The Texan Talks: Student voices in the campus carry debate

Walker Fountain

The debate over concealed carry on campus has been swirling for years. Intense lobbying efforts have gone into both fighting for and against the legislation in the Texas House and Senate. After many attempts at passing it, Texas House and Senate Republicans were successful in June of 2015.

However, the bill provided a small consolation to those against the legislation: It will allow universities to set a good portion of the policy themselves, allowing certain portions of campus to be designated as gun-free zones. But for now, Texas students, faculty and staff must be ready for concealed handgun license holders to be able to carry weapons in some campus buildings beginning in 2016.

The University has responded to this flexibility by creating a campus carry working group made up of students, faculty and staff, which will balance community interests and set University policy on the law. But for now, Texas students, faculty and staff must be ready for concealed handgun license holders to be able to carry weapons in some campus buildings beginning in 2016.

This week, The Daily Texan Forum will present both sides of this contentious issue. We will hear from Jordan Pahl, the community director for University Democrats and one of the key activists leading the charge against campus carry. We will also hear from Sammy Minkowitz, social director for the College Republicans and a Student Government representative for the College of Liberal Arts. Minkowitz worked with other members of Texas CRs in support of campus carry. Also available online is a piece by Jenna Conwisar, another member of the UT Students Against Guns on Campus group.

Thursday morning, we will have a debate between the two sides in the Sinclair Suite of the Texas Union, starting at 11 a.m. The debate will be moderated by Daily Texan Editor-in-Chief Claire Smith. During the debate, we will attempt to solicit what both sides are expecting from the Campus Carry working group, as well as their opinions on the hot-button issues surrounding this debate.

Fountain is a government senior from Pelham, New York. Follow him on Twitter @wf_atx.