Trustees discuss gun issue behind closed doors

The doors were closed.

The Board of Trustees met Tuesday morning to discuss pending litigation regarding the guns on campus issue.

“It’s an emotional issue. We’re trying to decide what our policy should be,” said Jim Macfarlane, chairperson of the board.

When the doors opened after the executive committee meeting, three journalists, next year’s ASUU leaders and the president of the faculty senate, who were all invited to come, were ushered in.

Former U.S. Senator and trustee Jake Garn then moved to postpone all issues of discussion until the April 19 meeting of the board and the meeting was over.

“We are discussing legal options. We need additional information,” Garn said afterward. “We need to understand the legal implications of any decisions we make.”

“We’re trying to have legal counsel decide if and when we let these issues play out,” Macfarlane said.

Senate Bill 48, passed the last day of the legislative session March 3, forbids any state entity from establishing gun policies different from those given by the state.

The bill takes effect May 5, and according to Garn, there are still existing lawsuits pending about the issue that the trustees need to make decisions about.

Adrian Johnson, ASUU president and member of the board said they mostly discussed options. He said it was a pretty regular meeting.

“Trustees always discuss very important issues. It was very informative,” he said.

“The U is obviously part of state government and subject to laws. It’s about what ability we have to control the learning environment,” said Fred Esplin, vice president of university relations.

Macfarlane emphasized that the meeting of April 19 will be the important one where the U’s policies will be revealed.

John Morris, legal counsel for the U, refused to comment on the meeting saying it would violate the attorney-client relationship.

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