Student government votes to oppose state Senate “campus carry” proposal

Samantha Ketterer

Student Government voted Tuesday to oppose a state Senate-proposed campus-carry policy at the University. Twenty-one of 27 assembly members voted in support of the resolution, a statement against allowing concealed handguns on campus.

Under current state laws, licensed students, faculty and staff are allowed to keep handguns in their cars on campus. With the passing of SB 11 in the Texas Senate, the University would not be able to prohibit licensed students, faculty or staff from carrying concealed handguns on campus.

SG’s resolution, AR 30, was heavily debated in the open forum during the assembly meeting, with both sides coming forward to address the issue. Most students who spoke in opposition to the SG bill echoed the statement that the bill would not be representative of all students. 

“I know that the authors of this bill feel it properly voices the opinion of all students on campus, but that’s not the case,” accounting junior Andrew Jackson said. “This is not an issue student government needs to deal with because it is not something all students want. And I would [also] be against AR 30 if it was for campus-carry because, again, that is not something all students want.”  

Jamie Nalley, a co-author of the resolution, said he believed taking a vote on the resolution meant students opinion would be sufficiently represented.

“Some of us will vote yes and some will vote no, but that’s how we’re not alienating any students,” Nalley said. 

One of the primary reasons students spoke against campus carry, and in support of the proposed legislation, was for the overall safety of campus.

Corporate communications senior Madeline Krebs said a perfect consensus is not necessary for an SG resolution.

 “I want to urge Student Government to not be afraid to take a stand on something just because not all students agree,” Krebs said. 

The legislation was originally fast-tracked for a vote last week but the vote was postponed until Tuesday night in order to hear more student voices on the matter, according to Tanner Long, College of Liberal Arts Student Government representative and co-author of the resolution.

UT System Chancellor William McRaven also publicly expressed disapproval of the campus carry bill and said he believes “the presence of concealed weapons will make a campus a less-safe environment.”  

SG will host a town hall-style meeting Thursday to discuss the outcome of the resolution vote.