Rick Tyler, a Polk County man who ran for Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District House of Representatives seat in 2016 and drew national attention for “Make America White Again” billboards, is renting space on campus for an event titled, “White Nationalism: Fact or Fiction.”
The reservation is for 6–10 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, in Alumni Memorial Building.
Tyler is not affiliated with any campus group and was not invited to campus. UT has no information on tickets for this event.
Read Interim Chancellor Wayne T. Davis’s message to campus.
Policy for renting space on campus
UT has a building-use policy that allows nonaffiliated people or organizations—such as churches, civic groups, educational groups, nonprofit organizations, and other organizations and businesses—to rent space on campus. Under state and federal law, UT cannot base its decisions about who can rent its facilities based on a person’s or group’s viewpoint. Tyler has fulfilled the requirements of the policy.
Safety and security
The safety of our campus community and visitors is the top priority of the UT Police Department, and the department is preparing for this event. They oversee security for more than 250 campus events each year.
No classes are scheduled during the time of the event.
Alumni Memorial Building will be closed all day on May 28. UTPD will close Hesler Biology and Nielsen Physics at 2 p.m. Employees of these buildings may leave at this time. Essential research personnel who need access to Hesler and Nielsen after 2 p.m. may contact UTPD for access at 865-974-3114.
Middle Drive and Circle Drive will close at 4 p.m., and Staff Lot 9 will close to incoming traffic at 4 p.m. Staff who park in these areas may leave at 4 p.m. or park in the White Avenue garage at any time Tuesday without being ticketed.
There are more than 100 blue light phones throughout campus that can be used to contact UTPD in an emergency. Find a map of all blue light phones by clicking “safety” and then clicking “emergency phones” on the campus map.
The LiveSafe app provides instant access to 911 or UTPD and allows users to report suspicious behavior. The SafeWalk feature allows your contacts to virtually walk with you to your destination.
Protestors are likely to be on campus. A demonstration area will be staged on the Gate 21 Plaza.
The campus clear bag policy will be in effect for the demonstration area and for attendees of the event. Handheld signs and banners made of cloth, paper, or cardboard will be permitted. Prohibited items include:
- Firearms, knives, electrical weapons, or chemical sprays
- Liquids or drink containers of any kind, coolers, and food. Only required medical items are permitted.
- Poles, sticks, clubs, flashlights, umbrellas, athletics equipment, or other items that could be considered or used as an improvised weapon
- Masks or face coverings
- Shields or other handheld defensive barriers
- Fireworks, noise makers, or amplified sound devices
- Tents, canopies, or chairs
- Unmanned aircraft
- Animals other than ADA-approved service animals
- Any other items that campus police determine may pose a risk to safety
Support for students
Student Life staff members will be in the Stokely Hall multipurpose room 5–8 p.m. Tuesday evening to offer space for students to gather for support and reflection.
Students who are in distress are encouraged to call 974-HELP. The number serves to support students in crisis and as a referral resource for students, faculty, staff, and parents who have a concern about the safety or well-being of a student. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.