Campus Carry: Options for Consideration at the Health Science Center
Senate Bill 11 provides that,
“after consulting with students, staff, and faculty of the institution regarding the nature of the student population, specific safety considerations, and the uniqueness of the campus environment, the president or other chief executive officer of an institution of higher education in this state shall establish reasonable rules, regulations, or other provisions regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on the campus of the institution or on premises located on the campus of the institution. The president or officer may not establish provisions that generally prohibit or have the effect of generally prohibiting license holders from carrying concealed handguns on the campus of the institution. The president or officer may amend the provisions as necessary for campus safety.”
Among the wide array of public colleges and universities in the State, health-related institutions, and the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio in particular, have been established by State statute with highly distinctive and specialized roles as academic health centers. The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio’s mission is to make lives better through excellence in education, research, health care and community engagement. The strategies for achieving this mission are: educating a diverse student body to become excellent health care providers and scientists; engaging in research to understand health and disease, and to commercialize discoveries, as appropriate, to benefit the public; providing compassionate and culturally proficient health care, and influencing thoughtful advances in health policy; and engaging our community to improve health.
The complexity of locations in which the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio executes its educational, clinical, research, and community engagement activities presents a unique campus environment. The Health Science Center’s uniqueness requires a balanced implementation of Senate Bill 11 without undue restrictions, while concurrently protecting the lives, property, and educational, clinical and research environments housed in University buildings. The desired goal is to continue normal business operations with the least amount of disruption.
In implementing Senate Bill 11, one available option is to adopt the potential exclusion zones presented by the UT System Working Group. Another option would be to refine the UT System Working Group list of potential exclusion zones to a more limited range of research or patient care areas as access is, in many cases, already restricted.