those services because that is what they are paid to do and do very well.

After the public comments, Student Government was asked if they would like to reopen the vetoed Senate Bill One, but there was no motion so the meeting barrelled on. Following this was the discussion for Senate Bill Two, an act that would expand student rights to have self-defense weapons for defensive purposes only.

The senate members representing the bill strongly emphasized that the act would be under the Ohio revised code and would not allow for any firearms. It would include tasers, knives, pepper spray, and batons. Although the students would be allowed to carry these around campus, there are some buildings that do not allow for weapons to enter into their facility.

Another point brought up was that giving potentially untrained students rights to these weapons could actually make it more dangerous than just having the public safety officers, who are trained, use them.

The defensive for this bill claimed that Capital had a “C-” grade in regards to campus safety, according to a third party website. One of the senate members questioned this statistic by asking if the data taken to get this grade was just from campus, or if it was from a radius that includes the surrounding area. The answer was the latter.

At the end of the discussion period, the bill went to a vote. It went unpassed with 11 members voting no and eight voting yes. Some of the senators explained their reason for voting against the bill was because there were a lot of “what if’s” surrounding it. They want to have more opinions from students due to the controversy of the last senate bill.

The executive board members encourage students to come to the meetings to listen to all of the proposed legislation and to be able to voice their own opinions in matters that involve them. The next meeting will be held at 9 p.m. on Oct. 24 in Weiler.

Leave a Reply