Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Survey Shows Most UTSA Students Feel Threatened by Campus Carry

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 9:21 AM

A demonstrator holds up a sign opposing campus carry at UTSA. - GABBY MATA
  • Gabby Mata
  • A demonstrator holds up a sign opposing campus carry at UTSA.
Senate Bill 11 — the campus carry bill passed during the 2015 legislative session — allows concealed handgun license holders to carry firearms on public universities in Texas starting on August 1, 2016. And that makes a majority of students at the University of Texas at San Antonio nervous for both their safety and for the future of their school, according to newly released results of a survey.

The survey, conducted by UTSA political science professors Walter Wilson and Bryan Gervais, was commissioned last fall. Most of its respondents indicated they felt less safe because of the new law, and that it would hinder their educational experience.

"These findings suggest that campus carry may damage the academic mission of the university, undermine the competitiveness of the university, and pose serious civil rights concerns," the report stated. "The potential long-term negative consequences of campus carry raise ongoing issues for the
university."

Students responded by a 2 to 1 margin that campus carry would make them feel less safe in every place except for academic offices, where a plurality of respondents still said they'd feel less safe.

Over 80 percent of black students indicated that the new law makes them feel less safe — a higher percentage than any other demographic. Less than half of men and white students responded that campus carry made them feel less safe.

Respondents also expressed support for creating gun-free zones on campus, particularly in labs and recreation centers.

The survey was sent to the entire UTSA student body, and 2,822 students participated. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 1.85 percent.


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