KU faculty and students gathered on Wescoe Beach Tuesday to voice their thoughts on the concealed carry law coming to the University of Kansas. Starting July 1, concealed carry will be legal on campus.
After realizing few knew anything about the law, some faculty members decided to take action, forming the group Faculty For a Safer Campus. The group feels campus administrators are not doing enough to stop the law from happening, so they decided to take matter into their own hands.
“Several campus administrators had personally said they were against the idea of concealed carry on campus,” Elizabeth Esch of the Department of American Studies said. “They weren’t taking responsibility for fighting this law being implemented.”
One KU department is inspired by the loss of a colleague. Former KU PhD student Ethan Schmidt lost his life when a coworker shot him in his office at Delta State University in 2015. The KU history department still feels his loss.
“We saw a very promising scholar who had published two books,” department of history chair Eve Levin said. “A wonderful teacher. A wonderful husband and father. Someone who was our friend as well as our colleague, our student, who died because of guns on campus.”
Following the protest, members of the group held office hours in the Kansas Union. About 20 to 25 students visited to discuss the issue. They say their next move is to demonstrate at the Kansas Board of Regents meeting on campus this month.
While the law goes into effect July 1, it could still be reversed. Even though lawmakers voted not to discuss it on Tuesday, they say they may do so in the future.