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Marshall faculty discuss bills that could affect university

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The Marshall University Legislative Affairs Committee has been keeping track of bills going through the legislature that could affect Marshall University.

Multiple bills have been introduced in the legislature that specifically relate to higher education.

The Marshall University Legislative Affairs Committee stays updated with this type of legislation and discusses its impact on the university and how to respond to lawmakers.

Marshall psychology professor Pamela Mulder is a member of the Legislative Affairs Committee and weighed in on some of the bills that have been brought up for discussion.

One bill that has been on the agenda in the Legislative Affairs Committee is House Bill 2559.

House Bill 2559 was introduced in the House Feb. 20 and was sent to the House Education Committee, then to the House Judiciary Committee for further discussion, according to the West Virginia Legislature website.

According to the West Virginia Legislature website, “The purpose of this bill is to permit an individual with a current West Virginia issued license to carry a concealed deadly weapon and to carry such weapon on the campus of a state institution of higher education.”

Mulder said the faculty had different opinions, as some were for the idea of concealed carry on campus, while most were not.

Another bill that was of discussion in the Marshall University Legislative Affairs Committee was House Bill 2097.

According to the bill on the West Virginia Legislature website, its purpose is to “permit community and technical colleges and universities to charge students half the cost of a credit for every credit taken over the fifteenth hour.”

The website says this bill was introduced in the House and was referred to the House Education Committee Feb. 8.

Senate Bill 32 has also been discussed in the Legislative Affairs Committee.

The bill’s purpose can be found on the West Virginia Legislature website. It would “require that higher education course catalogs include certain information relating to employment rate, compensation, etc. to help students decide on an area of study.”

“There’s nothing that forces alumni to tell us where they go or what they do, there’s no way that we could assure that we are tracking them,” Mulder said.

The West Virginia Legislature shows this bill was introduced in the Senate Feb. 8 and was referred to the Senate Education Committee where it still awaits further discussion.

Mulder said the resolutions that were created in the Legislative Affairs Committee towards the bills mentioned will be introduced in the Faculty Senate at their meeting on Feb. 23, and will be considered for passage.

Mulder said if the resolutions are passed, the Faculty Senate is in charge of taking the information to the Legislature for the people who are voting on the bills.

Mulder said if students want to let their voices be heard, there are several groups on campus that are trying to group together and to form coalitions.

Mulder also said students can let their opinions on the issues be heard by contacting the lawmakers that represent Huntington and those in their home counties.

“That’s where the real power is, is to contact the home counties,” Mulder said. “We have small enough population in the state that just a few voices can make themselves heard.”

Kylee Hurley can be contacted at [email protected]

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