By Oscar Gonzalez/@originalgamer1
During his last weeks as SGA president, Andres Holliday called for an emergency meeting to push through four bills, including the Concealed Carry on Campus Bill. The two-page bill declares the student body of Texas A&M-San Antonio in favor of concealed carry based on the results of an online poll administered April 2-9.
Of the university’s 4,211 enrolled students, 184 students, or less than 5 percent of the student body, voted.
- Strongly agree – 72 students
- Strongly disagree – 61 students
- Agree – 24 students
- Disagree – 20 students
- Undecided – 7 students
The Concealed Carry on Campus Bill authorizes Andres Holliday, outgoing SGA president, to provide a statement declaring the student body’s support for concealed carry on campus. Holliday said he will deliver a letter to members of the A&M-San Antonio administration. The bill also calls for the office of the president of A&M-San Antonio to recognize the students’ position and provide an official statement regarding students’ support of concealed carry.
The bill passed with three senators in favor and two against.
Senators in favor of concealed carry:
- Brian Harrin
- Jennifer Faubion
- Crystal Navarro
Those senators against the bill were:
- Eric Estrada
- Jon Avila
The bill also calls for a formation of a student committee, whose size will be proportionate to the student population. The committee will offer recommendations on how concealed carry will be implemented on campus.
“We don’t want a seat at the table, we want our own table,” Holliday said during the April 23 SGA meeting. “We want to say as a student body, ‘we want to give our personal recommendation on how we feel this bill should be handled, specifically for A&M-San Antonio.'”
Holiday said the formation of the committee will fall into the hands of the incoming SGA president. He acknowledged any decision or action by the committee on behalf of the student body may be overridden by the chancellor of the A&M University system.
In their first meeting of the spring 2015 semester, Holliday announced the association would hold a concealed carry forum to allow the student body to voice their opinion on allowing concealed guns on campus. The initiative was a reaction to Texas Legislature Senate Bill 11, which, if passed, will allow concealed carry on Texas public university campuses.
Holliday called for an emergency meeting on April 18 due to recent difficulties obtaining a quorum in SGA meetings, which stalled the vote on four bills.
For Holliday, the Concealed Carry bill represents a signature action he brought to the student body at the end of his presidency. In a March editorial, he expressed his support for concealed carry and said “there is no logical reason why we would assume concealed carry will cause an issue on our college campuses.”
“Before May 1, before my term is ending, I will sign the senate bill for concealed carry,” Holliday said in an April 22 phone interview. “At that point that already triggers the responsibility to say ‘Hey look, the students are now requesting that they have a part of the pie and be able to discuss this one-on-one at the table.”