With all the recent talk of the Department of Public Safety being armed with guns in the near future, many students have stepped up and voiced their opinions. While some feel uncomfortable, many of the students interviewed questioned why it has taken Springfield College so long to arm their certified, trained officers.
“I think it should have been done a long time ago, especially with all the robberies that have been going on,” senior Leslie Perkins stated. “I think it’s necessary, and I’m glad it’s finally happening. It doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable at all.”
Many students like Perkins agree that SC needs our officers to be armed more so now than ever.
“I like it because I feel that they can protect the student body better from intruders,” senior Katie Skuse reiterated. “I think if [criminals] knew [the officers] carried guns, it would help deter [them].”
“I think it’s a good idea. I mean, we live in an inner city and [if] you think about what’s happened here in the last year or so both on and off campus, it’s going to be necessary for the officers to be armed. Why not give them that opportunity? I’m surprised it’s taken them this long,” junior Dave Hashagen echoed.
While many students feel comfortable with our officers being armed, others simply just feel indifferent.
“I personally almost feel it wouldn’t really make that much of a difference. It might bring a sense of comfort, it might not,” senior Colleen Brague said. “I feel like most cops in general don’t really use their guns anyway, so I feel like this would be the same case. If anything does happen where they do need to use it, it would be nice to know that they’re prepared.”
Then there are those who feel arming the officers would give Springfield College a negative image, or simply just don’t feel comfortable with guns being present on our campus.
“I’ve never felt unsafe on campus,” senior Eliza Foresti said. “I understand that the officers carrying guns would be a precautionary step for our school seeing as what has been going on in the news and the neighborhood in general. It would definitely be precautionary, but I feel seeing officers with guns might have students, potential students and parents on tours be more worried than they should be about what is going on.”
“I don’t think it should happen,” junior Christina Jones explained. “From a minority’s perspective, there are times that we get harassed and questioned more often than others. There have been times when [SC] students that are minorities have been asked at night if they go to this school. It personally hasn’t happened to me, but I know students who have been questioned. I just don’t think it would be good for the school or the students.”
“Maybe the campus could think of more preventative methods before they get to the step of officers having guns,” Foresti brainstormed. “Maybe have a more accessible, easier to get Pride Ride when it’s late at night. Maybe have two Pride Rides going when it’s getting late. Maybe a Pride Ride that could go onto King Street, or something like that.”
Amid this broad range of response, one thing is clear: SC police will be armed in the near future. Whether this will make the campus feel safer remains to be seen.