As you all know, a white nationalist group will be holding a meeting on the Hill on Saturday. We are expecting a large number of visitors to our campus, both to attend the event and to protest it. Our chancellor, other university leaders, and I have been preparing for this weekend.
UT Police has been working very closely with other law enforcement agencies and sent out a security plan Wednesday. I want to assure you we are committed to keeping our campus safe and informed.
Alternative activities have been planned elsewhere on campus for students, and I encourage you to attend. Multicultural Student Life is hosting United in Love: A Community Gathering from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Frieson Black Cultural Center. The Progressive Student Alliance, Sexual Empowerment at UT, and the Women’s Coordinating Council will hold No Nazis on Rocky Top at noon at the Humanities and Social Sciences Amphitheater.
Additionally, counselors will be at Hodges Library from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. The library will be closed to the public, and students, faculty, and staff must use their VolCard to enter the building.
Law enforcement will be stationed outside the library and at the United in Love: A Community Gathering event.
If you are in distress, we encourage you to call 974-HELP. The number serves to support students in crisis. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For those of you who decide to protest this event, please take a close look at the security guidelines. I respect your desire to speak out against this group’s despicable message and I hope you will do so peacefully.
No matter where you are on campus this weekend, please be aware of your surroundings and your personal safety. If you see something, please say something. Your safety is our top priority.
You can report suspicious activity by calling UT Police at 865-974-3114 or by texting 69050. Type “VOLS (space)” before beginning your message.
There are more than 100 blue light phones throughout campus that can be used to contact UT Police in an emergency. Find a map of all blue light phones by clicking “explore campus” then clicking “safety” on the campus map.
We have added a list of frequently asked questions to our free speech website, where you can learn more about the precautions and resources in place for our students Saturday.
Vice Chancellor for Student Life