Like the rest of the nation was, we at HERI were shocked and greatly saddened by the senseless violence in Newtown.

Since we are in the business of uncovering and promoting what those of us in higher education believe, I turned to the CIRP Freshman Survey to see what it could tell us in this case.

About two-thirds (67.5%) of students entering four-year colleges in 2010 agreed that “the federal government should do more to control the sale of handguns.”

In the 2011 HERI Faculty Survey we learned that three out of four college faculty believe that “colleges should be actively involved in social problems.”

As evidence of the collegiate  interest in social problems, to date two letters urging President Obama to take action have been circulated and signed by college presidents. One letter, written by Emerson College’s M. Lee Pelton, currently has the backing of 209 other college presidents, and a joint letter  from Lawrence M. Schall (Oglethorpe University) and Elizabeth Kiss (Agnes Scott College) has over 300 signatures.

All places of education, elementary through post-secondary, should be free from violence. Those of us with voices that can be heard owe it to all who have encountered such violence to do all in our power to make it stop.