Concealed carry for firearms was the primary topic of 2011’s inaugural ASCSM meeting, held on January 13. The issue was brought to light due to a court case between pro-concealed carry CU students and the University of Colorado, which has progressed over the last few months and may draw to a close by year-end 2011. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, the group representing the pro-concealed carry students, argues that students with state-issued concealed carry certificates should be allowed to bring their firearms onto campus, while CU’s policies stand contrary to this ability.
Mines’s current policy is that weapons, including firearms and explosives, are not allowed on-campus; they must be checked into Public Safety by students if they are brought onto CSM property. In contrast, Colorado State University allows students with a concealed carry license to bring firearms everywhere except student living facilities (dorms and campus apartments), at which point they must also be checked in. If Mines’s policy is changed, it would most likely mirror CSU’s which, like all other universities, prevents open carry.
Attendees to the ASCSM meeting pointed out that concealed carry certificates are only given to applicants over 21 who successfully complete a multi-day training course about gun safety. They also noted that instructors of these training courses have full discretion to deny an applicant certification for attitude reasons; concealed carry certificates include the name of the certifying instructor, so any misbehavior on the part of the applicant reflects on their instructor. In addition, obtaining a concealed carry permit requires a 14-hour gun safety course, up to a 90-day waiting period and a background check.
ASCSM Secretary Jonathan Harrelson noted that a survey about Mines students’ concealed carry opinions was conducted around the beginning of the semester. Technical difficulties caused survey requests to be sent to only a fraction of the campus, yet ASCSM still received 593 responses from the survey. Unfortunately, clarity issues with the survey questions yielded an inconclusive data set on the issue, prompting ASCSM to vote in favor of sending out another survey on the same topic at a later date. The issue was then tabled; discussion of concealed carry may resume after the CU case is decided, though discussion of the issue could be rekindled sooner as student interest dictates.
After discussion of concealed carry concluded, the ASCSM-GSA (Graduate Student Association) Joint Operating Agreement was discussed briefly. Further discussion was postponed to ASCSM’s next meeting, scheduled for January 27th, allowing ASCSM members to read the fifth, current revision of the document. ASCSM President Alec Westerman then called for candidates for an At-Large GSA representative to ASCSM, to act as liaison between the two organizations.
Westerman also noted that potential changes to the Mines Student Bill of Rights would remove class-specific Academic Dishonesty boards, opting instead for a school-wide committee. Additionally, instances of academic dishonesty would be reported schoolwide instead of being confined to a single department. ASCSM Vice President and Parking Committee chair Lisa Truong then announced that construction of a crosswalk on 19th and Maple Street was complete. Truong also delegated responsibility for this semester’s ASCSM retreat to Westerman.
ASCSM Treasurer Ann Lott announced that the application period for 2011-2012 ASCSM Treasurer was now open, with a due date of January 28th. Applicants must have attended Mines for three semesters at time of application. Prior experience as a Budget Committee member is recommended, but not required.