Board, chancellor oppose guns-on-campus bill

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Leo Zuniga, associate vice chancellor of communications, presents the legislative agenda of the Texas 83rd Legislative Session to the Alamo Colleges board of trustees during a meeting Jan. 22 in Killen.  Vincent Reyna

Leo Zuniga, associate vice chancellor of communications,
presents the legislative agenda of the Texas
83rd Legislative Session to the Alamo Colleges
board of trustees during a meeting Jan. 22 in Killen.
Vincent Reyna

HB565 and SB62 could lower the requirement age for the bacterial meningitis vaccine from 30 to 22.

By Rebecca Salinas

rsalinas191@student.alamo.edu

Chancellor Bruce Leslie said he will “act accordingly” to see what the Alamo Colleges board of trustees can do to oppose SB182, which would allow licensed gun holders permission to carry a concealed handgun on campus.

The topic was discussed during the regular board meeting Tuesday when Leo Zuniga, associate vice chancellor of communications, presented the state legislative agenda.

There was no motion from the board, but Leslie said he will look at the board’s motion to oppose SB354 from the 82nd legislature in 2011, which would have allowed guns on campus.

He said “act accordingly” in case there needs to be another motion.

District 2 trustee Denver McClendon said, “I think it would be appropriate for us to bring it back, addressing this particular Senate bill.” District 7 trustee Yvonne Katz said, “I’m absolutely, adamantly opposed to having handguns on our campuses.”

“That is not the answer to the situations we are dealing with,” she said.

On the morning of the board meeting, at least 10 shots were fired between two men outside the library at Lone Star College’s North Harris campus.

This also comes after gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.

In other news, Zuniga said HB565 and SB62 would lower the age requirement for the bacterial meningitis vaccination from 30 to 22.

Leslie said there have been talks of moving the required age even lower so high school students could get vaccinated and be covered when transferring to college.

“This is a bill that’s in the right direction, but I think probably my colleagues will feel like it’s not nearly enough,” he said.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, children from age 11-12 are recommended to get the vaccine for the first time, and a booster is recommended at age 16.

If a teen receives the vaccination from age 13-15, a booster is recommended during ages 16-18.

After 19, the vaccine is recommended for adults with certain risks related to health, job or lifestyle.

SB1107 took effect in January 2011 and required new or transfer students under 30 to have a bacterial meningitis vaccination, or booster, regardless of housing status.

The bill also required the vaccination for students under 30 who were out of college for one or more semesters.

In other news, Zuniga said HB82 calls for 20 hours of unpaid public service for a nonprofit organization for students in education programs of 60 credit hours or more.

Leslie said he “got excited” when he heard about this bill because it will leave a positive impact on students.

Zuniga said it would include students in certification programs and those pursuing a bachelor of arts degree.

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