Keep NWACC Gun Free, Campus Leaders Advise Board

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NorthWest Arkansas Community College staff leaders want the school’s Board to keep the campus gun free, according to a recommendation released Thursday.

NWACC administrators have recommended the school’s Board of Trustees opt out of state legislation allowing college employees and staff to carry concealed weapons on campus, according to a recommendation released with the Board’s  May meeting agenda.

The attached resolution to the recommendation is signed by NWACC President Becky Paneitz, Faculty Senate President Bryan Aguiar, Staff Council President Lenora Sotlar and Student Government Association President Jesse Pierce.

The resolution to keep NWACC gun free will be considered by the Board of Trustees at Monday’s meeting.

Recently-passed state legislation allows college employees and staff in Arkansas to carry concealed guns on campus, as long as the carrier is licensed. Staff of colleges that opt out cannot carry guns on campus.

The Board of Trustees has been weighing the issue the past few meetings, and the school held a pair of student and faculty-driven forums last month on the possibility of allowing concealed-carry on campus.

The administration’s recommendation and proposed resolution are below:

Date: May 13, 2013
To: Board of Trustees
From: Dr. Ricky Tompkins, Interim VP for Learning

Subject: Approval of Resolution Disallowing the Carrying of a Concealed Handgun

The NWACC administration recommends that the Board exercise its option to exempt the institution from Act 226 of 2013 and not allow employees (with a permit to carry a concealed weapon) to carry a concealed weapon on the College’s Campus or instructional Centers by approving the resolution disallowing the carrying of a concealed weapon.

Recommendation: The administration recommends that the Board exercise its option to exempt the institution from Act 226 of 2013 and not allow employees (with a permit to carry a concealed weapon) to carry a concealed weapon on the College’s Campus or instructional Centers by approving the resolution disallowing the carrying of a concealed weapon.

Mr. Ric Clifford, Chairperson Mr. Dan Shewmaker, Secretary
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NWACC BOARD OF TRUSTEES
RESOLUTION ON THE CONCEALED CARRY OF HANDGUNS ON CAMPUS BY TRAINED AND LICENSED STAFF ON CAMPUS

WHEREAS, Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) is a public institution of higher education that receives regular budgetary support from the State of Arkansas, and that is required to report to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and

WHEREAS, it is unlawful for any person other than a law enforcement officer or a commissioned officer in the employ of NWACC to knowingly carry or possess a loaded firearm or other deadly weapon in any publicly owned building or facility, and

WHEREAS, a “staff” member means a person who is not enrolled as a full-time student at NWACC, and is either employed by NWACC full time or is on a nine-month or twelve month appointment at NWACC as a faculty member, and

WHEREAS, Act 226 of 2013 requires that the Board of Trustees at NorthWest Arkansas Community College approve a policy with regard to the carry of concealed handguns on campus by trained and licensed staff members who possess a concealed carry permit.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

  • That the Board of Trustees of NWACC adopts this policy expressly disallowing the carrying of a concealed handgun by staff members in college owned or controlled buildings and grounds, and
  • That this Board policy expires one (1) year after adoption and must be readopted each year by the Board of Trustees at their annual meeting in January to remain in effect, and
  • That NWACC’s commissioned law enforcement officers employed within the NWACC Department of Public Safety are exempt from this policy, and
  • That NWACC’s Administration will conduct an annual analysis of its capacity to provide a safe and resilient environment that enhances the learning experience and supports the College’s educational mission, and
  • That this analysis will accompany future requests to either readopt this policy or to adopt differing policies for the carrying of a concealed handgun by trained and licensed staff members for different campuses, areas of a campus, or individual buildings of the college for which the Board of Trustees is responsible, and
  • That NWACC will post at the entrance of all facilities and parking lots controlled or owned by NWACC clearly written notifications readable at a distance of not less than ten feet that

“Carrying A Handgun Is Prohibited”
__________________________ ____________________________
NWACC Board of Trustees Chair NWACC Board of Trustees Secretary

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