Dr. Jennifer Proffitt, President of United Faculty of Florida, Honored by National Gun Safety Organization
State Union President Vows to Press On to Keep Firearms Off College Campuses
Tallahassee – Earlier this week, the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus held an awards ceremony in New York City to commend the work of key leaders in different states to defeat proposed laws to allow individuals to carry dangerous firearms on college campuses. The organization, founded in large part by individuals directly impacted by campus gun violence, has worked in states across the nation to keep university and college campuses gun-free.
Proffitt, a communications professor at Florida State University, has been a leader in the opposition to bills in the Florida Legislature over the past two years that would lift Florida’s current ban on firearms on university and college campuses. Dr. Proffitt is no stranger to the debate and has studied the impacts of mass shootings on school campuses and the resulting media coverage since the Columbine tragedy in 1999 while a classroom teacher in nearby Colorado Springs. She served as the President of UFF-FSU Chapter in 2015 when a mass shooting at FSU served as the impetus for filing the bills to lift the current gun ban and helped organize the coalition to beat the bill back. Last year, she was elected by the members of UFF to serve as the state president of the faculty union and helped lead the fight this year under her new role. She has served as the voice of the faculty across Florida who, like the rest of the higher education community, are overwhelmingly in opposition to lifting the current gun ban.
The national recognition of her effective advocacy to keep guns off campus in Florida is a testament to the strong coalition that exists between Florida-specific organizations and the national movement to bring some semblance of sanity to the contentious debate over gun policy that continues to grip the country. In a statement issued shortly after the ceremony, Proffitt said, “The notion that dramatically increasing the number of deadly weapons on our campuses is good public policy has been and continues to be pure folly driven by the gun industry lobby. It represents a fundamental threat to our students, faculty, staff, and members of the general public who use these public facilities. It is also a threat to the spirit of Higher Education, for the guarantee of a safe space for exploring and challenging intellectual inquiry is paramount.” She also said, “I am honored by this recognition by the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, but it is important to note that these recent victories are the result of the tireless efforts of faculty, students, parents, and families across Florida. This award is also for all of them. UFF will continue our state and national partnerships and mobilize every time this bad public policy rears its ugly head.”