Morgan State University To Build A Wall After Campus Shooting
University officials announced the wall would be designed to keep out people who are not supposed to be on campus grounds. During a university town hall meeting on Oct 10, Morgan State University President David Wilson said the wall will “eliminate unfettered access” to the university, according to NBC News.
Wilson continued, “We’re doing this, let me be clear, not to keep out our neighbors and our community writ large; we are doing it to keep out the bad actors.”
Students and faculty also peppered Wilson with questions regarding what actions from the university could have prevented the shooting. The university was already in the middle of upgrading the school’s campus security when the attack happened, which served to increase the urgency with which they would be deployed. In total, the security upgrades will cost the school at least $22 million; this figure includes the new campus wall, metal detectors, weapons detection technology, increasing campus patrols, and construction of more security guard booths.
On Oct 3, following a coronation ceremony for Mr. and Miss Morgan State, students were shot at as they headed home. University leaders responded by canceling classes and homecoming activities for the rest of that week. Like other universities, Morgan State is faced with questions about how to best protect students and faculty from gun violence.
Maryland’s governor, Wes Moore, defended key parts of gun control legislation that went into effect on Oct. 1, telling WBOC News, “There’s no reason to bring a firearm into a nursery, or there’s no reason to bring a firearm into a government building, or if a person has a history of mental illness and a history of violence, they should not be able to purchase a weapon.”
Maryland’s gun reform bill is currently up in the air after a judge issued a temporary injunction, but Moore noted that the court upheld most of the bill’s “common sense” reforms.
An original land grant university, Morgan State University was founded in 1867 by the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church as the Centenary Biblical Institute, a college for those seeking a career in Ministry, but transformed over the years into a university known for its education program. The school was renamed in 1890 to honor Reverend Littleton Morgan, the school’s first chairman of the board of trustees, who also donated land to the university.
In 1915, Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate, gave the university a $50,000 grant to be used for the construction of an academic building, with the stipulation that the school purchase a new location, pay down its debt, and name a building at the university after him. The school met his conditions and was purchased by the State of Maryland in 1939 after a study determined that the state was not doing enough for its Black citizens.