NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Next Monday, August 1st, is the day that Texas' controversial "campus carry" law goes into effect at public colleges statewide.
College administrators and regents are gearing up for the change into the unknown.
The reminder for the startup of the campus security legislation came from Stephen F. Austin State University President Dr. Baker Patillo to regents in today's summer meeting. Campus carry is deeply on the minds of college staff and faculty.
"I was in Austin Wednesday night. Other presidents, they also talked about what is going on here on campus and all of us are doing basically the same," Patillo said.
The idea of campus carry is still met with mixed reaction by faculty who are coming to terms that any one of their students could be toting a gun come the start of class Monday morning.
"I know there are several faculty members who are a little concerned, but it's even on both sides," said Dr. J.D. Salis, SFA's faculty senate president. There are faculty members who are very supportive of it. I think in this region of Texas there are more people comfortable with the campus carry."
Campus carry is launched while an exceptionally violent summer involving shootings is still on American's minds.
"There was violence in the past as well, so I think the Legislature is very informed about what it means to be able to carry in Texas," said Nelda Blair, a SFA regent. "What it means to carry specifically on campus. Obviously, there was a lot of talk about it, but, no, I don't think it changes minds."
Salis believes less fear will be generated at SFA as the focus is developing learners and improved academics, as well as school spirit. It's something educators hope will outweigh the potential for violence.
Campus carry is addressed by SFA in depth online.
You'll find the policy, how to obtain campus carry education and training, an information sheet and a place to ask questions at this link.