Birnbaum, Matthew

Committee Member

Yakaboski, Tamara


Leadership, Policy and Development


University of Northern Colorado

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Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created





234 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The issue of allowing concealed carry firearms at institutions of higher education (IHE) has become of great interest to many in and out of higher education. Those interested include national interest groups, researchers, legislators, and higher education administrators. Opponents of concealed carry claim firearm presence on college campuses is inappropriate, though concealed carry advocates disagree. Empirical data derived from the perspectives of campus constituents’ feelings on the issue has been a smaller part of the discussion. Although a handful of studies have been conducted in the last few years inquiring about the perceptions campus constituents’ have about concealed carry on campus (CCOC), many of these offer quantitative data. While these data are useful in gaining understanding about general attitudes towards CCOC, there is a need to know why constituents believe a certain way about CCOC. Understanding constituents’ (students, faculty, and student affairs practitioners) perspectives regarding CCOC through an in-depth qualitative inquiry may help senior campus administrators and other student affairs practitioners gain insight about how to support these constituents. Through constructivist case study I uncovered the perspectives of college campus constituents regarding concealed carry firearms at one institution of higher education. Fifteen constituents (four students, six faculty members/instructors, and five student affairs practitioners) participated in the study. Participants were interviewed in a one-on-one setting. A thorough review of institutional documents also contributed to understanding what constituents think about the issue. Data were analyzed, categorized into themes, and presented in Chapter IV. Themes include constituent rationales regarding CCOC, influences on rationales, and how IHE administrators can help support constituents. Implications for IHE administrators are provided in Chapter V and include having larger campus discussions about the issue, making campus constituents more aware of the parameters and background of the campus policy through trainings, concealed carry permit holder compliance with safety, and providing optional campus specific trainings for permit holders. Implications for future research include more qualitative case study inquiries at other institutions of higher education.

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