Campus Life Blog: Handguns on Campus

March 3, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Posted by Elena Harding
eharding@smu.edu

Tuesday, a Texas bill that would allow people with a concealed handgun license to carry a gun on college grounds, was referred to Homeland Security and Public Safety. It is tailored for community colleges and would not affect schools like SMU.

The reason other institutions of higher education are not included is not clear in the bill. However, in a press release its author, Rep. Van Taylor, said the reason is due to “very different atmospheres” from four-year universities. He was basically suggesting that four-year universities are safer than two-year colleges.

I disagree. I transferred in to SMU from a community college and I felt just as safe there as I do at SMU. Nor would I have felt any safer surrounded by a bunch of armed classmates.

There is another problem with this bill. It sounds like it could open the door to allowing concealed handguns at any institution of higher education. Quotes in the press release from an NRA representative suggest it and that would definitely not make me feel safe.

If approved, the act will take effect in the 2011 fall semester.

VIDEO: How Would SMU Handle an Emergency

September 28, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

VIDEO: How Would SMU Handle A Campus Shooting from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

UT Student Shoots Himself in Library

September 28, 2010 by · 7 Comments 

For a closer look at what SMU would do in a similar emergency please see Halle Organ’s video report.

By Andy Garcia and Aida Ahmed
atgarcia@smu.edu, aahmed@smu.edu

UT students watch coverage of the shooting in a classroom on lockdown while contacting friends and family through Facebook. (PHOTO COURTESY KEALLY HARVIN)

University of Texas police are investigating the suicide of a gunman who shot himself on campus this morning.

At around 8:40 a.m. UT students were informed about an armed suspect on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castañeda Library. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has confirmed the suspect was armed with an AK-47.

UT Student Tiffany Leong was on her way to class when she learned about the shooting.

“I was just about to walk to class when I received the emergency text,” Leong said. “Since then I think everyone has been on lock down.”

At 9:13 a.m. the UT emergency information page announced that the suspected shooter is dead and at 10:01 a.m., it updated to say that the campus and surrounding roads are closed.

At 12:28 p.m., university officials gave the “all clear” signal but urged that all faculty, staff and students stay away from the campus, which remains closed as police investigate the shooting.

UT student Connor Landy was in lockdown at the McCombs School of Business across the street from the library after the shooting took place.

“Everyone is isolated in their indiviual classrooms and we got a text saying don’t come on campus today,” Landy said Tuesday morning. “I’m getting word that classes are cancelled for rest of the day.”

At 10:15 a.m. the university cancelled classes for the day. Students were advised to lock their doors and stay away from campus. The lone gunman has been identified as a UT student.

In a press conference held on the campus at around 10:40 a.m., UT Police Chief Robert Dahlstrom said that UT police and the Austin Police Department are still looking for a second suspect.

“We are working the possibility of a second suspect,” Dahlstrom said. “We are setting up a perimeter within the hour from Dean Keeton and Guadalupe to San Jacinto. We’re trying to work and make sure there is no second suspect.”

VIDEO UPDATE – 11:36 a.m.: Sarah Bray spoke with two UT students who were on campus during the shooting. Watch her report for the Daily Mustang on what happened to the students placed on lockdown.

UT Shooting Update from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.