Recent Kent State graduate poses with rifle, makes national headlines

Maria McGinnis

Former Kent State graduate Kaitlin Bennett has caused quite the stir with her recent graduation photos, gaining national news coverage.

Bennett posed in Risman Plaza on Kent Campus with a semi-automatic rifle strapped to her back and a graduation cap decorated with the words “come and take it.”

The Twitter post gained plenty of traction and actor Jim Carrey partook in controversial tweet adding:

In light of the controversy over the pictures posted on social media May 13, the university has released an updated statement regarding open carry policy of deadly weapons on campus.

The updated statement reads: “students, staff, faculty and third parties doing business with the university are further prohibited from possessing, storing or using a deadly weapon while outside on university grounds, that is owned, operated or leased by the university. Graduates no longer taking classes would be considered ‘visitors’ to campus and would be permitted under state law to openly carry outdoors. No one may carry a concealed weapon on our campuses.”

The updated statement was meant to reassure everyone Kent State officials consider it a safe campus, despite the posts’ uproar.

Kent State was ranked as the 25th safest big campus in the country by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

For concerns and further questions on the matter as the story continues to develop, the university’s policy on deadly weapons as of 2016 can be found on Kent State’s website.

KentWired reached out to Bennett but has not received a response.

Maria McGinnis is a general assignment reporter. Contact her at [email protected].