State colleges and universities in Rhode Island can now arm campus police after a vote Thursday night at the State Board of Education. Critics said more guns on campus will not make students safer, but supporters, including University of Rhode Island President David Dooley, said campus police should carry guns to do their jobs more effectively.
Dooley said he believes arming police is logical decision for URI.
There’s a meaty agenda on tap this week at the State Board of Education. The group is scheduled to vote Thursday on a controversial proposal to allow police to carry guns on state college campuses. The board is also scheduled to vote on adopting new science standards and consider a contract extension for Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.
It’s hard not to be moved by the plight of Moore, Oklahoma which was hit by a catastrophic tornado Monday. Hundreds of buildings were flattened and at least 24 people, including nine children, were killed.
Experts say New England is less likely to be hit by a tornado than anywhere else east of the Rocky Mountains. New England averages eight tornadoes a year, but they tend to be weak events – on the scale of EF0 or EF1. The storm that hit Moore, Oklahoma has been categorized an EF5.
The Atlantic Hockey blog mentions that the University of Rhode Island is being considered by league brass to replace the University of Connecticut, which is moving its Division 1 hockey team into the Hockey East.
The Atlantic Hockey Conference is known as a stepping stone conference for colleges moving up to Division 1. Quinnipiac, for example, started in Atlantic Hockey and is now a national power that plays in the ECAC conference along with such Ivy League schools as Brown and Yale, which won the national championship a few weeks back over Quinnipiac, Yale’s New Haven neighbor.
The state Board of Education is scheduled to vote this week on a proposal to arm campus police at the state’s three public colleges. Under the proposed rule, campus presidents would have the authority to decide whether armed security is necessary on their campuses.
A key house committee has put off voting on a bill that would allow campus police to carry guns at state universities, saying lawmakers need more time to gather information.
Rhode Island is currently the only state that prohibits guns on state college police forces, although some individual schools have decided against the practice. Proponents of the bill to arm campus police say it will speed response times in an emergency, a concern that was underscored during a gun scare at the University of Rhode Island last month.
The University of Rhode Island is moving its graduation indoors. The university said it’s for safety reasons.
URI said the recent gun scare on campus and the bombings in Boston prompted it to move the graduation ceremony into the Ryan Center. Graduating student Kelly Harris is unhappy with the move. She said students are limited to bringing two guests and that will make it harder for her friends and family to see her walk across the stage.
“This is affecting the vast majority of graduating seniors,” said Harris.
A preliminary review of the University of Rhode Island’s response to reports of a shooter on campus finds campus police were forced to wait five minutes before they could enter the building where the shooter was reportedly located. The officers, who are unarmed, had to wait for local police to arrive before they could enter the building.
The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear testimony Wednesday on a bill that would allow Rhode Island State College Police to carry guns.
The hearing comes after a scare at the University of Rhode Island about a gunman on campus, and Rhode Island is currently the only state in the country that does not allow armed campus police at public colleges and universities. The University of Rhode Island is also expected to release its preliminary review in the coming days examining how it responded to the report of a possible shooter.