Vanderbilt Faculty Senate supports ban on guns-on-campus

Representatives of the Vanderbilt University faculty have passed a resolution supporting the continued ban of firearms on college campuses in Tennessee.

The faculty senate overwhelmingly passed the resolution on April 14, as the Tennessee General Assembly considered a bill legalizing the possession of handguns on the campuses of public universities.

While, as a private university, Vanderbilt would not be affected if the state legislature legalized firearms on public university campuses, the Vanderbilt resolution was passed in support of a similar resolution passed by the faculty senate at the Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee.

“We, the faculty senate of Vanderbilt University, resolve that we oppose legislation that would alter current policy regarding guns on college campuses in the state of Tennessee. We fully support the resolution of the faculty senate of the Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee,” reads the Vanderbilt resolution.

“The Vanderbilt resolution is a statement of solidarity with colleagues across the state whose safety would be compromised if guns become a fixture on college campuses,” said Brian Christman, chair of the Vanderbilt Faculty Senate, professor of medicine and vice-chair of the Department of Medicine.

David Weintraub, chair-elect of the Vanderbilt Faculty Senate and professor of astronomy, added that “universities are places where we wish to encourage open discussion and scholarly debate about topics that are often highly charged, both ethically and politically; those conversations naturally can lead to passionate disagreements.  We need to protect the ability of all of the members of our university community to speak freely and openly and without fear.”

Link to the Vanderbilt Faculty Senate motion, and a link to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville resolution endorsed by the Vanderbilt Faculty Senate.