When the University of Texas released a report last week detailing where it plans to allow guns on its Austin campus, Nora Dolliver’s choice of graduate schools narrowed by one.

The languages student at the University of Chicago sent an email to staff with the subject “Declining Offer of Admission Due to Campus Carry Guidelines”, and will now pursue a dual masters in Russian and Eastern European studies and library sciences elsewhere. Someplace where she can feel confident that the person she is sitting next to is not packing a concealed pistol.

Students and academics have warned of a chilling effect on freedom of expression ever since Texas became the latest state to pass a “campus carry” law last year. It compels public universities to allow license holders aged 21 and over to bring concealed handguns on to most areas of campus.

The faculty senate at the University of Houston prepared a slideshow for recent faculty forums warning that academics may want to “be careful discussing sensitive topics; drop certain topics from your curriculum; not ‘go there’ if you sense anger; limit student access off hours; go to appointment-only office hours; only meet ‘that student’ in controlled circumstances.”

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