By Jillian Anderson
Student body president Dominic Edwards vetoed the Concealed Carry bill Thursday, and after a vote by Student Senate, the veto stands.
At the Senate meeting, Arlington senior Edwards presented what he considered to be violations to the Student Senate Constitution and the basis for his decision.
“It’s important to note the relationship between the Student Body President and the Student Senate,” Edwards said. “I have to weigh if Student Senate is doing it’s responsibility as a decision making body.”
He said he found two constitutional violations, one being that the Senate must foster a mutual understanding between the administration, the faculty and the students. Second, he said the Senate must investigate matters pertinent to the interests of the student body.
Although members of the administration such as Brad Wigtil, Baylor Chief of Police, saw the bill, Edwards said more research and knowledge of Baylor and its community was required within the text of the bill. He said the bill seemed to be a reaction to a national concern and not a Baylor concern.
Edwards said another concern of his was the lack of student opinion on the bill.
“That group was not consulted, but prescribed what they think,” he said. “Students should have the opportunity to speak in on the process.”
Woodinville, Wash., senior Gannon McCahill, wrote the bill and after the veto was announced, delivered a rebuttal calling for senators to remember the issue of safety.
“How are you supposed to calmly pull out your phone and dial 254-710-2222, a number most students hardly know and calmly explain the situation and say your location?” he asked.
He said his stance is not that of a National Rifle Association member or gun owner, but that of a concerned student. He urged the body to consider the bill as an alternative to what he said was the typical order of business, such as funding social events and campus improvements.
After the presentations by McCahill and Edwards, the floor was opened to senate members for opinion.
Waco junior Forrest Davis is a junior senator and proponent of the bill. He urged the senate body to keep the conversation open.
“Let’s talk about the issue,” Forrest said. “We are elected to voice student opinion. Forget the additional noise and vote what your heart says.”
Houston junior Pearson Brown said he disagreed.
“Passing this [veto] is the discussion,” he said. “By going with the veto, we’re keeping the conversation alive.”
Beaumont senior Richard Horace said the issue with the bill was the lack of prior research.
“There is a need for more research on this issue,” he said. “We must hear [students’] feedback. That warrants more discussion.”
Woodville junior Kristyn Miller, external vice president, spoke on the issue of considering people outside of Baylor and what this decision could mean for the city.
“Write legislation with a community outlook,” she said.
Because two-thirds of the senators present did not vote to override the veto, the bill is considered dead. However, a new version of it can be written and would have to go through the same process as the previous one.