UT President Greg Fenves decides to adopt campus carry policies

We now know where guns will be allowed on the UT campus. University President, Greg Fenves released a list campus-carry policies Wednesday.

He called the action: the "greatest challenge of his presidency.”
Guns will be allowed on the UT campus as well as other Texas public colleges starting August 1st.

University President Greg Fenves released a list of 25 regulatory policies in preparation Wednesday not because he supports the new state law, but he says, because of his obligation to uphold it.

"I do not believe handguns belong in a university setting in the campus environment dedicated to education and research,” said Fenves.

Under the new campus carry policies, guns are prohibited in the following places: K-12 sponsored events, labs/animal research facilities, private offices, polling places/courts and where hearings are held, at any business with a liquor license, sporting events, patient care areas including those for mental health and on-campus residence halls.

Where guns are allowed, they must remain on the person in a holster or locked in a vehicle. Semi-automatic weapons cannot have a bullet in the chamber.

Guns can be carried in common areas of on-campus residence halls, university apartments and by university housing staff.

Students received an alert detailing the new rules.

"I'm glad there are more restrictions. I was expecting it to be a free-for-all. That's what I was more worried about,” said student Laura Cuervo.

"People have the right to protect themselves,” said student Bronwyn Sinquefield.

"I know it seems like the president was legally obligated to allow it to happen based on the wording of the law, but I feel like he could've fought that a little bit. I feel like there's always a little bit of leeway with that. Kind of disappointed to see it went the way it did,” said student Sumanth Reddy.

Two graduate students took their concerns straight to fenves--speaking out during his press conference.

"Why won't you stand up to the legislature and enjoin this law?"

"These are our lives at stake here!"

Fenves reiterated his job to abide by the law while promising to monitor the effects the new law has on teaching and research as well as the ability to recruit and retain faculty members and students.

"I empathize with this faculty and staff as a professor, teacher myself I don't want guns in the classrooms I would be teaching in so I certainly empathize with them,” said Fenves.

University of Texas Austin President Greg Fenves says after reviewing the policy recommendations of the Campus Carry Working Group he has decided to adopt them.

The policy recommendations concern Senate Bill 11, the campus carry legislation that goes into effect on August 1.

In a letter to students, faculty and staff, Fenves says, "Under the law, I cannot adopt a policy that has the general effect of excluding licensed concealed handguns from campus."

Fenves also says in the letter, "I do not believe handguns belong on a university campus, so this decision has been the greatest challenge of my presidency to date. I empathize with the many faculty members, staffers, students and parents of students who signed petitions, sent emails and letters, and organized to ban guns from campus and especially classrooms. As a professor, I understand the deep concerns raised by so many. However, as president, I have an obligation to uphold the law."

A Campus Carry Implementation Task Force, led by Dr. Gerald Harkins, will handle the aspects of implementing the policies.

You can read the full letter from Fenves here

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