The following statement was issued today by Guido M. Pichini, chairman of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors:
“There is no more compelling role for our university leaders than to ensure that our campuses provide the safest learning environments possible. I want to emphasize this important fact. The universities’ policies and priorities must also balance the rights of individuals under state and federal law.
“In the spring of 2012 questions were raised by a number of individuals concerning campus firearms policy. In order to provide guidance on the issue, PASSHE legal counsel shared a model policy for consideration that addressed both public safety and constitutional concerns.
“PASSHE universities have the ability to prohibit weapons, including legally registered firearms, in academic buildings, student residence halls, dining facilities, student union buildings, athletic facilities and recreation centers or while attending a sporting, entertainment or educational event on university property or sponsored by the university. However, PASSHE’s policies also must be consistent with Pennsylvania law, which allows individuals who are properly permitted to carry a firearm ‘on or about one’s person or in a vehicle throughout the Commonwealth.’
“More recently, at the PASSHE Board of Governors meeting in April, I announced the establishment of a Public Safety and Security Task Force to study all areas of campus safety and university police operations in order to enhance efforts to ensure the safety and security of our students and staff, as well as that of all visitors to our campuses. The task force will include in its work a review of the issue of weapons on campus in order to help ensure consistency across the System and that the policies comply with the law.
“While the task force reviews this issue, the Board has asked the universities to maintain the status quo in regards to their existing weapons policies.”