Georgetown University, located in Washington, D.C., is a Catholic Jesuit higher education institution with a well known record of liberal ideological bias. A recent Faculty Senate proposal exemplified the university’s liberal ideology when it proposed a ban on firearms on the college grounds.
At universities and colleges, the Faculty Senate is composed of faculty members who propose policies to administrators. However, some of these groups have recently become politically active, especially after the election of Donald Trump to the White House in 2016.
The proposed firearm ban would cover all students, university employees, visitors and faculty members. Law enforcement officials are exempt from this ruling and pepper spray can still be used for self-defense on campus.
Firearms can also be used in art exhibits on the Georgetown campus. The proposal, referring to the latter, allows “armed objects on display for artistic or cultural value.” However, the “armed objects” for display have to be approved by the Georgetown University campus police. The ban also covers explosives and weapons, as well as the storing these items in vehicles owned by Georgetown University.
Georgetown University already has a weapons ban in its Code of Student Conduct and Human Resources Policy Manual, but had not imposed a university-wide ban until the Faculty Senate proposal. The proposal is modeled after nearby American University, which is another liberal university located in Washington, D.C. The proposal will be reviewed on January 17, but it appears that it will be implemented. However, the implementation date has not been publicized yet.
The student newspaper, The Hoya, noted that although the Supreme Court struck down D.C.’s handgun ban (which was the Dean v. Heller decision), it did not strike down the ban on firearms at universities.
The university claimed that the restrictions are a part of promoting a safe learning and work environment.