For the first time, Linfield has an all-campus weapons policy.
The policy has been in effect since April 10 when the Human Resources department sent out an e-mail to all students.
According to the new policy, the possession or use of any firearm or weapon is prohibited on college property, in any vehicle on college property and at any college-sponsored event at any location.
Prohibited weapons include explosives in any form; propellant guns of any kind, such as BB guns, pellet guns, air soft guns and paintball guns; knives more than seven inches long; swords, hatchets and axes; an assortment of martial arts materials including nunchucks, throwing stars and fighting sticks; and any other weapon as determined by Linfield Campus Safety. The only exceptions to the rule are those objects used in an educational setting.
Director of Campus Safety Mike Dressel spurred the movement to create a weapons policy as a new security measure for Linfield after the Virginia Tech shooting one year ago.
Before April 10, the only policy the school had concerning weapons was in a section of the Residence Life policy, which forbids students from having weapons in their rooms, Dressel said. He said he could find no campus-wide weapons policy that has been in effect in recent times and therefore had to create one.
“(The policy) gives us a little bit more leverage with any person on campus that might have a weapon, whether that be an employee, a student, a guest or a stranger,” Dressel said.
Dressel created the policy so the college would be in accordance with Oregon law ORS 166.360 and 166.370. ORS 166.370 states it is illegal for anyone to have in his or her possession a “loaded or unloaded firearm or any other instrument used as a dangerous weapon” in a public setting.
According to ORS 166.360, a public building is defined as “a hospital, capitol building, a public or private school, college or university, a county courthouse, a city hall or the residence of any state official elected by the state at large, and the grounds adjacent to each such building.”
Though Linfield is a private college, it falls under ORS 166 restrictions.
“The weapons policy now reflects that law,” Dressel said. “It also reflects the basic desire of the campus to not have weapons in an environment where we’re supposed to be about learning.”
The completion and implementation of the policy took approximately three and a half months, he said. Dressel wrote the first draft of the policy, but it had to be edited and revised by the Human Resources and Finance and Administration departments. The next draft was taken to a lawyer and Dressel had to present the finished policy to faculty, administrators, the Board of Trustees and ASLC Senate. Receiving no objections from any group, the policy was officially released.
The policy can be viewed at www.linfield.edu/policy, listed as “Student Handbook—Weapons Policy.” It will also be printed in the 2008-2009 Student Handbook.
If anyone has questions about the policy or needs clarification of what is considered a weapon, contact Dressel at firstname.lastname@example.org.