Column: Students voice for campus carry isn't influential

How much influence do 40,000 students, and hundreds, if not thousands, of staff members have in the implementation of campus carry? In my opinion, none.

The decision on how campus carry will be implemented rests solely on President Vistasp Karbhari, the Board of Regents or other governing boards. Any concerns about campus carry will go into one ear and out of the other.

“In light of all these concerns and apprehensions, I feel the presence of concealed weapons will make campus a less-safe environment,” UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven said in a letter sent to Texas legislators in January.

It is fairly obvious that Chancellor Bill McRaven is against campus carry and that he will do everything in his power to make the majority of the campus a “Gun-Free Zone.”

“I think the chancellor speaks for all of us,” Karbhari said in an earlier Shorthorn story. “That’s the system’s position.”

Karbhari’s comment on how “the chancellor’s position is the system’s position” makes me wonder how much influence the UT System has on Karbhari.

Let’s suppose that, somehow, Karbhari decides to allow campus carry for the majority of the campus. Would that be the end of it?

Absolutely not.

McRaven and the rest of the UT System will continue to amend the policy to death until it is almost a mirror image of the current state of gun control on campus: end to end a “Gun-Free Zone.”

Don’t believe me? Look at how much the UT System influences UT presidents. This comes directly from its website:

• The Board of Regents selects the president of each institution.

• The president reports to and is responsible to the chancellor. The president is expected to consult with the chancellor or the deputy chancellor and the appropriate executive vice chancellor on significant issues as needed.

• The president serves without fixed term, subject to the chancellor.

• When circumstances warrant or require such action, the chancellor may take interim action involving a president, including but not limited to suspension or leave of absence, pending approval by the board.

• Each president will have an annual performance evaluation, conducted by the chancellor, the deputy chancellor, and the appropriate executive vice chancellor, and presented to the board for discussion.

It doesn’t matter what you and I think about campus carry. The UT presidents may have the power to make campus carry policies, but the final say rests on the Board of Regents.

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