With in-person classes cancelled due to COVID-19, the UR campus has been left almost completely empty. But according to Clark Livingston, director of UR’s Department of Public Safety, now is as important a time as ever to reintroduce the proposal to arm more Public Safety officers.
“It’s very important that we’re able to protect students in the event of an emergency,” Livingston argued while walking through the desolate campus.
The proposal to arm some Public Safety officers was met with overwhelmingly negative responses from students when first introduced. Opponents argued that the proposal would put students in more danger, particularly students of color, and that there was no demonstrated need for armed officers.
But, Livingston claims, the practically empty campus has never needed guns more.
“People seldom go outside now, and there haven’t been any large public gatherings in over a month,” said Livingston. “Our campus clearly won’t be safe until we have armed officers patrolling Wilson Quad.”
“I know people are constantly stressed out because they’re far away from the friends that they’ve grown to love,” continued Livingston. “Furthermore, we’re in the middle of a pandemic that is going to hurt a lot of people and change the world as we know it. I think everyone would feel safer if a decent portion of the few people remaining on campus were also armed.”
Livingston proceeded to walk through campus, identifying potentially dangerous locations by pointing at all of the places that students weren’t.
“The engineering quad is completely empty, which is suspicious,” he said. “If there’s one thing I know about engineering majors, it’s that they love going outside, regardless of whether it’s dangerous to do so.”
“I firmly believe that we need officers with guns to protect this campus filled with drunken teenagers,” Livingston continued, “especially if it is no longer filled with drunken teenagers.”
Reports confirm that plans are also in place to rent a ferris wheel for an online alumni event, and a guillotine to execute students accused of plagiarism.