WASHINGTON (DC News Now)– Hundreds of students took to the streets of George Washington University Monday to protest a controversial decision to arm campus police with guns for the first time.
Protestors filled Kogan Plaza to start their demonstration before they headed out around campus.
“There is no heightened threat to the safety of our students. Therefore, there’s no need to arm officers,” said Jovanna Walker, a student at GWU.
University President Dr. Mark Wrighton announced the change in policy on April 13, as a way to improve campus safety, in light of the deadly shootings at the University of Virginia on November 23, 2022, and Michigan State University on February 23, 2023.
“Whenever weapons are involved, unarmed officers cannot respond and must rely instead on other armed law enforcement,” Wrighton said in the post.
“We don’t believe the answer to gun violence is adding more guns to the equation. We don’t believe it will make us safer if there have been no previous instances where a firearm would have been necessary,” said Keigan McCullagh, one of the organizers.
McCullagh and the other protestors delivered their message to the Wrightons’ home.
Wrighton said only supervisory officers who complete specific training requirements, including specialized firearms training, will be armed.
A university spokesperson said in an email there is no date yet as to when the new policy will take effect.