The Garden City Community College Board of Trustees voted to adopt a resolution exempting GCCC from requirements outlined in the Kansas gun bill (HB2052) that goes into effect July 1. The exemption excludes the concealed carry of firearms into campus buildings until Jan. 1, 2018. The resolution was passed on a four-to-one vote with Trustee Steve Sterling opposing. Trustee Jeff Crist was absent.
The new law modifies the Personal and Family Protection Act to allow the possession of firearms on some governmental property, including postsecondary educational institutions. The carrying of concealed handguns cannot be prohibited by these entities unless their facilities have “adequate” security measures at public entrances to ensure that no weapons are permitted into buildings. The buildings also must be posted conspicuously that firearms are not allowed. Additionally, the law allows licensed employees to carry a concealed handgun at the workplace.
Under allowances within the bill, GCCC Trustees voted to implement an exemption from the law for a period of four years. The exemption period will be used by college staff to determine the college’s best interest in relation to the law and to research the implications of ensuring adequate security measures, such as acquiring, installing, operating and maintaining the security systems. GCCC must report the results of the comprehensive study to the Kansas Attorney General by July 1, 2016, according to Randy Grisell, college attorney.
Representatives from Student Government Association and Faculty Senate presented their positions regarding making GCCC's campus tobacco-free. SGA president Brevan Woydziak fielded questions from the board regarding enforcement of the proposed policy as well as what models were used to write the GCCC proposed policy. Woydziak indicated that the policy was modeled after Oklahoma State University's policy with influence from other Kansas community college policies. He also said that adherence to the policy would rely primarily upon self-enforcement.
Linda Morgan, outgoing Faculty Senate president, presented surveys from 2010 and 2011 regarding a tobacco-free campus. In 2010, only faculty members were surveyed; in 2011, both faculty and staff were surveyed. Morgan reiterated and the provided survey results showed that faculty sentiment had not changed regarding a tobacco-free campus since the first poll in 2010.
“The main concerns are how this is going to be enforced with no due process in place [in the policy],” Morgan said. “And, what this means to students and visitors who will have to go off campus to smoke.” Safety and trespassing were cited as issues if smokers went off campus to smoke.
In consent agenda action, the board accepted bids from Keller Leopold Insurance for athletic insurance and Accident Fund Insurance Co. for worker’s compensation insurance for the 2013-2014 academic year. The athletic insurance will cover baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country/track and field, golf, football, rodeo, softball and volleyball at a total cost of $113,079. Last year, the college paid $128,344 for athletic insurance provided by New York-based United States Fire Insurance Co., which is brokered by Dissinger Reed, an agency based in Overland Park.
Page 2 of 2 - In a separate vote, Trustees approved the purchase of a 2013 Ford E-series 350 Super Duty Extended Wagon for $27,776 from Burtis Motor Co. Inc. Although no longer associated with Burtis Motor, Trustee Ron Schwartz recused himself from this vote because of his previous professional affiliation.
Other actions taken by the board included:
* Passing a resolution approving a lease purchasing finance agreement with First Security Finance Inc., Arkansas, in the amount of $2.6 million at an interest rate of 2.69 percent for the multisport athletic facility on Spruce Street. Semi-annual payments of $148,926.14 will be made from the general fund.
* Approving the hiring of Cole Dewey, Super Circuit/men’s basketball assistant; Doug Kelley, assistant cross country/track and field coach; Nick Salazar, head women’s basketball coach; and Harvey Sanders, head women’s volleyball coach.
* Approving the departures of Adrian Caro, admissions representative; Rand Chappell, head men’s basketball coach; Merri Conley, continuing education secretary; Kate Dibbern, assistant cross country/track and field coach; Sergio Maria-Fagundez, math instructor; and Marian Hunter, allied health instructor.
Trustees went into three separate executive sessions with President Herbert J. Swender Sr., Grisell, and Dee Wigner, GCCC executive vice president, also present. No action was taken following the sessions.
The next monthly meeting of the trustees is set for Tuesday, July 9, in the Endowment Room of the Beth Tedrow Student Center at 6 p.m.