Bioethics Blogs

My Experience with Texas Campus Carry Laws as a New Professor

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Like many other new assistant professors across America, I spent the weeks before the beginning of the new fall semester in orientations covering everything from my university’s tenure requirements to how to fill out my health insurance forms to how to get a campus ID card. Because I am a new assistant professor at a public university in the state of Texas, my orientation also included briefings on the new campus carry laws.

On August 1st students (who have met other requirements for owning a weapon such as age, permits, etc.) were granted legal permission to carry a concealed weapon on the grounds of public universities in Texas, making it the eighth state in the USA to do so. Faculty and students at my own institution seem to be generally uncomfortable with this new law if the students in my classes, flyers handed out by students in front of the library, and watercooler talk among faculty who wondered if they could get our department to pay for bulletproof vests are representative of the sentiment about campus carry laws.

This new law was a part of my new job before I was even offered the position. During my campus interview, after giving my final roundtable interview with the department chair and other faculty members, I waited in the lobby while the group deliberated and decided my fate with the department. While waiting a student approached me and asked if she could interview me and ask my opinion on the impending campus carry law (this was a few months before the law was to be enacted) for a class project.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.