Task force developing campus carry policy

Oct. 6, 2015

Dear UNT community,

UNT recognizes that maintaining a safe campus environment is essential to making sure that our campus community feels protected and welcome.

Since the passage of Senate Bill 11, also known as “campus carry,” campus safety has become an even more discussed topic. The law, which takes effect Aug. 1, 2016, allows licensed holders to carry concealed handguns on Texas university campuses.

The new law allows universities some regulation of when and where a licensed holder can carry a concealed handgun on campus. President Neal Smatresk has convened a task force to develop a policy for UNT that will outline these regulations while adhering to the spirit of the law.

The 23-member Campus Carry Task Force — made up of students, faculty, staff and administrators — began working in early September to review the regulations and expectations of the law. This review has included consulting with the university’s legal office, and holding discussions with other Texas universities about the approaches they are taking. The task force also will solicit campus input to recommend a policy and guidelines. The policy will be sent to the UNT System Board of Regents for review in February 2016. A final approved policy will be in place in time to educate the campus about the policy before the law takes effect.

Throughout the policy development process, we’ll maintain open dialogue with the campus community and the public. We’ve launched the website campuscarry.unt.edu to keep you informed about our work, allow you to share your thoughts and get facts about the new law.

Starting in October, the task force will hold town hall meetings to gather input, answer questions and discuss the impact of the law on UNT. There will be separate meetings for students, faculty and staff so we can gather input by group, as well as a town hall at Discovery Park that is open to everyone. The town halls will be streamed lived and recorded so you can watch even if you can’t attend. Please mark your calendars now. Comments also can be made on the website under the “Share Your Thoughts” section.

Student Town Hall Meetings

  • Oct. 13 at 5 p.m. – Gateway Center, room 035
  • Oct. 20 at 12 p.m. – Gateway Center, room 035

Faculty Town Hall Meetings

  • Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. – Gateway Center, room 035
  • Oct. 22 at 9 a.m. – Willis Library, room 140

Staff Town Hall Meetings

  • Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. – Bruce Hall, concert room D250
  • Oct. 19 at 8:30 a.m. - Gateway Center, room 035

Discovery Park Town Hall Meeting

  • Oct. 16 at 12:30 p.m. – Discovery Park, room B155

After the policy is adopted next year, the university will provide training to ensure our community members know how to respond to emergencies in an environment that allows licensed holders to carry concealed handguns.

We will work hard to create a UNT campus carry policy that adheres to the law and continues to put the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors first.

Sincerely,

UNT Campus Carry Task Force