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TSUS approves new master plan, will respond to concealed handgun policy

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 01:02

Student Government Association talks to TSUS Board of Regents

Student Government Association President Shane Rankin and Vice President Kolby Flowers visited Austin, Texas to present issues facing Sam Houston State University students to board members of the Texas State University System’s Board of Regents and a state congressman. The Board of Regents also approved a new master plan for SHSU.

After a series of focus groups with students, SGA presented the student’s views on gun control, parking issues and other campus safety measures to the TSUS Student Advisory Board. The board that consists of two representatives from each of the eight universities in the system told the Board of Regents that campus safety was the biggest concern to students.

Vice President Flowers said that SHSU was one of the first universities within the system to address the issue of gun control and other issues on campus.

“The Student Advisory Board… agreed that all of these things are issues facing students and need to be addressed,” said Flowers. “However not all of the issues have been brought up at other schools. Like the concealed handgun policy. It has been passed at Texas State but not even considered at Lamar University.”

Due to the weight of these issues, the Board of Regents Chair Donna Williams agreed with Flowers and other representatives that a response should be made by the board in this year’s report. The date of the report is yet to be determined.

Along with representing the school at the quarterly regents meeting, SGA members met with State Rep. John Otto (R-Huntsville) about bills inside the Texas Congress regarding a mandatory tuition freeze for university students. HB29 by State Rep. Dan Branch (R-Dallas) requires that universities must offer a frozen tuition plan to four-year students.

“On House Bill 29, we wanted to let the representative know that we support a tuition freeze plan,” said Flowers. “However, universities should have the opportunity to opt in and opt out of the program.”

Flowers said that SGA members also asked for Otto’s support on SGA’s SB 13-02, which would allow concealed handgun licensees to carry on campus property, where it was otherwise disallowed, in accordance with upcoming legislation.

TSUS Board of Regents approves new master plan

In the Board of Regents meeting, SHSU President Dana Gibson successfully convinced the board to approve a new master plan for the university.

“The campus infrastructure needed a comprehensive review focusing on the renewal of existing systems and expansion to serve new facilities,” Gibson said.

According to a press release by SHSU, new projects include more residence halls on the south side of campus, a south dining facility and new buildings in the nursing, biology, agriculture and engineering departments.

SGA urges students to attend an open forum on the issue of guns on campus, and SB 13-02, tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theatre.

 

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