BOV Approves New Weapons Policy

Posted: August 21, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Daniel Walsch

Mason’s Board of Visitors (BOV) has approved a new regulation that strengthens the institution’s prohibition against weapons on any of its campuses.

The BOV’s decision prohibits university students and employees, with the exception of law enforcement officers, from carrying or bringing weapons onto campus. It also prevents members of the community at large from entering any campus buildings and/or facilities or attending any event on campus with weapons.

“Just as our institution is committed to providing students with the best possible education, we are equally dedicated to establishing the safest possible environment for our students to pursue their educational goals,” says Thomas Hennessey, Mason’s chief of staff.

This decision is the latest in a number of actions taken by Mason authorities to enhance the overall safety of the institution. Earlier steps include creation of a comprehensive crisis management team; training and certification of all members of the University Police department by the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy to handle “active shooting incidents”; and installation of a lock key system in all residence halls.

“Our security policies go back many years,” says Hennessey. “This decision by the BOV establishes our institution as a leader on a very important issue in which so many of us have a vested interest.”

The university anticipates total student enrollment for fall 2007 to top 30,000 students. Coupled with a workforce of nearly 5,000 and a projected number of campus visitors exceeding two million, according to Hennessey, “the high volume of activity that is so much of our institution’s character demands that we remain vigilant in doing all we can to ensure the safety of those we serve and who use our many resources.”

Write to at