UPDATE: Some students at West Texas A&M University misinterpreted a recent article published in the student newspaper, The Prairie said on Tuesday.
The paper's adviser, Dr. Butler Cain, said that the article was factual and that nowhere in the article did the author say students can carry guns on campus. He says the confusion came from students not thoroughly reading the article.
"My staffers knew going into this they needed to be very careful with the story," said Dr. Cain. "I think really that it was just a misunderstanding. People kind of looked at it and maybe did a quick glance and say 'oh the student senate passed this so we can bring guns to campus now'."
Students that were looking to carry their concealed handguns on campus will have to wait. Despite confusion from recent reports from the university's student newspaper, students at West Texas A&M University are not allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus.
"There's a perception with an article and it was misperceived by students," said Student Senate President Jose Lopez. "We are a gun-free zone still."
WT's Student Senate conducted a student survey and held meetings to discuss the student body's general stance on the issue of concealed carry on campus. With 66% of students voting in favor of concealed guns on campus, Lopez states that they will finalize a letter with their position to state representatives this week. It will not be until that time that action can be taken.
"State law is mandate. The Student Senate's vote does not permit students to carry. It was just a formal survey, "said Lopez. "And the student government does not have the authority to permit such access to carry on campus."
Student Body President, Nick Goettsche believes it's a great idea that Student Senate decided to develop a formal opinion for the student body. "Anytime you have activism and activity by senate on something meaningful like this it's important," said Goettsche. "It's a good thing to gauge the student body and this is what they're there for."
"We wanted our own rules in place, not the one-size fits all," said Lopez. "We understand that other universities have different opinions and we respect that. Therefore we want our own opinion to be heard."
The university is also waiting to see what the final decision boils down to. Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Denese Skinner states that the University's stance is whatever that decision results in. "They're in favor of is what the state legislature votes on and decides."
Lopez also believes that when the decision is finally made in Austin, it will certainly cause controversy throughout the state of Texas.
For more information on how you can get in contact with West Texas A&M Student Government representatives, you can visit www.wtamu.edu/student-life/student-government.aspx
To see the student newspaper article, you can go to www.theprairienews.com