UT Faculty Council Passes Resolution Against Guns in Educational Spaces
Faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin have approved a measure calling for banning guns in classrooms, labs, dorms and university offices under the state’s campus carry law.
The law, SB 11, goes into effect in August of next year. People with concealed handgun licenses will be able to carry a gun on a campus, as they already can, but schools can set some limits to where exactly they can bring them in. The UT Faculty Council says it doesn’t want them in classrooms. UT Professor Carolyn Brown at the College of Pharmacy is a member of the Council and says she and her colleagues voted unanimously to oppose guns in education spaces.
"Everything we could think of in terms of bringing guns into the classroom is negative," Brown says. "All the reasons are negative. It doesn’t enhance learning, it has no bearing on your education."
Brown and her colleagues say that difficult and controversial conversations would be inhibited by the presence of guns.
Hillary Hart, faculty at the Cockrell School of Engineering and secretary of the Faculty Council, says UT President Gregory Fenves, who was at the meeting on Monday, isn't in favor of SB 11, either.
"He would prefer not to have to implement it; he recognizes that it is the law," Hart says.
Fenves is awaiting recommendations from a panel of faculty, staff and students on how to implement the new law, like which spaces could be protected from guns, for instance.
The resolution could have some bearing on those recommendations, which are expected within the next few weeks. Then, Fenves will make a recommendation to the Board of Regents, possibly not until January 2016.