The Georgetown University Student Association senate voted unanimously Monday evening to pass a resolution expressing solidarity with the Ohio State University following a car and knife attack that injured 11 students Monday.
The resolution also called on the university to increase awareness of the university’s public safety efforts and for students to take advantage of university self-defense courses.
“Countless members of the Georgetown University community have been affected by the events that occurred at the Ohio State University,” the resolution reads. “The Georgetown University Student Association Senate stands in solidarity with the Ohio State University community in offering its condolences and support to those affected in this senseless attack.”
The resolution said universities are responsible for protecting their communities from the threat of violence.
“Georgetown University and other institutions of higher learning have committed themselves to creating safe environments for academic exploration,” the resolution reads. “Incidents of violence on college campuses represent a clear and distinct threat to all students at institutions of higher learning.”
The resolution encouraged the university administration and the Georgetown University Police Department “to spread awareness of the safety plans set in place to maintain the security of the student body.”
GUPD Chief of Police Jay Gruber said he is supportive of the senate’s resolution and that the university has extensive plans for active shooter and attack situations.
“We continually plan and exercise for these types of situations and work very closely with MPD on response elements,” Gruber said. “We have been following the Ohio State incident very closely, and, at this time, we don’t have any plans to change how we would handle a similar event.”
GUSA Senate Speaker Richie Mullaney (COL ’18) said the resolution was an expression of support and a call to action.
“We wanted to send our condolences and support to Ohio State students as well as promote training programs like ‘run, hide, fight’ to raise awareness of what to do in case of an emergency at Georgetown,” Mullaney said.
GUSA Senator Ben Baldwin (SFS ’19), who introduced the resolution, said he was personally affected by the violent incident at OSU.
“Having gone to public school in Ohio, I know a countless number of people that attend OSU, one of whom is my older brother,” Baldwin wrote in an email to The Hoya. “He was only three buildings away from the location of the attack and was forced to remain locked down in his classroom until the all clear signal was given.”
The attacker, an OSU student named Abdul Razak Ali Artan, struck victims with his car before jumping out and continuing the attack with a knife. Artan was later shot and killed by OSU police officer Alan Horujko after failing to obey orders.
Baldwin said the bill would send a message of support in line with Jesuit values.
“I offered this resolution as a sign of support and solidarity to another campus, out of my own personal attachment to the situation and the knowledge that countless Hoyas, too, were affected by the events of the 28th,” Baldwin said. “I think it sends a strong message of being men and women for others when our student government is able to act and extend a hand of support when another campus is faced with an unimaginable threat.”
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