Fenves announces working group to review campus carry

Matthew Adams

University President Gregory Fenves announced in an email Thursday the formation of a committee to review campus carry.

On May 30, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 11 allowing licensed permit holders to carry concealed handguns on public university grounds starting Aug. 1, 2016.  In his email, Fenves said the law gives certain discretion for establishing rules on campus, but he wants to make the campus as safe as possible.

“The safety of our community is of the utmost importance,” Fenves said in the email. “I want to make clear my goal is to promote safety and security for all members of the campus and in a way that is fully compliant with the law.”   

Fenves said the committee, referred to as a working group, will submit recommended policies by late November for him to consider. The group will be supported by two subcommittees — one focused on safety and training, and the other on communication and training — staffed by the UT Police Department, Campus Safety and Security and the Office of Legal Affairs, among other offices on campus.

The working group will meet soon and announce opportunities early in the semester for community feedback and public meetings on campus, Fenves said in the email.

Rachel Osterloh, President of the Senate of College Councils, said her main goal as a member of the group is to make sure the campus is safe and to communicate plans to students.

"My goal on this committee is [to] incorporate the law in such a way that students feel as safe as possible, making sure we listen to the voices of students and communicate what we are doing so students don’t feel misinformed about what is going on," Osterloh said.

Members of the working group

  • Chair
  • Steven Goode, School of Law
  • Dean’s Representative
  • Lynn Crismon, Dean, College of Pharmacy
  • Faculty Representatives
  • Steven Biegalski, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Mechele Dickerson, School of Law
  • Coleman Hutchison, College of Liberal Arts
  • Victor Saenz, College of Education
  • William (Bill) Spelman, LBJ School of Public Affairs
  • Staff Representatives
  • Leticia Acosta, McCombs School of Business
  • Glen Baum, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Stacey Bennett, Division of Housing and Food Service
  • Student Representatives
  • Rachel Osterloh, President, Senate College of Councils
  • Xavier Rotnofsky, President, Student Government
  • Brian Wilkey, President, Graduate Student Assembly
  • Parent Representative
  • Sandra Blount, Sugar Land, Texas
  • Alumni Representative
  • The Honorable Wallace Jefferson, Distinguished Alumnus of UT Austin, Austin, Texas
  • Special Collections Representative
  • Stephen Enniss, Director, Harry Ransom Center
  • Subcommittee Chairs
  • Janet Dukerich, Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
  • Bob Harkins, Associate Vice President, Campus Safety and Security
  • Ex-officio Representative
  • Carlos Martinez, Associate Vice President, Office of the President