By Brendan Pringle
The state of Ohio does not allow concealed carry in its public
universities, but that is not stopping a University of Toledo
conservative club from making it an issue of debate.
The club proposed that the university issue a resolution that
endorsed changing state law to allow concealed carry on college
campuses, and took their fight to the student senate for a
After a heated meeting, the University of Toledo Student Senate
decided to delay their vote on the resolution by two weeks. They
reasoned that this would give enough time for a campus-wide survey
about the issue in order to better gauge student opinion on
In response, the club organized an empty holster protest, and many non-club
members reportedly joined in the movement.
The reaction was extraordinary. Just over 25 percent of the
student population participated in the survey, and of those students, about 49 percent
supported the resolution, 45 percent opposed and 6 percent were
Despite these results, the student senate voted down the
resolution 18-9 through a secret ballot last week.
The meeting began with a statement from the student judiciary council arguing that the resolution was "unconstitutional."
When asked by the club if it was in violation of the student government constitution, the Ohio State Constitution, or the Federal
Constitution, the Justice had no comment and refused to take
Then, University of Toledo health professor Dr. Amy Thompson
addressed the senate on why the resolution was a bad idea.
Dr. Thompson neglected to disclose the fact that she was
formerly a paid, anti-gun lobbyist for the Ohio Coalition Against
According to the student newspaper, the
Independent Collegian, Student Government President Paulette
Bongratz said she supported the resolution for concealed carry and felt the vote was
"I don't think it was a waste of time at all," Bongratz said.
"Five thousand students did answer the poll, which is a sign that
this is something on the mind of students, at least a quarter of
the students at the University of Toledo. That's more than how many
came out to the polls for Student Government elections."
Patrick Richardson, a club member who has been leading this
charge, says his club plans to take the results of the poll and
work with the executive branch of student government to make policy
change on the state level.
"We found out that the students want concealed carry on campus,
and since the Student Senate refuses to represent them, our club
will be their voice and fight for change."
Brendan Pringle is a Development Officer at Young America's Foundation's Reagan Ranch Center