Survey from students: No guns on campus

Eight out of 10 college students in Virginia are against allowing guns on campus, according to a statewide survey conducted by the advocacy group Virginia 21. The organization, which represents young adults in Virginia, has been surveying college and university students about hot-button issues that may crop up during this year’s legislative session.

One such issue: whether guns should be permitted on campus. Some Second Amendment advocates say armed students could protect themselves against school shootings like the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007.

Nearly 8,000 students took the Virginia 21 survey, and 83 percent of them said they do not want guns on school property, especially in dormitories. Seven percent of the respondents were unsure about the issue; the others supported the idea of letting guns on campus.

Tom Kramer, executive director for Virginia 21, said students’ main concern is dorm rooms.

“We don’t want guns in our dorm rooms. That’s one of the things we are most worried about. Could you imagine your roommate having a gun and you not knowing about it?” Kramer said.

“Freshmen don’t even get to pick who they room with. Do they have a right to know that? That is what really bothers us about a gun bill.”

At this point, no bills have been proposed in the 2013 General Assembly to allow guns on school property. However, such a proposal was filed last year.

Kramer wants to make sure the measure doesn’t come up again. “If there is one, we are going to basically call all of our chapters up to kill the bill,” he said.

According to other preliminary results of the Virginia 21 survey:

• 60 percent of students say they are unaware what their student loan payments will be upon graduation.

• 40 percent of students did not know about career center services on their college campus.

Virginia 21 will announce the complete results of its survey, including responses to topics involving tuition and textbooks, at the group’s Lobby Day on Jan. 29.

Students and other young voters from across the state will attend the event to urge legislators to hold down tuition while maintaining the quality of education. The group expects 80-100 supporters.

For details about Virginia 21 or its Lobby Day, visit

Reynolds CC to host sculptor Paul DiPasquale

Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.

Free children’s clothing for those in need

The Children's Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church will be open Saturday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 to provide free new or nearly new children's clothing for families in need, prior to the start of the school year. The Clothing Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon both days. The church is located at 22 North Holly Avenue. > Read more.

Theme for this year’s Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter announced

The theme for the annual Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Lakeside has been announced.

This year's event, which opens Nov. 25 and will continue through Jan. 9, will explore "Living Color" and show how the world's kaleidoscope of colors speaks to people, impacts nature and influences culture, according to Garden officials. The event features more than a half million lights, botanical decorations, trains, holiday dinners, family activities and more. > Read more.


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The President’s Own United States Marine Band, founded in 1798 and America’s oldest continually active professional musical organization, will perform at 3 p.m. at Glen Allen High School. “The President’s Own” is celebrated for its role at the White House and its dynamic public performances, which total more than 500 annually. This concert is the final performance of the 125th anniversary of the Marine Band Tour. In the style of the band’s 17th director, John Philip Sousa, who initiated the concert tour tradition in 1891, Marine Band Director Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig has chosen a diverse mix of programs, from traditional band repertoire and marches to instrumental solos. Tickets are free but required. For details, visit Full text

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