The past couple weeks were marked by confusion and questions around a specific student conduct case. Due to privacy laws, Gonzaga’s administration can’t comment directly on the case. However, as students, we have not been limited in the same way. We felt the need to talk about this case for a number of reasons:
First, the students involved are members of our Gonzaga community. Many of us know them personally, and those who don’t still feel connected. With a community as close as ours, we are called to action if we think our fellow Zags need support.
Second, firearms were already a divisive and controversial issue in the national dialogue. This puts our conversation in the ideological context of firearm ownership overall. However, the laws and policies that Gonzaga works with are more nuanced than those at the constitutional level, and it’s important to recognize those distinctions moving forward.
Finally, the incident reminds us that many of us don’t feel safe in the neighborhood. Most residents of the Logan Neighborhood are positive contributors to our shared community. However, a small number of criminals try to take advantage of Gonzaga students; we are a population of first-time tenants and late-night socializers. This vulnerability sometimes creates a dangerous environment.
For these reasons, this conversation does not end with one case. Now is the time to have a larger conversation around the safety of our students, and we have legitimate questions: What are the rules on self-defense? What more can we do to keep students safe?
RHA and GSBA have been discussing these issues with students and in meetings with the university administration. If you would like to make your thoughts known, please reach out through any of the following avenues:
University Town Hall on Safety: This event will be on Tuesday, December 3rd from 6:30 to 8pm in the Law School’s Barbieri Courtroom. All students are welcome, and can sign up to speak for two minutes. GSBA and RHA are moderating, and panelists will include:
- Dr. Judi Biggs Garbuio, VP for Student Development
- Brian Kenny, Director of Campus Public Safety & Security
- A representative from the City of Spokane police department
- Alex Gomes, GSBA Senate Health & Safety Committee representative
If you have any questions about this event, please contact RHA President Megan Freel at firstname.lastname@example.org or reply to this email.
GSBA Senate Health and Safety Committee: This committee will meet to discuss student thoughts and concerns on health and safety, ultimately formalizing them into proposals for the administration. Your student representatives on this committee are:
- Connor House, Junior Senator (Chair)
- Rosie Fitzgibbon, Senior Senator
- Alex Gomes, Sophomore Senator
- Maggie Douglas, On-Campus Senator
- Michael Sparks, On-Campus Senator
- Josh White, Off-Campus Senator
Please contact any of these students if you have questions or ideas.
Security & Safety Task Force: Dr. Biggs Garbuio will establish this committee for the university administration to evaluate its current policies and procedures. We have two student representatives: GSBA Vice President Mandy Silva, and Sophomore Senator Alex Gomes.
These are three ways that the school is evaluating its policies, but is not a comprehensive list; keep an eye out for more opportunities to speak up. Moving forward, we believe that the student voice will be well-represented in any major policy decisions.
All in all, on behalf of GSBA and RHA, it’s an honor to advocate for you all at this important time. Thanks for the opportunity.
Have a great (and safe) Thanksgiving, Zags!