Weekly College News Roundup: Colleges Practice Tactics to Combat Violence, Gay Marriage Welcomed and Smokers Shunned on Campuses

Tactics for Fighting Violence on Campuses


police_INSIDEAs the summer winds down and students prepare to return to campus across the country, colleges are taking a serious look at fighting violent shooting incidents on campuses. Kent State held a “mock” campus shooting exercise this past week:

“The police and fire departments conduct active-shooter training drills multiple times a year, but a scenario of this scale has not been done since 2007, said Eric Mansfield, executive director of University Media Relations.” – Christina Bucciere, Kent State University

Unfortunately, it looks like the officers weren’t quite prepared for the massive exercise. “[The officers] were sweating and yelling…it seemed like they didn’t know what was going on because they initially took the gun out of my hand and left,” said Ryan McNeilly, the student acting as the gunman in the scenario. Ryan went on to complement the officers in the comments of the article online though:

“Let me say that KSU PD, Kent City PD, and Kent FD did an excellent job to put on this exercise, and they all worked very hard to stay focused, taking the scenario very seriously. It was quite a learning experience from my own perspective as to how local law enforcement and emergency services work together to protect the community. There was a lot of discussion outside of the actual exercise between volunteers and KSU PD, and we all got along great. I think we gained a better understanding and respect for one another.” – Ryan McNeilly

Meanwhile, other have suggested that if more students were allowed to have weapons for self-defense, they could fight incidents like this themselves. Even so, it seems that the demand for carrying a concealed weapon is relatively low, at least at CU, Boulder. Students there have been legally allowed to keep a legally registered gun in one of the on-campus dorms for the past two years, but so far no one has requested to live there:

“The lack of students wanting to live in specific dorms highlights that [firearms] is an issue that did not warrant the level of attention it got…If a group of faculty believe this is something that needs revisiting, then the appropriate stance would be a joint town hall with the administration to hear all opinions. But I think the university has many more issues to focus on right now rather than revisiting the gun issue.” – Paul Chinowsky, Chairman of the Boulder Faculty Assembly, University of Colorado at Boulder

Same Sex Marriage Legal for Citizens and Students in Two New States


Despite protests from well-known, little-respected religious group, Westboro Baptist Church, Rhode Island has become the last state in New England to legalize same sex marriage. Meanwhile, Minnesota has also legalized gay marriage.


More can be found on the events as they transpire on the Brown Daily Herald.

Smoking Ban Reaches University of Dayton Students


As the number of young people who smoke has decreased and awareness of the dangers of secondhand smoke have increased, many colleges are looking to ban cigarettes from their campuses. The University of Dayton is the latest in this move away from a habit that still kills upwards of 440,000 people every year:

“Teri Rizvi, associate vice president for university communications, said smoking will only be permitted in 13 designated areas constructed throughout campus, effective Aug. 1. The policy will not affect public roads or sidewalks and students living in UD houses will continue to determine if they want their residence to be smoking or non-smoking, she said.” – Sarah Devine, University of Dayton

According to the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, almost 1200 colleges have banned smoking or moved it into designated areas only.