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Midstate students concerned over policy to arm campus guards

Written by Rachel McDevitt, All Things Considered Host | Dec 7, 2018 11:19 AM
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Students at Susquehanna University protest a new policy to arm campus security guards. (Photo: Brianna Avey)

(Harrisburg) -- Students at a midstate college are voicing concerns over a new policy to arm campus security guards.

Susquehanna University in Snyder County recently sent an email to students informing them some campus public safety officers would be armed, starting Friday, December 14th.

Within a day, students had drafted a list of grievances about the move and organized a protest.

Samantha Borkhoche, one of the rally organizers, said the tone of the email was off-putting.

"It was just very informational," she said, "and this is the type of subject and the type of email that has a lot of emotion attached to it."

Borkhoche said students feel left out of the decision-making process and some don't feel campus police officers have been properly trained to carry firearms.

"This was something that has been deliberated for a long time and students were not involved in the conversation," she said, "and it's something that's going to affect us the most on this campus."

susquehanna_protest1.jpg

(Photo: Brianna Avey)

Borkhoche added minority students are concerned about the increased risk of excessive force being used.

A university spokeswoman said in an email the decision to arm officers was made because of threats and incidents involving guns on campus and in the surrounding community over the past year and a half.

She said the administration is working with students to address their concerns.

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