Issues raised with campus carry implementation task force and email

Georgia Southern University faculty share concerns with the Campus Carry Implementation Task Force and campus carry email. Graphic by Shelby Cuaron. 

Matthew Enfinger

Georgia Southern University faculty share their concerns and issues with the campus carry implementation task force and email that was created following the signing of the campus carry law back in May 2017.

The task force was first introduced at a senate meeting on June 7 by President Jaimie Hebert.

Task force members included:

  • Laura McCullough: GS Police Chief, Task Force Co-chair
  • Maura Copeland: Associate Vice President for Legal Affairs, Task Force Co-chair
  • Richard Flynn, Ph.D.: Faculty Senate Moderator 2016-2017, Chair of the Senate Executive Committee and Professor of English
  • Brenda Aytes: Staff Council Chair and Director of Printing and Postal Services
  • Dylan John: SGA President
  • Matthew Shingler: Interim Director of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction
  • Patrice Buckner Jackson, Ed.D.: Dean of Students
  • Amy Ballagh, Ed.D.: Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
  • Bede Mitchell, Ed.D.: Professor, Dean of the Zach S. Henderson Library and University Librarian
  • Larry Mays: Associate Athletics Director
  • Jan Bond: Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications
  • Emily Eisenhart: Director of the Center for Addiction Recovery

Its purpose was “to develop local implementation procedures within those [University System of Georgia’s] guidelines and to work on other issues related to campus carry,” Hebert said according to transcribed senate minuets.

According to an open records request, the task force has only met once on July 1.

A website was also provided to senate members by Trip Addison, university advancement and external relations vice president, where the GS community could learn more about the campus carry law. The link provided an email that the GS community could send any questions and concerns that the implementation task force would either answer or present to the USG.

Some professors at GS have experienced issues with both the campus carry implementation task force and the [email protected] email.

Issues with the implementation task force:

Emily Eisenhart, Center for Addiction Recovery director, said that although she is a member of this task force, she was not informed of any meeting date or if the committee would meet again.

“I haven’t been contacted about any meetings or followed up with when I requested a run-down of the meeting,”Eisenhart said.

Richard Flynn, faculty senate moderator 2016-2017, chair of the senate executive committee and english professor said that he was the only faculty representation on the campus carry implementation task force.

He was unable to attend the meeting in person but was able to call. However, he isn’t sure of the effectiveness of his input.

{{tncms-inline content=”<p>“None of my suggestions were taken,” Flynn said.“None of my questions were answered. I might as well have not made the phone call.”</p>” id=”c03afe51-b06d-40f5-aae0-41edf14ddd66″ style-type=”quote” title=”Pull quote one” type=”relcontent”}}

Flynn also said that he doesn’t believe the task force did its job at all and handled the implementation of campus carry poorly.

Michelle Harberland, GS history professor, Ph.D, said that she has openly spoke out against the campus carry for about four years. When she heard that GS was forming a task force she asked to be involved.

“When it was announced in a faculty senate meeting in the summer that this committee was was being formed, I did email President Hebert and asked if I could be put on the committee,” Haberland said. “In that email I explained that I had been working with campus carry for a long time, in opposition let me be clear to campus carry, but in the message I said ‘but now it’s law and we need to make the best of it and do the best we can and I’d love to be a part of this and have my seat at the table’ and I received no response.”

Haberland is also concerned with the lack of faculty voice on the task force.

“The fact that they had one meeting with one faculty representative… you think that this would be an ongoing process,” Haberland said. “They do have some work to do.”

It is still currently unclear the process that the university took to select members for this task force.

Issues with campus carry email:

“My understand is that we are all suppose to go to, at least this is how it was explained and it hasn’t been extremely well explained, if you had questions you were to submit them to the local university committee and they would forward those questions in mass to the USG if they could not answer them locally,” Haberland said.

Haberland said she sent four emails containing questions and concerns regarding campus carry to the provided email. The emails, dating from July 25, Aug. 3, Aug. 9 and Aug. 31, were not answered until Oct.11, according to an open records request.

The delay in response to campus carry emails was attributed to a problem with the set-up of the email account, according an open records request. The issue is expected to be resolved however pressing questions can be directed to Maura Copeland, office of legal affairs associate vice president, or to Laura McCullough, GS Police Chief.

The campus carry implementation task force does not plan to reconvene because it has completed its task, according to an open records request.

More information regarding campus carry can be found here. The website is maintained and updated by the Office of Public Safety.

Blakeley Bartee contributed to this article. 

{{tncms-inline content=”<p>A previous version of the article cited Richard Flynn as the current faculty senate moderator. He was moderator during the 2016-2017 academic year. The current moderator is <span>Robert Pirro, professor of political science. The George-Anne regrets this mistake.</span></p>” id=”6f732ba6-c4ab-458a-8955-39cab02af594″ style-type=”correction” title=”Correction” type=”relcontent”}}