Each year, elected members of your student government vote on a number of issues which directly impact your experience here at Oregon State University. These include setting Student Incidental fee levels, establishing governing policy for ASOSU and expressing opinions on the actions and policies of Oregon State University.Senate Resolution 02 was introduced to the ASOSU Senate on Tuesday, April 14, 2009. This resolution asked that Oregon State University comply with ORS 166.170 by amending or removing Oregon Administrative Rules (OARS) 576-015-0015(3), 579-040-0005(3c), 578-033-0210(14), 577-031-0135(3), 573-075-0040(1c), 571-021-0120(3c), and 574-031-0030(14).
The vote on Senate Resolution 02 was 14-14 with a moderate number of abstentions. In situations where a tie vote occurs in the ASOSU Senate, the ASOSU Constitution grants the ASOSU Senate Chair the ability to vote. I chose to vote against Senate Resolution 02.
The arguments presented in favor of Senate Resolution 02 were well-prepared, and the submitted documentation supported the claims made by the resolution's sponsor, Senator RJ Friedman. Members of the gallery presented additional documentation stating the outcomes if the above OARS were removed.
I grew up in a family where the right to own and use firearms was valued and respected. I have owned and shot guns all my life, both for hunting and for pleasure. My vote in opposition should in no way to be attributed to a denial of any one person or group's constitutional rights. My vote in opposition was due to the desired outcome of Senate Resolution 02.
Senate Resolution 02 assumes that the above OARS are, in fact, illegal. There are still pending questions as to whether or not that is the case. Each of the OARS mentioned only carries with it the potential for student conduct violations. Nowhere in these OARS does it state that students will be tried or jailed for possessing firearms on campus.
When you sign on the dotted line to be admitted to Oregon State University, you agree to follow its policies. No entity requires that a student attend a specific institution in the Oregon University System, so students willingly agree to follow the policies of the institution they attend.
I have received e-mails from concerned students on both sides of the issue regarding a student's right to carry concealed weapons on campus. I am of the opinion that until the State of Oregon explicitly states the policies set forth by the Oregon University System and Oregon State University are in violation of state law, arguments should be focused specifically on whether or not students should be permitted to carry concealed firearms on campus.
If students wish to discuss this issue again in the ASOSU Senate, there are two more scheduled meetings this term. Another important thing to remember is that the vote was close, and a number of Senators abstained from voting.
Get your senators involved by e-mailing them with where you stand on the issue and urge them to vote. If you would like an updated list of every ASOSU Senator and Representative, or to learn more about the ASOSU Senate, please send an e-mail to email@example.com. I look forward to the continued debate on this issue.
Jerred Taylor is Senate Chair for ASOSU and a junior in chemistry. The opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily Barometer staff. Taylor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.