Graduate students oppose campus carry in letter to Fenves

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As faculty members from Gun-Free UT continue to debate the safety of the University leading up to the implementation of campus carry, graduate students made their voices heard Tuesday in a letter to University President Gregory Fenves.

More than 1,000 graduate and professional students across UT expressed their opposition to Senate Bill 11, which allows people 21 years and older to have a concealed handgun. The Texas Senate passed the bill in May and Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law in June.

In an email the group said these students chose to remain anonymous during their campaign as they call themselves “Coordinators for: UT Graduate Students Oppose Guns in Classrooms.”

“Graduate and Professional Students operate as both students in classrooms as well as educators in their roles as Assistant Instructors and Teaching Assistants, and they are therefore particularly affected by the implementation of SB 11,” the group said in an email. “We have managed the campaign with the help of a number of volunteers who are also graduate students at UT Austin.”

The group said that the online petition has been open to the public since Oct. 16, with the goal to send a letter to Fenves and the Board of Regents
on Dec. 1.

This petition will be available online through August 2016 and the group said in an email they expect the number of signatures to grow as media outlets report about it and more student groups become involved in discussions regarding campus carry.

Campus carry goes into effect on Aug. 1, 2016, which is also the same day as the 50th anniversary of the Charles Whitman shooting that killed 15 people and left 32
others wounded.