With the idea of allowing concealed weapons on campus making its rounds again in the Texas Legislature, the University’s Faculty Council affirmed its stance for the third time against allowing firearms on University grounds.
The Faculty Council met Monday to discuss various campus issues, one of which included a resolution to reaffirm the ban of firearms on campus. With the exception of one abstaining member, all present members voted in favor of the resolution without discussion. Similar resolutions were passed in February 2009 and March 2011.
Martha Hilley, music professor and council chairwoman, said the decision to once again affirm the faculty’s stance was simply to remind legislators that faculty views concerning weapons on campus have not changed.
“The squeaky wheel gets the oil,” Hilley said. “There are two bills that have been filed, and we’re very worried. Not speaking as the chair but speaking for myself, I don’t want to be scared when I come to work. That’s just it, plain and simple. This is just to reaffirm.”
President William Powers Jr., who has previously expressed public opposition to concealed carry laws on campus, said continuing to affirm the idea of keeping guns out of the University is something that is protective of all students, not just faculty.
“My view is clear,” Powers said. “My view is aggregate safety. Friday night comes once a week. Mixing alcohol and youth and firearms is not conducive to overall safety. On campus, I think our employees agree with that, and that’s not a new point for me.”
Michael Morton, president of the Senate of College Councils and a voting student member of the Faculty Council, said the fact that the overwhelming majority of council members were strong in their opposition of concealed weapons on campus should say something to Texas legislators.
“They recognize it as a safety issue,” Morton said. “They don’t want to be afraid to come to work, and they would be if it were allowed. Whenever faculty can voice their opinion and take a stance on something, that’s a good thing. But it says a lot and I hope legislators take the vote seriously.”