Senate chooses Deliberative Democracy topic

During the student senate meeting on Monday, the senators decided on the topic for Deliberative Democracy Day: gun control and the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

Deliberative Democracy Day is an annual event that takes place during spring semester. Students get to hear from a panel of people on the chosen topic. After the panel, students get into groups to discuss both sides of the issue. Facilitators are there to ask questions and generate discussion.

For the past few weeks, the senators have been narrowing down possible topics. They voted on their top three choices: gun control, religion in politics and athletics in college.

“I think Weber State’s campus is one of the last remaining campuses where you can have guns,” said Kimberly Tribe, the College of Education senator. “Obviously there are rules and regulations going along with that, so I think that it is something very prevalent to us as a campus and something worth talking about.”

Each senator was able to voice his or her opinion about which issue he or she wanted to discuss for Deliberative Democracy Day.

Jennifer Comer, the veterans senator, said the Veterans Center offers concealed weapon classes every couple of months as a fundraiser. She said many of the students who come through the Veterans Center have concealed weapons permits.

Campus Police Chief Dane LeBlanc said it is state law that people who have concealed weapon permits are allowed to carry weapons on campus.

“The problem is when the gun is exposed,” he said.

LeBlanc said the campus police department receives calls when students see someone with a gun, and he then needs to go and make sure the person has a concealed weapons permit.

“I think that’s going to draw people in a little bit more,” said Matthew Glover, the honors and BIS senator. “You start to talk about gun rights and people get very passionate.”

The idea was first brought up back in October by Glover. The student senators brainstormed ideas and ended up originally having 10 ideas for topics. A few weeks later, they narrowed the topics down to three.

“Personally, I know about five people that do have concealed-to-carry permits, and none of them are veterans or are in the military,” said Amy Pittman, the Asian students senator. “They just like guns.”

Also discussed at the senate meeting on Monday was the new diversity vice president position. The senate chose the selection committee for the new vice president. The committee will meet with all the candidates, interview them and then pick a vice president. Each prospective member of the committee had to answer the question of what he or she looks for in a diversity vice president.

“Someone I am looking for is someone who is well versed in Weber State,” said A.J. White, the College of Science senator. “They kind of know what our culture is like and know what our background is and what we are trying to do.”