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Gaudino shares policy on guns, emergencies

Santos Herrera, News Editor - January 16, 2012

Where does Central stand, in terms of gun restrictions?

We have a policy; we don’t allow guns on our campus. If a student brings a gun, as a resident, there is an armory and students have to put their weapon in the armory.

What’s the penalty for having weapons on campus?

You would be put in to whatever disciplinary action you would be subject to. Mostly, you would just be asked to take the weapon off campus.

How well equipped do you think the school is to respond to something like Virginia Tech or Connecticut?

I think we are as ready as we know how to be, and as prepared as we know how to be. Safety is the prime responsibility of our security officers. Mike Luvera and his team, they study those incidents, we respond, we change our policy we change our mechanisms, we have notifications, we do the best job we can to prepare for that sort of situation.

What are your personal thoughts on gun laws? Should they be stricter or should they be changed?

I’m going to give you an answer that you won’t want. As president, I have, but don’t get to express, my personal beliefs on a lot of issues, because it’s hard for people to separate my personal beliefs and professional responsibilities. I try not to give myself the luxury of talking about my personal beliefs.

Wouldn’t your personal beliefs drive your professional career?

Oh, it drives my professional career without any question, but in terms of university policy, I don’t set university policy without lots of input. The university has a very rigorous and open process for defining its policies. We have a committee that’s called UPAC (University Policy Advisory Council). University policies come from the originator, it gets reviewed by a broad constituent of people and their organizations, then it comes through the UPAC. It’s reviewed by the cabinet and ultimately signed by me, but based on lots of input.

Is there any plan to change policies as a result of recent incidents in the area?

No, I mean we have a ban. We can’t have weapons on campus. There’s policy and there’s procedure and training. A policy says you can and can’t and those sort of things. Our law enforcement officers are constantly monitoring those kinds of situations, going to conferences, reading their trade publications, and keeping communication with other law enforcement agencies. There’s a constant upgrading of our capability within our law enforcement community. The training that they have spills over into our emergency response planning.

What is your response to emergency situations?

For most situations, there will be an initial command center set up. Those will be the first responders. They’ll be in charge and responsible for the emergency situation as it’s unfolding. My responsibility will be to develop the command center. There will be lots of logistical issues, communication issues, policy issues and so forth that become my responsibility. A of the lessons learned from Virginia Tech was our ability to communicate with faculty, staff and students about what’s going on. A lot of our preparations have been to develop communication systems for emergency alerts via cell phone, email, and loud speakers.

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