The campus carry bill passed earlier this semester by Baylor Student Senate has been temporarily invalidated by Baylor Student Court.
The bill was created to advise Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr and the Baylor Board of Regents to opt out of Texas Senate Bill 11, which legalizes concealed carry on college campuses. The Student Senate’s recommendation was backed by a campus poll, eight focus groups, a public deliberation initiative and a This Matters forum.
Student Senate voted on SR-63, as the bill is formally known, on January 28. The bill passed by a vote of 30 to 6 .
Due to the Student Court’s failure to meet quorum for a trial on the bill, an emergency motion was filed Tuesday by student senator Chase Hardy to suspend its validation. Hardy challenged the bill on the basis that it failed to uphold the constitutional procedure of passing a bill. This motion, upheld by Student Court Tuesday night, means the bill remains invalid until a full hearing takes place.
“The student government leadership faces meetings with regents and President Starr [today] and Friday. Now their position to opt out cannot be supported by the stayed Senate bill,” Hardy said.
Student Body President Pearson Brown must now resort to using the raw numbers and data gathered from the online student poll, focus group meetings, and public deliberation. Though the senate bill was passed decisively, the collected information indicates that student opinion is somewhat split about the issue.
The short-term implications of this halt are huge, possibly larger than the bill’s invalidation in the long term, according to an email sent from Hardy. This much could impact the regents’ decision a great deal.
Should the bill be permanently invalidated, the Student Senate would be forced to draft and pass an entirely new bill. For the time being, student government has no legitimate legislation to enforce an opt out position from Texas Senate Bill 11 on behalf of the Baylor student body.
Despite all this, some student government officials remains optimistic regarding the bill’s future.
“We look forward to sharing the overwhelming response from our student body with the Baylor Board of Regents,” said Brown, student body internal vice president Lindsey Bacque and student body external vice president Steven Newcomb in an email to the Lariat.