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
Steven Goode, School of Law
Lynn Crismon, Dean, College of Pharmacy
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
Leticia Acosta, McCombs School of Business
Glen Baum, Cockrell School of Engineering
Stacey Bennett, Division of Housing and Food Service
Rachel Osterloh, President, Senate College of Councils
Xavier Rotnofsky, President, Student Government
Brian Wilkey, President, Graduate Student Assembly
Sandra Blount, Sugar Land, Texas
The Honorable Wallace Jefferson, Distinguished Alumnus of UT Austin, Austin, Texas
Special Collections Representative
Stephen Enniss, Director, Harry Ransom Center
Janet Dukerich, Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Bob Harkins, Associate Vice President, Campus Safety and Security
Carlos Martinez, Associate Vice President, Office of the President