SGA overhauls and passes gun bill
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 01:02
SGA’s S13-02 shifted its purpose through an amendment that passed along with the bill as a whole, as amended. SGA Treasurer Jimmy Williams introduced S13-02 (6A) Tuesday night that took “a couple steps back” from what the original bill intended
The amendment changed the bill from saying that Sam Houston State University students want guns on campus to recommending that the Texas State University System allow SHSU and other schools within the system choose whether or not they allow concealed carry.
The most recent bill that passed states that “…this legislation is not intended to urge or judge the merits of a policy to permit CHL holders to carry on University property, but only to urge a reform of state law and Texas State University System policy to grant Sam Houston State University… self-governing autonomy on this issue.”
The original bill by Sen. Josh Beaman stated that if passed, SHSU would allow concealed carry on campus property, in legislation with upcoming legislation. Tuesday’s SGA meeting was the last week of nearly a month long discussion on the bill including four open forums allowing students, faculty, and staff to voice their opinion on whether the bill should pass.
Williams’ amendment came after opposition to the bill by students in the forum and faculty senate’s reaffirmation of their 2011 resolution against allowing guns on campus.
SGA President Shane Rankin said that he was thankful that students came out and participated in the discussion for the past five weeks.
The amended bill passed 19-2 in a closed session on Tuesday night, according to Rankin. However, the official tally vote given to The Houstonian shows only 19 members voting.
According to SGA officials, this was just a mistake due to the unintended voting by two members on the bill who had yet to be voted into SGA. After recognizing their error, the senate suspended the initial vote in order to officially include the two new senators.
Rankin’s announcement of the two new senators was only made until after their induction, which was done during closed session, and the vote on the bill.
The yet-to-be approved minutes from Tuesday’s meeting state that Senators Haley Jowiak and Stephen Farrand’s appointments were unanimous.
Chief of Staff Ramiro Jaime Jr. said that this discrepancy was a simply an error on SGA’s part.
“It was done out of order by accident,” Jaime said. “No one intended [it] to be in closed session.”
Flowers concurred, saying that the pace of last night’s meeting was the cause for error.
The two senators are to be sworn in during next Tuesday’s SGA meeting.