MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University (WVU) and Fairmont State University are finalizing rules and working toward the implementation of the Campus Self Defense Act on July 1, 2024.

During a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate Executive Committee, Dean of Students Corey Farris said the University Police Department is offering training and the administration is answering questions. For the next few weeks, they’ll continue to answer those questions and direct the campus community to available training sessions.

“Make sure people are aware of their training sessions,” Farris said. “They’ve already offered sessions in de-escalation and active shooter, so more to come on that and more advertisements.”

Deputy General Counsel Kevin Cimino was asked about the accidental display of a firearm. Any display of a firearm should be reported to UPD, Cimino told the members, whether it is accidental or intentional, police want to be notified.

“Any time you see a rifle, call 911,” Cimino said. “But if it’s truly accidental, the University Police Department still wants to hear about it.”

In the course of making that notification, Cimino was warned not to unintentionally escalate the situation. Try to be as discrete as possible when a notification to police has to be made.

“That’s why having the LiveSafe app is important; you can do things discretely,” Cimino said. “Without specifically letting folks know you’re specifically calling someone.”

During a meeting of the Fairmont State University By Laws Committee, Assistant General Counsel Cailey Murray told members that this policy was completely different from any other in the past.

“We usually don’t cite state code throughout our policy; we reference it at the end, but we thought it was important given the topic and the sensitive nature of it,” Murray said. “To show everybody that this language is not coming from us, this is what our obligations are through the code.”

President Mike Davis said they will work through the Student Government Association and submit guidelines for approval by the Board of Governors next month.

“We’re looking at working with the Student Government Association (SGA) to create an open forum so students can be informed and express any concerns they have,” Davis said. “Most of the concerns they have don’t have anything to do with the policy we’ve created; it has to do with the fact we had to create the policy in the first place.”