Concealed carry will be permitted on the Pratt Community College campus starting July 1.

Starting July 1, concealed carry will be allowed on the Pratt Community College campus. Because the cost to secure the buildings with metal detectors and the cost to hire enforcement to run the limited access points was so prohibitive, the decision was made to allow concealed carry on campus, said PCC President Michael Calvert at the Board of Trustees meeting June 19.

An extension that permitted schools to prohibit concealed carry expires on June 30. Starting July 1, anyone with a concealed carry license can bring a concealed weapon on campus.

But, by Kansas Law, the college can prohibit open carry on campus. Signs on buildings across campus will reflect the change and alert visitors to the current laws, Calvert said.

If someone is found with a visible weapon, they can receive a warning, a student or faculty member could face dismissal.

"We hope we don't have to evoke disciplinary process as the exemption expires," Calvert said.

Calvert said he does not favor allowing weapons in residence halls. The college has a shooting team and the Outdoors Outfitters program promotes hunting and Calvert supports those programs that have very strict controls on their firearms. He just doesn't think weapons belong on a college residence hall.

College revenues through May are running $164,000 above budgeted. Tuition revenue is $41,000 less than budgeted because of a negative enrollment trend compared to the budget. But Ad Valorem property tax is $108,000 favorable, motor vehicle tax is $2,000 favorable and miscellaneous revenues is $95,000 above budget, said Kent Adams, vice president of finance and operations.

It appears the four percent reduction in state funding for Fiscal Year 2017 will continue for FY 2018. But it's unlikely additional cuts in state aid are coming, Adams said.

Lisa Miller, vice president of student/enrollment management, said summer school enrollment numbers continue to be ahead of last year but fall enrollment numbers are behind last year. More enrollment days are coming and the staff needs to focus on getting non-athlete numbers up, Miller said.

Because of the change in Kansas law that allows concealed carry on campus, the former insurance carrier would not cover the college. The Trustees voted to use Midwest Higher Education through Strong Insurance of Pratt for $160,800. This is slightly lower then the current premium of $163,000, Adams said.

The PCC Foundation is considering moving the 2018 PCC Scholarship Auction from the Pratt County Fairgrounds to Dennis Lesh Sports Arena at the college. Barry Fisher, executive director for institutional advancement and alumni relations, said they were considering the move because they had hit capacity at the fairgrounds and would have more room at the college. The college also has a better sound system.

The change of venue would be an opportunity to showcase the campus and get more people involved in raising money for scholarships.

Alcohol was served at the fairgrounds for the auction and the Trustees would have to approve its use for the auction, Calvert said.

Board Clerk Donna Meyer Pfeifer said the college was spending $350 to lease the fairground building for three days. At the last auction, the room was crowed and they have to stay within the fire code.

Fisher said he would keep the Trustees informed on the possible change of venue.

@GaleR_Tribune