The issue of whether the WTAMU campus will allow and approve concealed carry was settled this week through surveys and senate voting. After three town hall meetings, a collection of senate hearings and a student survey, it was concluded that concealed carry would be permitted on campus.
There were 10 in favor of conceal carry, seven against and one abstained in the student senate vote. The senate also voted on Bill SB 182 that, if passed, will not only allow conceal carry on all Texas college campuses, but also prevent any university from adopting regulations that prohibit conceal carry on campus. There were thirteen against, four in favor and one abstained in the vote for the bill.
“We don’t want the one size fits all bill,” Nick Goettsche, student body president, said. “We are hoping that there will be local control of the schools instead of one bill that is made for all of the schools. We are the third [university] to take a vote on it.”
The survey was sent to all students by email. Many students on campus participated to voice their opinions.
“It could bring more safety to campus depending on the rules the campus makes,” Miros Olivarez, junior Psychology major, said. “My concern is that when students are under stress for any reason [such as] finals, relationships, whatever, that they may use it to harm themselves or others.”
The results will be sent off to the area representative and then to state legislation. Senator Kel Seliger asked all universities to go through this process. So far only Texas A&M, the University of Houston, and WT have been successful.
“The first thing this bill did was it told our student body government how to give their response to the Texas legislature as far as WT’s opinion to allow concealed carry,” Travis Brown, president of Buffs for Concealed Carry, said. “The second thing that vote did was now that our student body has voted, that opinion will go to the Board of Regents and will be put up for a vote. If they are also in support of campus carry, it will then go to the university president. If it passes in both of those places, then concealed carry will be allowed at WT.”