University of Michigan President Coleman member of leadership board calling for Obama to address gun violence
In a statement released earlier this month, the association's reacted to a school shooting in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012, in which armed gunman Adam Lanza shot his mother, 26 children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School and then turned the gun on himself.
In the statement, the association asked Obama and Congress to "to seek effective means of mitigating this scourge of American life."
"The Newtown slaughter is the latest in a series of mass murders... our schools and campuses have unfortunately become centers of national mourning, from Columbine to Virginia Tech, and now Newtown," the statement reads. "We believe that strong, meaningful action needs to occur in three domains: gun control, care of the mentally ill, and the culture of our contemporary media."
The statement, dated Jan. 2, continued:
"We implore the Congress to work with the Administration to apply honest and open scrutiny to identifying and implementing meaningful, consequential actions now, while the nation is focused on Newtown’s searing tragedy."
The statement was drafted by the AAU executive committee, which includes the leaders of U-M, Duke University, the University of California at Berkley and at Los Angeles, Cornell University, Tulane University, the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University and others. The AAU includes Michigan State University.
The association is a non-profit that represents 60 American colleges and 2 Canadian schools.
After the shooting, Coleman offered the following statement to the U-M community:
"Our hearts are broken by today’s tragic shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. It is all the more painful because of the number of young children involved, both as victims and witnesses. Classrooms are places of learning and creativity, and that special environment was shattered for so many today."
Coleman is a past chair of the AAU, serving as the executive board's leader during the 2011-12 academic year.
The AAU's statement follows an open letter signed by more than 300 college presidents seeking action on gun control after the Newtown massacre.
"We are college and university presidents. We are parents. We are Republicans, Democrats and Independents," the presidents implored. "We urge both our President and Congress to take action on gun control now."
The deadliest school shooting in recent U.S. history occurred on a university campus when a Virginia Tech University student killed 33 people, including himself.
In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed legislation in December, after the Connecticut shooting, that would have allowed concealed weapons in schools, on campuses and in churches.
Read the full statement: AAU Issues Statement on Gun Violence in America.pdf