Due to a new law requiring state schools to have their own weapons policy available upon request, Olympic College has a council who has drafted a tentative policy and will shortly be holding a forum at each of its 3 campuses to get input from students, faculty, and the public.
Currently, the school's weapons policy is governed only by the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) (and only covers STUDENT conduct):
WAC 132C-120-065: Violations.
Any student shall be subject to immediate disciplinary action provided for in this student conduct code who, either as a principal actor or aider or abettor:
(1) Materially and substantially interferes with the personal rights or privileges of others or the educational process of the college;
(2) Violates any provision of the student conduct code;
(3) Commits any of the following acts which are hereby prohibited:
(a) Assault, reckless endangerment, intimidation, harassment, or interference upon another person.
(b) Disorderly, abusive, or bothersome conduct. Disorderly or abusive behavior that interferes with the rights of others or obstructs or disrupts teaching, research, or administrative functions.
(p) Possession or use of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or other dangerous weapons, instruments, or substances that can be used to inflict bodily harm or to damage real or personal property, except for authorized college purposes or law enforcement officers.
(x) Criminal law violation, illegal behavior, other violations. Students may be accountable to the civil or criminal authorities and the college for acts which constitute violations of federal, state, or local law as well as college rules where the students' behavior is determined to threaten the health, safety, and/or property of the college and its members. The college may refer any such violations to civilian or criminal authorities for disposition.
The proposed policy (drafted by the 4-person council of school representatives) is basically a one-liner, stating that the school aligns itself with the RCWs (Revised Code of Washington, where state law is codified). This is great, as it would allow students to carry legal-sized blades or even pistols with a Concealed Pistol License. The policy would cover everyone who comes on campus, instead of the current "rules" under the WAC which at the present only apply to students. Any Joe could conceivably come on campus and open-carry without a problem.
I know one of the representatives on the council, and had a good chat with the person a few days ago about the matter. It sounds like we have representation in theory on the council, but the decision about what changes (if any) should be made to the policy draft will depend heavily on who shows up and what opinions they share.
I am currently drafting a short statement/speech to express some stats and facts to support the implementation of the proposed policy. I would really like it if you could present some helpful statistics or anything that would help make the case. I'm trying to stay away from saying "I feel" and making emotionally-driven statements that can easily be refuted and blown out of the water by an "anti."
Also, I strongly encourage any of you in the area to show up and make your voices heard. The meeting is on Wednesday, February 15th, at 2pm in HSS 129 on the Bremerton campus. The following Wednesday will be a meeting at the Shelton campus, and the following Tuesday in Poulsbo. If you do decide to come, let me know!
Please share suggestions on how to best make a case. I want to find a medium somewhere between being very passionate about the subject and just showing up and keeping my mouth shut. Like I said, I'm going for facts and stats.
If you know anybody in the Kitsap County area, PLEASE share this with them and encourage they come and show support.