Education News

UH Gathers More Feedback On Campus Carry Plan

The next draft is due in April for the chancellor to review.

Members of the UH campus carry work group listen and answer questions about the new law, including Richard Walker, vice president of student affairs; Dona Cornell, general counsel; and Marcilynn Burke, associate dean of the UH Law Center.
Members of the UH campus carry work group listen and answer questions about the new law, including Richard Walker, vice president of student affairs; Dona Cornell, general counsel; and Marcilynn Burke, associate dean of the UH Law Center.

The University of Houston has released an initial plan on how it will implement the new state law known as “campus carry.”

But the plan is not set in stone, and there are still a lot of questions.

Students, staff members and faculty voiced concerns Wednesday at a community forum, mostly steering away from political issues and dealing with the nitty-gritty details of the draft plan.

“If one room or just a few rooms that have dangerous equipment or dangerous chemicals in a room, how do you justify closing the whole building off to us having our legal right to carry?” asked JonPaul Clayton, a communications major.

The law will allow people with concealed handgun licenses to carry on certain parts of campus. Public universities can carve out gun-free zones but can’t ban firearms entirely.

 “Everybody is going to have some amount of personal responsibility for dealing with this law, and that includes not just the university, but also the concealed handgun license holders themselves,” said UH General Counsel Dona Cornell.

Other questions at the latest community forum at UH included why are concealed weapons allowed at one dorm but not others, and how will the university pay for implementing the law.

Staff member Tangelia Gay was one of about 60 people who showed up.

“What protective measures are being taken place as far as, like, metal detectors to protect our staff at gun-free zoned areas?” she asked.

So far there are no plans for metal detectors, according to Cornell.

But she said that the work group wants to hear more feedback about the draft plan.

“If you think the exclusion zones are over zealous and are not going to allow you, you know, to eat in a dining hall on this campus, that’s absolutely the feedback that we want. And that’s something we absolutely will consider when we do our next draft,” Cornell said.

That draft is due in April for the chancellor to review.

There is another community forum scheduled at UH-Sugar Land on March 10 from 3- 5 p.m. The deadline to submit feedback to campuscarry@uh.edu is March 21.

Draft of the plan 

 

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Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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