SAGU Opts Out Of Campus Carry Law
WAXAHACHIE—During the 2015 Texas legislative session, Senate Bill 11, commonly referred to as “campus carry” was passed. This new law allows licensed concealed handgun holders to carry a handgun on college/university campuses of Texas. This law became effective August 1, 2016. SAGU has chosen to “opt out” with special provisions for faculty and staff of the university.
The requirements for public and private colleges differ. For public colleges the new Texas law allows guns in buildings, classrooms and dorms. Specific rules may differ from campus to campus. Private colleges like SAGU are allowed to “opt out” or make special provisions.
During the Spring 2016 semester the administration of Southwestern Assemblies of God University consulted with faculty/staff and student leaders. The administration reviewed the feedback and recommended that the university “opt-out, authorize in” which maintains the university’s historic position prohibiting concealed or open carry by students and guests, but creates a process by which faculty/staff could be authorized for concealed carry.
For staff and faculty, the requirements include a formal application to the Safety and Security office, state licensing, training above what the state requires for licensing and full-time employee status. (New employees of the university also undergo background checks prior to employment.)
According to Fox News, currently Amberton University, which doesn’t allow students under 21 and has a total enrollment under 2,000, is the only private school that has opted to allow guns.
SAGU concealed gun carry policy follows improvements in SAGU security. The university recently upgraded the classification of its security force, adding new certifications for armed officers to maintain safety for students, staff and guests.
SAGU was recently named on the “Safest Colleges in Texas” list from BackgroundChecks.org. Along with 24-hour patrolling security, SAGU’s campus curfew allows security to know who is and is not authorized to be on-campus during late night hours. SAGU maintains security cameras that cover the campus and provides electronic access points in the dorms and buildings that require an ID card for entry.
SAGU’s campus has well-lit parking lots and walking areas. The campus is located in a neighborhood that provides a welcoming and safe environment.
To compile the report, Background Checks.org combined data from recent Department of Education Reports, natural language analysis, social media sentiment analysis and their own research to create a ranking of the 50 Safest Colleges in Texas.
“It’s a true testament to a great administration, strong leadership, student and community involvement,” said Jessica Pierce, a Background Checks.org public safety analyst. “In a world full of bad news, it’s great to have something positive for residents, and it’s something to be proud of.”